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Old July 30, 2012, 06:47 AM   #1
Hank15
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New to reloading? See this thread. (Warning: Lots of pictures pending)

After being a firearm owner for 4 years, I've finally reached a point where I shoot enough to justify the start up cost of reloading.

Getting started can be a very scary thing, especially when looking at the prices of the necessary equipment and accessories. But after a few simple calculations and answering a few questions to yourself, it really isn't that bad.

I'll be updating this thread as I go through every single step, so those of you who want to get started have an idea of what you're getting yourself into. By every single step I mean from setting up the bench, the press and relevant accessories, to loading my very first cartridge.

Those of you that already have a reloading setup, feel free to share your experience as well.

Happy reading/viewing
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Old July 30, 2012, 06:51 AM   #2
Hank15
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The Bench (Part 1 of 2)

Here's the setup for the Bench:

-Frame is made of:
-2x4s
-Table top will be Pine/Particle Board/Pine Sandwich
-Stain/Polyurethane (3 coats)
-Held together by screws

Coating of the 2x4s:



The completed frame in its rough form:





Completed bench will follow soon.
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Old July 30, 2012, 09:46 AM   #3
peter_s
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Looking good so far. I've built a couple of work benches using a similar construction. Every time I move residence (which has been a loooot) I end up leaving them for the new owners

If I may be so bold as to offer a piece of advice, you might want to add a couple of cross braces...say one at the back angled say from top left to bottm right, and a similar type brace on the sides. Even glued and screwed, this type of constuction can work loose and become unstable.

Anyway, good luck and I'll be following your progress.
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Old July 30, 2012, 10:35 AM   #4
mrawesome22
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Thats what I was going to suggest.

Some gussets will add a lot of strength to base.

sudo apt-get update
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Old July 30, 2012, 11:54 AM   #5
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For a bit of added strength, attach the bench to a wall. I was very cost conscious when I started reloading (I was broke!) so I started very simply, much like this; http://www.beartoothbullets.com/tech...h_notes.htm/51
This got me started without breaking me even more and developed a good basic understanding of the process. I soon up-graded, but this is still a good start. Of course the prices have changed but the idea is still the same...
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Old July 30, 2012, 02:26 PM   #6
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Looks just like mine, except for a full width drawer, and a shelf on the lower support beams.
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Old July 30, 2012, 07:15 PM   #7
dickttx
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Combination of 2x6/8/10's across the bottom stringers will let you store REALLY heavy boxes of bullets, etc and lend stability to the entire bench. One screw at each end of each of these 2x's will hold them in place.
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Old July 30, 2012, 07:50 PM   #8
Lost Sheep
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I went the opposite direction

In 1975 I did not have enough room for a dedicated reloading area, so used a 2x6 wedged into the drawer of an end table in the living room to mount my press on.

I still use the same 2x6, though a different press mounted on a folding portable workbench. It takes about 5 minutes to set up.

Everything (but my tumbler and the components) to load 7 calibers fits into 3 toolboxes and I can even go over to my friend's house to load. I can load up the car with only three trips.

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.

Everyone has their preferred way of doing things. I was talking to a fellow yesterday who has completely dedicated loading area. All he has to do is walk in, flip the light switch on and everything is exactly the way he left it, ready to start cranking out cartridges.

Hank15, thanks for sharing and for giving me the opportunity to do the same. Your plan is an excellent one and it is very generous of you to document it.

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Old July 31, 2012, 08:36 AM   #9
peter_s
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Lost Sheep - I've done a similar thing with my press and powder measure bolted to a board that can be clamped to a table/work bench and quickly moved when I need the table area for cleaning my guns or whatever.

Although I pretty much have a "dedicated" corner in the basement, it's still not a lot of space so it's nice to have some flexibility.
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Old July 31, 2012, 09:18 AM   #10
BPowderkeg
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Quote:
Every time I move residence (which has been a loooot) I end up leaving them for the new owners
i too have left about 6 reloading benches behind as i built them into the existing structure.

this last time i moved, the house had an "L" shaped utility/pantry/laundry room 8'X24'X12' , there were two heavy duty benches, the former owner used the bigger and heavier one for reloading, it would take a tank to destroy it he must have had similar equipment, as my RCBS Rock Chucker fit one set of holes perfectly.

Hank15, good start on your bench, as others have said, you need to beef it up a bit, mine is 10' long,30'' deep, has 2X8's for the top covered, glued and screwed with 1/4" Masonite the bottom has 3/4" plywood where i store my brass in plastic stackable containers that hold about 500 cases of 5.56mm and well over 4,000, 55 Gr. bullets, i too suggest you anchor it to a wall, also beef up the top, it appears from the pic that the top is 1/2'' particle board, that is not strong enough, i would suggest you remove it, put 2X6/8's for your top then put the particle board on top of that, screwed & glued.

i'll follow your progress and offer suggestions.., if you don't mind. i have been reloading for nearly 60 years and still have 10 fingers, two eyes, never had a mishap, i.e. "primer detonations".

enjoy the wonderful hobby of reloading.
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Old August 1, 2012, 02:02 AM   #11
Whitetail99
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Listen to powderkeg.
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Old August 1, 2012, 06:08 AM   #12
GP100man
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Cobbled

Here`s a bench I cobbled together from some recovered 3/4" plywood.

24"x86" I store some cast bullets on it to give it stability , the other bench is similar but a shelf under neath holds the ballast.



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Old August 1, 2012, 08:29 AM   #13
BPowderkeg
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good looking set up you have there GP100man, what is that blue top on the bench in the first photo ?

in the second photo, is that a pistol sticking out of the green can on the top shelf ?
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Old August 2, 2012, 12:57 AM   #14
Hank15
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Thank you for the feedback guys!

I will be sure to address each of your posts. But for now, see below:

Completed bench, short of a few coats of stain and poly:


Gusset as suggested:


3/4" Maple + 5/8" Particle + 3/4" Maple sandwich:


Screw holes covered with wood putty, then sanded, blended, and stained (first coat only):

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Old August 2, 2012, 01:19 AM   #15
mohr308
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when I first started reload (this year) I was broke, still am! ok not that broke, I reload at my kitchen table (solid maple) with my press and powder thrower mounted to a pine sandwich, which attaches with this handy clamp!
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Old August 3, 2012, 09:13 PM   #16
GP100man
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good looking set up you have there GP100man, what is that blue top on the bench in the first photo ?

in the second photo, is that a pistol sticking out of the green can on the top shelf ?

The blue top is 3/4" plywood that was used for doors (recovered/recycled)

It sure is a gun , a hot glue gun .
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Old January 21, 2013, 03:47 AM   #17
Hank15
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Update

Hi All,

I've been very busy post graduation, but I finally have some time to contribute to the forum.

I took your suggestions and beefed up the bench.

I've loaded about 5000 rounds so far on my 550, on this setup:



Sorry for the poor lighting, will take a better picture during the day.
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