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Old August 2, 2012, 10:15 PM   #1
FlySubCompact
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If you don't have dedicated work bench....

Got most of my reloading gear. I have been learning the equipment using a sturdy living room table. I have a workshop in the barn, but as hot/humid as it is in Alabama I choose to reload in our house. One, because it is more comfortable than the shop. Two, because I don't want to introduce humid air to the primers/powder as I load.

Been real careful not to scratch our LR table, but I will eventually need something else as a reloading base. There is basically nowhere else in our house where I could set up a dedicated reloading station.

Got to thinking that I could make some sort of trunk or modify one. Something, that when in in storage mode, could store all the junk inside. Then, in use mode, could be opened and serve as a base to set the press on. That would be perfect. It would sit like a trunk in the closet.....then drag out to the LR to set up for making bullets. Anybody here made or seen such a thing?
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Old August 2, 2012, 10:34 PM   #2
TimW77
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As usual, do a SEARCH...

There are several threads on here where people show their reloading rooms and benches.

Do a search and look through the threads, many very good ideas.

T

Last edited by TimW77; August 2, 2012 at 10:35 PM. Reason: correct spelling
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Old August 2, 2012, 10:54 PM   #3
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Here's a neat idea... if you don't have a lot of horizontal real estate to work with.

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Old August 2, 2012, 11:02 PM   #4
FlySubCompact
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Tim,

Thanks for the advice and the PM's. I did do a thread search, but didn't find what I was thinking about. Maybe improper wording or whatever.

Creeper,

THat is neat, but unfortunately I don't even have room for that slim little rig. Thanks anyway.
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Old August 2, 2012, 11:25 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlySubCompact

THat is neat, but unfortunately I don't even have room for that slim little rig. Thanks anyway.
Well, tell us the dimensions of your available storage space.

While you have a tape measure in your hands, tell us the dimensions of your available (temporary, as you have described) work space.

I used to keep my gear in a footlocker and bring it out to the living room, spread a dropcloth and set up my scale and components on the coffee table. The press was mounted on a 30" long 2x6 that I would wedge into the drawer of an end table (no worries about scratching the top of the end table. Sometimes I would use a belt to mount it on top of the end table and use several sheets of newspaper of a towel to pad the top of the end table.

I countersunk the carriage bolts.

Now, I load for 7 calibers and everything but my tumbler fits in three toolboxes the largest of which is 10" x 10" x 23" (I shortened the 2x6). I mount the press (on its board) on a folding workbench.
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Old August 2, 2012, 11:28 PM   #6
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So, what you're thinking of is like a cedar hope chest kinda thing, with a stowable work top you can solidly attach to the box? Is that the idea? I think I get ya'. Rhino trunks perhaps?

Something like this...



Or this...



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Old August 2, 2012, 11:46 PM   #7
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or this
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Old August 2, 2012, 11:53 PM   #8
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Benches are over rated

Since I got one of these, I don't need my bench anymore, and I can work the brass and watch TV at the same time.
http://leeprecision.com/breech-lock-hand-press.html
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Old August 3, 2012, 12:07 AM   #9
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If I were to use that what else would I need?
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Old August 3, 2012, 12:32 AM   #10
FlySubCompact
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Lost Sheep,

Work area is not a problem. I have a large living room. (I can't convince the lady of the house that my reloading junk would accent the LR decor on a permanent basis) I can set up in there when I run bullets though.

A trunk like Creeper posted would be perfect storage size. A steamer sized one. That Lee stand that rtzp linked would be great too if it could fit in the trunk. I think I could copy and fab up one of those stands at work. Thanks for showing me that.
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Old August 3, 2012, 01:05 AM   #11
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Steamer trunk?

If you need to move it from the storage area into the work area and back while it is loaded with all your gear, consider that, while you may be able to lift that much weight, walking around with it through doorways may be a challenge. I learned that the hard way before going to keeping my gear in three toolboxes. Two trips with smaller boxes and the folding workbench is much more doable than one too unwieldy to carry.

Here's my setup in pictures. Not as portable as a hand press but still pretty good.



The top two pictures are of the boxes. Left is how I store them and on the right arranged so you can see them.

The next three are 1) the press, mounting board and small box for small tools and accessories, 2) the dies and 3) accessories (scale, powder measures, primer dispensers, etc)

The bottom two pictures are of the mounted press.



Large gray toolbox: (23" x 10" x 10")
Press. Mounting board and tackle box with various small parts & tools and the priming arms There's room for a couple of manuals in there, too, but I store them on my bookshelf, with one next to the computer.

The red toolbox (15"x8"x8") Accessories.
2 Auto-Disk powder measures (one standard and one Pro)
Lee Safety Prime for large and small primers (Lee Primer Dispensers for use on the press)
Lee Safety Scale (not in the box at the moment)
bullet puller (not shown, it is in my range bag)
calipers (not shown, they are on my desk)
Primer Pocket cleaner
Case mouth Chamfer Tool
Safety glasses (shooting glasses would do, but I keep a dedicated pair for reloading)
Powder trickler
Powder Funnel
A set of Lee Powder Dippers
Some tweezers and other small hand tools

The two-tone gray toolbox (15"x7"x7")
Seven sets of reloading dies, mounted in their turrets inside their plastic storage cylinders, ready to plug into the press and use plus one set in a flat box. I'll need a bigger box to add another caliber.

