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Old May 6, 2012, 09:25 AM   #1
Mike Irwin
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Lee bench plate

Anyone currently using the lee bench plate do mount a press? Good, bad indifferent?
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Old May 6, 2012, 11:37 AM   #2
Gerry
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I don't have one, but I think it's a nifty idea for those without a lot of bench room who use multiple presses. It's too bad they didn't come up with a quicker way of securing and removing the wood block without the use of screws.
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Old May 6, 2012, 03:50 PM   #3
Lost Sheep
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No first-hand experience, but I have eyes

No first-hand experience, but I have eyes.

Aside from what Gerry said (which I have heard confirmed from people who DO use them), I have also heard from one user that if you don't crank down on the plate really hard, the plate can come loose and then out during operations. Exciting.

The problem of the press and plate coming free is solved easily enough by drilling a hole through the plate and dropping a retaining pin through (either into your bench or through the mounting hardware into the plate).

My opinion:

Lee has some really good ideas and this is one of them. Lee has some really bad executions of their ideas. This is one of them. (see my edit below)

My suggestion:

If I had a small, permanent bench to which I wished to temporarily mount my press(es), I would get some 1"x1" square steel tubing and bolt or weld a press mounting plate to it. To the underside of my bench, I would mount a receiver for the 1x1.

Alternatively, a 24"x2"x8" board with my press mounted on it could slip into a bracket on the underside of my workbench and probably be easier to build with hand tools most of us have.

Lost Sheep

edit: Thanks for the clarification, markr. I wonder if the experience I cited was an early model (without the retention hole) or if the guy just did not read the instructions. Or (please let this not be true) I mis-read his post.

edit #2: I didn't mis-read. Per Shootest's post #7 Lee changed the design to use a pin to lock the plate in place.

Anyhow, your detailed description leads me to amend my opinion of the device. Thanks.

Last edited by Lost Sheep; May 7, 2012 at 08:47 PM.
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Old May 6, 2012, 04:20 PM   #4
markr
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Well, I have one so allow me to comment. The kit comes with a steel bench mounting plate, two blocks of wood to mount presses to, a steel press mounting plate to mount a press too, enough carriage bolts to mount 3 presses to 2 blocks of wood and one steel press mounting plate, 2 steel brackets w/ machine screws, and a bolt template for every lee press on the market.

The main reason I bought it was too have a nice ridgid mount on my work bench. If you use the steel press plate (Remember the kit has two steel plates, one thaat bolts to the bench, and one you mount a press to) the steel press plate locks itself into the steel brackets when they are tightened down to the bench plate. I use this arrangment on my #1 press.

The wood blocks:
you have to use the hole template for your press and drill the holes. The wood block is held in place by tightening the steel brackets down, same as mentioned above with the plate. You must drill an additional hole (Per the instructions). Once the block is in place, you drop either a screw driver or a bolt into this hole. If you don't, the first time you cycle the press, you will pull the wood block and press right out of the mount. So Lostsheep, it's not that it might come loose, the leverage of cycling the press without that screw driver or bolt down the hole results in the press in your lap on the first pull! This is all in the supplied instructions.

I guess you could make your own stuff, but this thing was a little over $20 and tightened up my mounting situation nicely.
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Old May 6, 2012, 04:25 PM   #5
markr
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Gerry......it only takes seconds to mount/dismount the press. To dismount, you loosen slightly the 4 machine screws on the steel brackets, and you are done with the steel press plate. If it's the wood block, the only additonal step is to lift out the screw driver or bolt that drops down through the wood block. Mounting is same thing in reverse.
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Old May 7, 2012, 05:31 PM   #6
Old 454
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I use one on my loadmaster, and when I first started using it it would slip out of the mounting due to the Z brackets.

The Z brackets when tightened down on the wooden mounting block are at an angle allowing the mounting block to become loose and slip out.

Drilling a hole in the rear of the mounting block that matches the mounting plate and through your reloading bench then droping a large bolt through the hole and securing with a nut and lock washer will hold the press into place very nicley.

good luck
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Old May 7, 2012, 07:07 PM   #7
Shootest
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Originally the kit did not come with 2 steel plates just 3 wood ones. And instructions said nothing about drilling a hole for a pin. Lee is just fixing another screw up. The thing is still to small for a larger foot printed press but works with Lee presses.
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Old May 7, 2012, 08:57 PM   #8
kostner
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I like my Lee bench plate. Mine came with one steel plate that you bolt to your bench and three wood plates that you attach to the bottom of your presses. Started out with two Dillon Square deals and one Lee classic turret press. After using this set up I discovered that the press becomes loose and will end up in your lap. Easy fix is to drill a hole through the wooden press base and into the steal plate then insert a bolt or and small screw driver into the hole as a safety bolt. This will fix you right up and now I can use my presses for hour or even days without worrying about the thing coming loose. Good luck and I hope you enjoy your plate.
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Old May 7, 2012, 09:53 PM   #9
markr
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The extra bolt buissiness is not a "Fix": It's all spelled out in the instructions. The wood blocks with a press mounted to it WON'T stay in the bench plate for even one pull of the press without it in place because the brackets aren't parallel to each other. If they were parallel to each other, it would defeat the purpose somewhat, of the quick change feature. I seriously doubt that Lee put this thing on the market, causing pressess to pop out onto your lap with one pull, and then turned around and said "BTW, drill a hole through it and drop something in it as a fix". Is this another one of those Lee conspiracy urban legends?

