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reloading bench - WIP

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/04/2011 at 17:34
jonoMT View Drop Down
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Definitely a work in progress, but one thing I'm happy about so far is the eye-level placement of the balance. I also added the powder dispenser right there. I only wish it could be switched to pull left-handed but overall, the process of dropping a load and verifying it on the balance is streamlined and easier on the back and eyes. The shelf is bolted into interior wall studs, but on top of a concrete floor so it's isolated from the bench and is vibration free.


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/04/2011 at 17:48
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Scope Swapper

Joined: October/17/2009
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I just got wood.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/04/2011 at 17:49
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Scope Swapper

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To finish a concept similar...  Yours is cleaner looking though.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/04/2011 at 18:26
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The bench top is pretty heavy (85 lbs a sheet) birch/MDF ply. I had it cut at a professional woodshop since I can't do 8' cuts very well. They had a freakin' CNC machine that made a 1/32" laser smooth cut right down the length of it. The pain in the butt part for me (but my fault for designing it that way) was cutting/milling/chiseling a 3/4 x 3/4 groove all around the top. It's super strong but you have to have a ton of clamps to glue something like that together. The shelves are just what was left from the sheet when I cross-cut it.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/04/2011 at 18:32
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Scope Swapper

Joined: October/17/2009
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I took 8 4x8 sheets of red oak 3/4" plywood had home depot rip them in half took them and stacked 4 of them together and ran than for 16 feet long took 3 1/4 molding and just attached it the face and  to the ends, I should have varnished it i left it raw and have kicked myself ever since I have so much cleaning solution and solvents in the wood now I cannot go over it.

I like how you planned to have it at eye level I am trying to make shelves at the level I use my loader dies, trays, bullets, powder, primers, etc.

Planning ahead and having things in the right position can make things go SAFE and SMOOTH.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/04/2011 at 20:55
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That sounds nice and solid. I did that with two sheets of regular plywood when I built my main work bench...used PL400 to glue them together. I really should put a finish on mine before cleaning guns. I know what you mean about solvents and oils getting into the surface...forever.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/05/2011 at 08:44
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Tip: 

If you want to clean up your top without replacing everything. Get you some 1/4 in Masonite or hardboard (depends what your local will call it). Use a water based poly (will not start to break down to most solvents as apposed to oil based or lacquer based clear coated) on it and overlay your top. This material is fairly cheep, will not splinter, and smooth. If you have the tools you can router the edge with a flush cut bit for a perfect fit, then go back and give it a round over edge.  They look good when polyed, easily and economically replaced as the years of solvents work on them.


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/05/2011 at 12:19
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Thanks for the suggestion. I like being able to just replace that one thing whenever it needs it. I guess another option might be a cleaning mat of some sort. Any recommendations on that? I'd like one that is at least 36" by 24".
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/05/2011 at 12:23
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Chief Sackscratch

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as funky as it sounds I have a cleaning/work bench with an old piece of carpet laid on it and tacked into place.  Put heavy plastic down first then the carpet, the carpet soaks up spilled solvents and the gun can't get scratched either when its laying on the bench either. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/05/2011 at 13:19
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I framed my walls, then actually attached my benches to every stud along the length of the benches.  I used 3/4 inch sheets of 4'-8' coated with melamine.  I had Home depot rip them so they were 36 inches deep.  Then I framed the bottom of them with two 2x4"s side my side every 16 inches.  Then under the front where I mounted my press, I used two 2x6"s stacked on top of each other underneath the melamine boards.  I put a 10 inch backer or Melamine along the backs of them, then up the walls I put white peg board to the ceiling.  Then up high, I made 12" deep shelves with a heavy duty bracket on every 2x4 along the two walls.  That way I can store a lot of weight on them.

I actually did a large L shaped bench.  One end is 6 feet long, the other i 5 feet, then I put in a washtub sink on the smaller end.

I have a Tipton cleaning mat that is 12"x36" that I clean my gun and work on them with.   I use one table for reloading and the other for cleaning and working on the guns.  I have my two presses a Hornady LNL AP and a Hornday single stage.  I added 8 plugs just ontop of the backers so I have plenty of room to plug all my crap in.  It turned out pretty nice. 

Here is 1 side of mine you can see.



Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/05/2011 at 14:23
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That's a really nice setup. I think a Tipton mat is a good way to go. There's a 54" x 16", which I'd like just because it would cover the length of the bench to the right of the press. My old bench in our previous house was something I inherited and while the base was solid enough, the top was 3/8" plywood! I had to build a brace across it to mount the press. Knowing that, this time, I did that in advance. I also milled a 3/4" groove in the back of the bench to accomodate anything I might build out of 3/4" ply in the future for a shelf back. Probably unnecessary, but seemed like a good idea at the time.


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/05/2011 at 14:37
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My cousin actually put linoleum on his bench top.  Doesn't absorb and it makes it a little softer feeling.  Then you could easily replace it if necessary.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/06/2011 at 12:04
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Scope Swapper

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I have tried the carpet thing it got smelly.  I use gunzilla and boretech and after a year of cleanings I could get a buzz from the over abundance of solvents I am not shy when I clean.  These are all good suggestions. Has anyone just polyurethane'd the heck out of one.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/31/2011 at 18:37
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"Has anyone just polyurethane'd the heck out of one."
 
Yeah.   Four coats of Minwax Marine poly has worked well for my bench for years but there are some strong solvents out there that can soften almost anything.  
 
IF you want to salvage your oil/etc soaked top and put a finish on it you may be able to clean it with a couple of thinners and a scattering of something like a towel to hold the stuff on the top and soak up oil as it dissolves out of the wood.  You may have to do several efforts before you get it clean enough for the poly to adhere tho.   I've alternated soaking wood stocks with mineral spirts and acetone to degrease them to hold a new finish, I'm sure that would work for a wooden bench top too, and they are unlikely to attack the plywoods laminating glue.
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