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Old October 31, 2019, 08:34 PM   #1
markr6754
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Finally Assembled my New Loading Bench

After many months of pondering and wishing and hoping, I finally cleaned up the floor, temporary refinish until funds allow for a better job, and assembled my Rural King workbench. Pardon the terrible paint job...I couldn’t afford to do that, either, so I’ll have to live with it for now. Perhaps I’ll change everything over to Lyman so it all blends in well. For now, I believe I have room to mount my Hornady LnL Classic, as well as my new Lyman All American 8 turret. So pleased with the height of this bench, too. Maybe this will be easier on my back.
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Old October 31, 2019, 09:47 PM   #2
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I hope you're talking about painting the wall and not the bench. That cedar is beautiful.
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Old October 31, 2019, 11:38 PM   #3
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Yes...I mean the wall. I’m thinking about adding a coat or two of polyurethane for protection. The wood surface appears to be freshly sanded, but no surface protection of any kind. If I remember right, the Harbor Freight bench has a light finish. I put several coats on the plywood I used for my B&D WorkMate conversion and I’ve never regretted it. Spilled powder slides right off, and no splinters.
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Old November 1, 2019, 02:04 AM   #4
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My wife got me the Harbor Freight metal bench with the pegboard backing & LED light when i first moved to the basement. She was tired of my Lee Wack-A-Mole loading on the dinning room table.

I added a piece of 5/8 plywood to the particle board top. Routed 2 grooves for the spent primers from my Lee 4 hole Turret press to be caught.
My old work had a kiosk that was no longer being serviced, so i snagged the computer and touch flat screen monitor, and mounted to the pegboard.
QL, and many reloading manuals are just a click away. Along with TFL, of course!
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Old November 1, 2019, 07:32 AM   #5
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Beautiful wood, and I am sure you will want to protect it. Cedar is a very soft wood and I would recommend either spar varnish which is very tough but oil based. If the fumes from oil based is a problem then use several coats of a water based poly. I also put a piece of clear carpet runner on mine.
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Old November 1, 2019, 09:48 AM   #6
markr6754
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Beautiful wood, and I am sure you will want to protect it. Cedar is a very soft wood and I would recommend either spar varnish which is very tough but oil based. If the fumes from oil based is a problem then use several coats of a water based poly. I also put a piece of clear carpet runner on mine.
Great ideas. I’ve been very pleased with the durability of the coating I put on my plywood WorkMate surface. I applied 3 coats with light sanding between coats, both to protect the wood, but to also ensure my loading was splinter free. It’s worked beautifully. I may just keep that station intact.
I’m not so worried about splinters from the new bench as I am about keeping everything easy maintenance. Powder just slides right off the surface of my work table...I’d like the same experience with my new work bench.
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Old November 1, 2019, 09:57 AM   #7
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Mark, there is an old woodworker's trick for finishing/assembly tables that you might want to consider. First, you buy a sheet of the thick masonite hardboard cut to the exact dimensions as your bench top (needs to be the thick stuff - not the thin version). Next, you cut and tack nail a thin hardwood border around the perimeter of your bench. It needs to stand proud of the bench surface by the exact same thickness as the masonite.

You then just drop the masonite piece onto the top and that border keeps it securely in place. When it gets banged up or stained, you flip it over and use the other side until it gets too bad then you start over with a new piece.
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Old November 2, 2019, 01:28 AM   #8
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Doyle, that sounds like an interesting approach for a work surface, but I can’t visualize how you would mount presses and other gear. Do you drill through both the Masonite surface and the work bench? Then when you flip it over you need to drill perfectly aligned holes to remount your equipment.

Sounds like it could work in some applications, but I know your talking above my skill level. I can assemble things fairly easily. Building things...now that’s skill and equipment I don’t have. Interesting, and food for thought though. Appreciate the input.
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Old November 2, 2019, 12:01 PM   #9
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I use masonite. I've had no trouble with the thin stuff and I screwed it down to my benches (made of 2×4's and plywood, not nice-looking cedar) and mounted my presses. It's plenty secure.
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Old November 2, 2019, 12:12 PM   #10
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My reloading setup is a work in progress

I quit work and brought my Knack box home (rolling work bench model). I had a solid wooden top bench I bough years back.

Then there is my old klunker Sears bench.

They are now a sort of U in the space I can fit it in the shop, unfortunately I had a lean to to build for my Ural so I got fare enough to reload and then that took over.

It will get finished this winter. Two need better surfaces.

The original shop bench will as well.

