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Old December 4, 1999, 12:42 AM   #1
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I am about to get into reloading, but I don't have much room in my house. Could anyone suggest a portable bench? Am I the only one with this problem? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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Old December 4, 1999, 03:02 AM   #2
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You are not the only one with this problem. What I did was make a reloading bench top for my Black & Decker Workmate. I took a 3/4" peace of plywood, the size of the workmate top, then I placed 2 "T" shaped blocks of wood on the bottom. This is so that when I place the top on the bench, I can clamp it down and tight with the vice top. (If you have ever used a workmate, you know what I'm talking about.) After that I placed the press on the front edge, checked for clearance, and marked the holes for drilling. Once I drilled the holes, I took 1/4" flat head bolts and placed them through the bottom, pointing up. I countersunk the bolt holes flush so that when the top was on the workmate, it would sit flat. I then located a place for my powder measure and drilled the holes for that. This I hold on with screws going through the top. When I get ready to reload, I just open up the workmate and put the top on. Then mount the press and powder measure and I'm ready to go. When I'm done reloading I take the press and measure off, and fold the workmate up. I place the press and most all the reloading hardware in a large plastic tool box. All this can fit easely in a closet and take up very little room. It is a little more time consuming to set up and take down put once its taken down and stored it is out of sight. I also have a progressive loader for .45acp. So, on the opposite side I drilled and mounted the bolts for that set up too. Now if I reload for the .45 I just turn the top around. I hope this helps. If you need a better description let me know and maybe I can email you a better one. You will really like reloading once you get started. Good luck.
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Old December 4, 1999, 12:43 PM   #3
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Midway makes a pedistal unit for reloading presses that doesn't take up much space. I've never used it, but it looks good and Midway makes good stuff. You can find it in their on-line catalog at
I hope this helps.
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Old December 4, 1999, 04:16 PM   #4
Join Date: July 19, 1999
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Matrix, I was faced with the same problem when I bought my reloading press. After getting advice from many experienced loaders on TFL I decided to try something novel. I have a row of bookshelves built into the closet of a bedroom that I converted to a study. I bolted the Dillon 550B to the shelf immediately above the double door cabinet on the bookshelf and relocated the books that were there. I removed all the books from the shelf above and used that shelf for my supplies. I made sure to bolt the press down a little to one side so that I could still open one of the doors. This way I can still have access to the shelves behind the doors. Everything worked out perfect. I can load in the privacy of my study and I am not isolated in the garage or basement(for those who have a basement), and I did not have to find any extra floor space. This setup is just perfect for me
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Old December 4, 1999, 10:30 PM   #5
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I have the same problem. I have 2 ways you can go. Like every body said Midway has a protable bench i belive made out of metal.
Its like a base with a pole then a table on top. or has special boreds that you mount your press on, the boreds have rubber feet for sturdy work.
I use this one and works great. All you don when done is take the whole thing and store it.
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Old December 6, 1999, 11:06 AM   #6
Jack Straw
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I used the Midway portable "bench" for a few years with no problems. The Midway top is rather small, but you can set it next to a kitchen table or desktop if you need more room. The tops are sturdy plastic which are easy to drill through for whatever you want to mount on it and you can buy extra tops, which has been very handy for me. I now have my Dillon 550 setup up on a bench in the garage, but I still use the Midway as a place for a single stage press (for decapping and other chores) and I have a Lyman sizer on another top so that I can sit in the den and size bullets.

Hope this helps,

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Old December 8, 1999, 11:01 AM   #7
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The following should work, if you put it together right.

1. Bottom piece, 3/4" Ply wood, any grade you want to use. Approximately 4' x 4', could be smaller.

2. Couple of feet of steel pipe, 1 1/2" dia., thread each end. Length to suit. Do you want to relaod sitting in a chair, standing up, or sitting on a stool, your call.

3. 2 threaded floor flanges, same size a pipe. They are 4 hole flanges. Necessary bolts, nuts and washers.

4. top plate, plywood, same thickness as bottom plate Roughly 12" x 24". At one end, drill to match bolt holes in flange. At other end, drill to match bolt pattern on whatever press you use. top plate can be made of steel also, would obviously be thinner. dim's can vary, to your taste or preferences.

5. Bolt 1 floor flange on center of bottom place, toward one end. Screw pipe post into it, hand tight should do. Thread other flange to pipe, firmly. Bolt top plate to upper flange, and press to top plate. Press dismounts for storage, keep the box it came in. Pipe post unscrews from bottom flange, and the parts fit in a closet, or under your bed, couch or whatever, out of the way, when not in use. Try it, you might like it.
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Old December 9, 1999, 03:09 AM   #8
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I have my 550b mounted to a 4' length of 2x12 which is then clamped to whatever work surface I choose with a pair of stout C-clamps. This works in the garage, study, or kitchen (though my wife frowns on the kitchen thing). The clamps will only touch the underside of the work surface, and this can be softened by using a coupla square cut pieces of 1x4.
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Old December 9, 1999, 11:04 PM   #9
Robert Foote
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I dealt with this off and on in my student/GI/bachelor years. One minimal approach would be a Lee Hand Press which will do just about anything my big C presses do. I wish it had been around years ago. After that any flat surface for work area suffices.

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Old December 12, 1999, 12:56 PM   #10
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My vote goes to the B&D Workmate, although some of the suggestions posted here are ingenius and would be neat to look at in picture format. The Workmate is so versatile that you could spend a lot of time just thinking of other uses for it. It's a good carpenter's tool, works great for clamping a rifle vise for cleaning, scope mounting, etc. I use mine mainly for clamping my Gracey case trimmer vertically when trimming - keeps the chips from fouling the caseholder. I've got a piece of 3/4" plywood with an RCBS Partner press bolted to it that I clamp to the Workmate's top for loading at the range. I load the basic combination I want to test at home, then can easily test variations or refinements at the range by having a supply of prepped, primed cases along with me. Saves a lot of "what if" speculating later.
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Old December 13, 1999, 10:09 PM   #11
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Thanks, guys. GOod to know that someone else has tried these things. I was concerned about stability with a heavy press, but it doesn't sound like any of you are having any problems.
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Old December 15, 1999, 11:49 AM   #12
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I have been reloading in a condominium for about 8 years (small volumes ... mostly .357) and have never found a reason to look beyond the Lee hand loader mentioned above. The whole kit (press, scale, bullets, dies, primers, etc) packs into a box about 18"x12"x7". I'm sure the other presses have nice features ... but I've never used them so I don't feel like I'm out Gawd, I sound old fashioned!
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