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Old 08-05-2011, 10:00   #1
BenchMaker
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The Ultimate Reloading Bench

I am building what I hope will be the ultimate reloading bench. I am a furniture maker by trade, but I am not (yet) a reloader. I started a thread a few weeks ago in the GNG Lounge to garner some input on ideas for integrated features. I was advised to move the thread here where I might gather even more valuable input. The general design is as you see below; the features that are either in it already or will be added to it per the suggestions I have received thus far are as follows: (2) drawers in the table apron - they will be grooved for removable dividers & subdividers to make individual compartments for multiple small pieces; it has a broad stance and is bottom-heavy (for anti-tipping); raised lip around benchtop to keep small parts from rolling off; inserts that create level benchtop - one might include a pre-mounted gun rest for cleaning, etc., one might just be flat insert to level the surface; integrated collapsible bookstand (like a music stand) that can hold reference sheets or books; integrated power strip for small electrics; ample lighting; eye-level shelf for powder scale; benchtop working height of 36-40"; what else?? What would you do to make it the ultimate reloading bench?
Thank ya'!
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Old 08-05-2011, 10:11   #2
unclebob
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http://s139.photobucket.com/albums/q...ading%20bench/

Here is a link to pictures of my reloading bench. Might give you some ideas.
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Old 08-05-2011, 10:30   #3
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Although many people employ them and find them useful I am not a fan of drawers just below the bench top. Being versed in woodworking I'm sure you would avoid the obvious problem of press mounting interfering with drawer opening but over time you will be spilling powder on your bench... every once in a while you'll even knock over a full canister of powder. It happens.

Powder will end up migrating into the drawers, even when they're closed and given enough time you'll end up with a considerable amount in each drawer. To clean them out, (a vacuum with a crevice tool is the easiest way), you'll have to remove everything from the drawer to clean it and clean off each individual item. Not a huge deal but it's time taken away from the ladies. Overall not a good situation.

It's pretty much human nature that when a newb plans out a bench they do it with certain pieces of equipment in mind. That usually doesn't work out all that well since loading equipment is like money, you always want more and more. Will the incorporation of drawers limit what equipment you can mount directly over them or render them totally inoperable?

We can't forget the most important safety consideration... at some point your cigar ash is going to fall into one of those open drawers cluttered with powder and the closest thing at hand to extinguish the fire is going to be your glass of scotch. I don't think 18 year old spirits is a UL approved way of putting out open flames.

As you become more and more involved in loading you may find that you start using different electric operated devices; digital scales, case feeders, bullet feeders, Dremel tools, casting furnaces, etc. The bench top can quickly become cluttered with electrical cords.

Over my two or three month loading career I've taken a lesson from computer table designers. Simply cut two or three holes in the bench top, one at each end and one in the middle toward the back. Attach power strips to the two front legs, run your power cords through the holes and plug into the power strips. The bench stays uncluttered, (I'm very, very big on an uncluttered loading room), and you have the advantage of killing all the power by clicking the power switch on each power strip.

They also make a handy place to plug in your vacuum, flat panel and sound system. See, ya gotta plan ahead.

Have fun... you've done a beautiful job on the bench.


Jack
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Old 08-05-2011, 11:00   #4
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Nicely done! Did you make the door handles yourself?
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Old 08-05-2011, 11:12   #5
freakshow10mm
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Reloading

I would love to have a bench like this. I prefer metal frame with the ability to be leveled and wood or laminate shelves and top. Overhead light, articulating inspection light, power strip, bin holder strip. The articulating CRT monitor shelf would house my scale and RCBS case inspection station. 5 feet wide and 30 inches deep with the top shelf 12 inches. Perfect. We have these at my day job and I'm just waiting for them to get rid of one so I can snatch it up. The website says you have to email for a quote so it must be expensive.
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Old 08-05-2011, 11:23   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BenchMaker View Post
Nicely done! Did you make the door handles yourself?
Thanks
Yes, those are made with 30-06 rounds. Right now I making .50 BMG door pulls for the bottom cabinet.
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Old 08-05-2011, 22:23   #7
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Quote:
What would you do to make it the ultimate reloading bench?
It would be made from metal.
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Old 08-06-2011, 13:10   #8
robin303
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Being a fellow wood butcher your bench looks great BenchMaker.
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