I might use some of our spare cam lock flooring!
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Old November 2, 2019, 06:33 PM   #11
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Quote:
Doyle, that sounds like an interesting approach for a work surface, but I can’t visualize how you would mount presses and other gear. Do you drill through both the Masonite surface and the work bench? Then when you flip it over you need to drill perfectly aligned holes to remount your equipment.
Mark, I see the problem you brought up about the mounting holes. Getting them perfectly aligned so that they were in the same spot when you flipped would be tough. With a bench that nice, I'm not sure I'd want to permanently screw a press into it in the first place. I would get a piece of 1x6 hardwood and bolt the press to it using recessed holes on the bottom so that it sits flat on the bench surface. Mount that to the bench using woodworker's clamps. The advantage of doing that is in seconds you can convert it from a reloading bench to a gunsmithing/whatever bench.
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Old November 2, 2019, 08:34 PM   #12
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Mark, I see the problem you brought up about the mounting holes. Getting them perfectly aligned so that they were in the same spot when you flipped would be tough. With a bench that nice, I'm not sure I'd want to permanently screw a press into it in the first place. I would get a piece of 1x6 hardwood and bolt the press to it using recessed holes on the bottom so that it sits flat on the bench surface. Mount that to the bench using woodworker's clamps. The advantage of doing that is in seconds you can convert it from a reloading bench to a gunsmithing/whatever bench.
Doyle, your response gave me a brain fart. It’s an idea percolating in my head. Take a piece of 1” plywood, line it up on the bench top and trace the peg holes already on the table. Drill out those holes in the plywood. Next, countersink press mounting holes in the plywood to mount the press. Then, bolt the “press table” to the bench using the pre-existing peg holes.
I like it.
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Old November 3, 2019, 09:52 AM   #13
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Sounds like a plan. I'm a fan of "multi-purpose" benches rather than dedicated benches (don't have the real estate for dedicated benches).
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Old November 4, 2019, 03:52 AM   #14
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A recommendation.

I countersunk a few Rockler T-rails into my bench. I mount my presses on a piece of wood that then I dog down to the bench on the rails. When I want to relocate or temporarily move a press, it takes minutes instead of requiring a major disassembly.

Only down side is that occasionally some spilled powder gets down in the rails and needs to be cleaned out.

Something to consider as finances allow.
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Old November 7, 2019, 08:32 PM   #15
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I have that HFT bench waiting to be assembled. To protect the top I like the idea of spar varnish or polyurethane. PU comes in satin, semi-gloss, etc. Which finish would be better?
I also have an Inline Fabrication mount base and tops for my Lyman turret, Redding O frame, and Lee Auto Breech Lock Pro Progressive Press (still in box). I will drill through the benchtop to mount that per IF instructions.
All other bench top items I plan to bolt to plywood cut to size, with carriage bolts threaded end up. That way I can move them without drilling into the desktop. Powder measure stands, Wilson Trimmer, etc.
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Old November 7, 2019, 08:47 PM   #16
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I've always preferred satin for my woodworking projects. It takes lots more effort to get semi-gloss (or even worse high-gloss) to be defect free. For ease of use, be sure and get one that was made to wipe on rather than brush on. Again, easier to get an acceptable finish.
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Old November 7, 2019, 09:01 PM   #17
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I am like Doyle, simple equals better. You can put on 5 or 10 coats of water based poly in the time you can do 1 coat of oil. I have a oak coffee table I made in 1994 finished in satin poly and that table has had plenty of abuse over the years and still looks great
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Old November 7, 2019, 09:20 PM   #18
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Looks like Man o' War spar varnish "as no mas"
At Lowes and HD, anyway.
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Old November 8, 2019, 03:31 PM   #19
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I have a 6' bench should built a 8' bench instead.
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Old November 8, 2019, 11:09 PM   #20
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Ceder is an aeromatoc and I love the smell, only thing better is fresh milled lumber. By all means protect the top, but leave the underside uncoated. When the smell fades, just use the sander under the top to release the ceder oil and resins smell.

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Old November 9, 2019, 06:56 PM   #21
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Significant progress. Really starting to come together. Tried out the Lyman turret while I was at it. Decapped about 800 9mm, 43 .300 BLK, 34 .223, and a handful of .380 ACP. Unboxed my new Hornady Balance Beam Scale, mounted my Hornady L-n-L classic onto its own mounting plate, adopted a spare bookcase to hold powder and primers. Lighting remains an issue until I can get an overhead light and ceiling fan installed. I’m thinking I need a pegboard backing, both to to cover the wall scuff, as well as to give me some tool storage, although the 3 accessible drawers will work as well.
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Old November 9, 2019, 08:37 PM   #22
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Mark, my bench looked like that for about 2 weeks after I finished it.
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Old November 9, 2019, 09:59 PM   #23
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Mark, my bench looked like that for about 2 weeks after I finished it.
Kevin...I’m catching grief for tidiness on another forum. Gotta enjoy it while it lasts. Can’t believe I loaded on my WorkMate for so long. Deprimed over 800 cases today...overwhelming majority 9mm. Was neither sore nor tired, and I don’t have to lean over to complete the stroke. Very pleased. Next test will be resizing and forming brass.
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Old November 9, 2019, 10:40 PM   #24
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I think it looks great Mark
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Old November 10, 2019, 02:38 AM   #25
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Where are the shelves for 1,000 boxes of bullets? No problem with tidiness--just makes sure you have enough space--like maybe 700 sq ft. LOL
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