The green one in the pictures is empty, but could hold the vibratory cleaner.

Not in the toolboxes:
Some loading manuals
Dropcloth
Vibratory Tumbler
Spare parts and components, extra press and such are on a bookcase.

I think that's about it.

The three toolboxes, dropcloth and folding worktable are ready to pick up and go and I can set up anywhere (including over to a friend's house) with just three trips to the car (two carrying the gear and one carrying the components).

I can set up my reloading room anywhere in just a few minutes; spread the dropcloth, unfold a collapsible workbench, mount everything, calibrate the powder measure (scale set on my stacked toolboxes if nothing else is available) and load to my heart's content.

The closeup of the press mount shows that one bolt has a wing nut topside. The bolt head is countersunk on the underside. The other two bolts have their wingnuts below, but no countersink was necessary because the tip of the board extends past the edge of the table top.

The board is held on the tabletop with a belt (it was quicker for the pictures), but that is not the best solution. Bolts and wing nuts are much more secure even than a "C" clamp. But, my first setup saw me opening an end table drawer and just sticking the board into the drawer and closing it to where it was secure. It was a single stage press (RockChucker) and the rearward incline actually made it more convenient, since the end table was kind of low.

Lost Sheep

Last edited by Lost Sheep; August 3, 2012 at 01:29 AM.
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Old August 3, 2012, 06:12 AM   #12
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Lost,

I don't have the amount of gear you have (yet) . Everything I have right now fits into the Midway shipping box the Loadmaster came in. Like the way you have yours set up....portable and all. Yours is in multiple containers. I'll want just one larger box. That is the way I want to do it. If I can drag out all the gear once a month and assemble 300 rounds for the range, that would be perfect.

The only bulky item I need is a tumbler, but that will be a permanent fixture in the shop out at the barn. If I need cleaned brass I'll just run out there and clean it. The rest can stay cool and dry in the house.
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Old August 3, 2012, 03:51 PM   #13
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When I first bought my own equipment, I was clamping the press to an entertainment center (I had to be careful not to tip it over ). When not in use, everything got stored in a cupboard that measured about 13"H x 13"W x 18" deep.

It wasn't much "fun" but I was able to reload, when needed.

A popular option for limited space, is a Black and Decker or Craftsman "Workmate" work benches. There are several sizes to choose from, and the Workmate folds for storage.
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Old August 3, 2012, 07:20 PM   #14
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In anticipation of moving, I collected wooden ammo boxes and military style trunks for a year or so. After I filled one of the smaller ones with old dies, powder, misc tools, etc. I found I could not lift it. Be careful what you wish for!
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Old August 3, 2012, 11:59 PM   #15
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Besides on my reloading bench, I can reload on the shooting bench, in my car, or on my desk in front of my keyboard.

I bolt the press to a board, and then clamp the board to the table with C clamps or quick clamps.

I reload at other people's handloading bench in their hunting cabin. I bring my own dies, primers, bullets, powder, case lube, and brass. I use their scale, press, and powder measure.

I hate is when they have tape wrapped around the powder measure with some writing on it and it is full of powder.
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Old August 4, 2012, 07:13 AM   #16
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Once upon a time I had no space for a dedicated bench. I stored everything in a GI footlocker with lift out trays. The only down side was that I mounted my press to the lid and it flexed too much causing my rounds to not be adequately sized. I now have a dedicated bench but if I had to do it over again I would still use the footlocker (or similiar) and a workmate stand.
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Old August 4, 2012, 07:46 AM   #17
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I built this portable setup to take to the range. On the bottom is a 1/8" thick rubber mat to keep it from scratching any surface it is set on. All the other stuff I need is in a large rubbermaid toolbox. They store neatly away in a closet until needed.

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Old August 4, 2012, 09:20 AM   #18
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flashhole,
Did you use a sheet metal brake?
Did you make a prototype to make sure it would not tip over when you push down on the handle?
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Old August 4, 2012, 10:58 AM   #19
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The vertical pieces are the Dillon strong mounts.

The plate is 5/16" or 3/8", I can't remember exactly, 5/16 I think. All I did was drill holes where needed to mount the press and powder measure bracket and secure it to the strong mounts.

I drilled a hole in the bottom plate because I take it to the range where I drilled a hole in the benches. That keeps it from tipping no matter what.

I painted it with black Rustoleum.

A small clamp wiill hold it down on a conventional table too. It's not prone to tipping forward unless you are resizing a stubborn case.

I added side brackets for holding plastic tubs to hold stuff but they were not too handy so I took them off.

You can actually use a scale under the powder measure to keep it out of the wind when outdoors.
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Old August 4, 2012, 11:07 AM   #20
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One thing I really like about this setup is - when I set the dies up at the range and dial in a load I just have to lift the turret out of the portable press and put it in the bench mounted press.
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Old August 4, 2012, 03:58 PM   #21
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Thanks for the response.
I see the mount now:
http://www.dillonprecision.com/#/con...0_Strong_Mount

I try to figure out how people design and build things, and when I saw the 7 holes in the side, the angles, and multiple bends.... it seemed hard to believe an individual would get all that together on the first try.
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Old August 4, 2012, 04:26 PM   #22
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No problem. This was actually pretty simple to build. I ordered the steel cut to size on eBay and the top and bottom plates were delivered to my door. If you have a good hand drill or a drill press you can do it too. I bought the Dillon strong mounts on eBay too.
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