BTW, I do notice while using the press on the steel plate instead of the wood block, it comes loose a little bit after a while, and I must re snug the machine screws. I think that issue could be reduced if there was some grip between the plates via hard rubber instead of just steel to steel. But all in all, I still like the set up. I may add my own hard rubber.
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Old May 8, 2012, 07:35 AM   #10
snuffy
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Quote:
The extra bolt buissiness is not a "Fix": It's all spelled out in the instructions. The wood blocks with a press mounted to it WON'T stay in the bench plate for even one pull of the press without it in place because the brackets aren't parallel to each other. If they were parallel to each other, it would defeat the purpose somewhat, of the quick change feature. I seriously doubt that Lee put this thing on the market, causing pressess to pop out onto your lap with one pull, and then turned around and said "BTW, drill a hole through it and drop something in it as a fix". Is this another one of those Lee conspiracy urban legends?
Not urban legend or myth. FACT!

Now most of you know me as a defender of Lee's equipment. This bench plate was one of lee's screw-ups. The original plate kit DID NOT come with any such instructions for drilling another hole to "pin" the wood blocks into the triangular base. Those Philips head screws just cannot put enough pressure on those wood blocks to hold them into the plate.

I nearly dropped my classic turret on the floor when it came loose. I called lee, they said SHAZAM! They'd never heard of this happening. My fix was to place some finger nail Emory boards under the wood, between the wood and steel plate. That gave it enough grip to stay put.

Now, lee comes up with the band-aid of having to buy another steel plate to mount the press to. If they'd done some product testing before releasing it, they would have found out it didn't work to darn! OR to drill a hole through the wood, into the base plate to pin it!

Otherwise,,,, it's a great idea!
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Last edited by snuffy; May 8, 2012 at 08:05 AM.
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Old May 8, 2012, 09:06 AM   #11
markr
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Snuffy: Then they must have started selling those things without testing them once, or didn't care. Because I tried to make the block stay in on its own without the extra bolt or screw driver, with the machine screws as tight as possible and it won't stay.....at all!

The current kit comes with one steel press plate, and two wood blocks, and instructions for the extra bolt on the wood blocks. I was a little puzzled when I got it because I was only expecting wood blocks.
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Old May 10, 2012, 10:39 PM   #12
TimW77
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Lee Bench Plate

Due to a recent move I've had to downsize my reloading bench from a 8' to a 4'.

On one side I have a Dillon 650 mounted in a semi "quick release" and on the other side I mounted the Lee Bench Plate. Mine does not have the metal mounting plate.

Use the Bench Plate to hold various items I don't use all the time including case trimmer and "O" and "C" presses. Thinking of using it for holding the Dillon "Toolhead Stand" or similar.

More than strong and stable enough for my uses.

Also have a reloading stand similar to the one by Frankford Arsenal. Have been considering mounting a Lee Bench Plate or several Bench Plates to it similar to the Lee Reloading Stand.

T.
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Old May 11, 2012, 07:37 AM   #13
snuffy
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Lets get technical here. My original kit came with the steel base plate, and 3 "wood" triangular plates. The "wood" was plywood in my case.

One was drilled with all the holes that would fit any lee press, the other two were blank for mounting other bench accessories.

The problem with this system is; the clamping power of those "Z" brackets is limited. The Phillips head screws just don't generate much clamping force. If the wood happens to be a bit too thin, or the "Z" brackets aren't quite the right shape, you just barely have ahold of the wood plate. Then you crank on the press doing normal press duties, out it comes!

My second complaint to lee was via email. I got an answer that they had re-designed the system to include instructions to drill another hole in the wood. AND they had a separate steel plate that replaces the wood plate, AND it hooks BEHIND the Z bracket to prevent the plate from coming out.

Not the first time a company has had to back-track or redesign a piece of equipment. You Horandy LNL guys, remember the E_Z ejector hassle?
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Old May 11, 2012, 02:49 PM   #14
markr
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Based on the responses, it looks like this product as provided by Lee has change several times and in several ways. All the kinks seem to be ironed out by now. The one I got about a month ago has no issues.
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Old May 11, 2012, 09:45 PM   #15
David Wile
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Hey folks,

While I have never tried the subject Lee product, I did find a very useful alternative for my purposes. I simply had too many presses mounted on my old bench and did not have enough "work" room left.

When I moved in 2005 and built a new loading bench, I decided to only have two presses mounted on my bench at one time. I got two half inch thick steel plates 12" X 16" and mounted them four feet apart and quite solidly to my stick built loading bench which is quite solid itself. I then drilled and tapped mounting holes for each press one each steel plate. Most of my metallic presses mount solidly with two bolts. My shotshell presses all use four mounting holes.

For the two-hole mounts, I think I use either 5/16 or 3/8 inch bolts. I just forget which size it is without going downstairs to look. For the shotshell presses with four mounting holes, I use 1/4 inch bolts. When not in use, presses are stored close together on a wood shelf on the adjacent wall. Each is held in place on the shelf with lag bolts which can be finger tightened.

Changing out from one press to another on the two steel plate bench locations is really quite easy - either two or four bolts, depending on the press. Taking the time to drill and tap the holes for each press is a one time job, and a few presses will share holes. Once the steel plates are drilled and tapped, presses can be mounted solid as a rock, and this is absolutely necessary for progressive loaders.

Best wishes,
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Old May 11, 2012, 10:38 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lost Sheep
Alternatively, a 24"x2"x8" board with my press mounted on it could slip into a bracket on the underside of my workbench and probably be easier to build with hand tools most of us have.
That's essentially what I do. I have four presses set up. Each press is mounted on a 24" length of 2x10. Whichever press I need is laid on top of the bench and clamped down with a couple of large C-clamps.

If I need the bench space, when I remove the press there are no brackets and no holes to interfere with using the bench as a workbench.
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