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Old 10-25-2005, 11:54 PM
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Recommendations for reloading bench top?



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I'm getting ready to build my reloading bench. It will be about 8 feet long. Any suggestions as to what to make the top out of? I've been looking at the prefinshed countertop at Home Depot but it is just particle board and I doubt it would hold up when I bolt my ancient Herters single stage press to it. That press is built like a battleship!
I already have a set of industrial steel table legs I'll be using.
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Old 10-26-2005, 12:00 PM
Bucks Owin

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The main thing is something STRONG as you said. I made mine with my chainsaw and an "Alaska Mill" and a nice fir log. Made a plank about 4 inches thick for the press to mount on. After sanding, I put Varathane on it until it built up about .020" thick. Tough and nice looking for my taste....

Dennis
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  #3  
Old 10-26-2005, 12:42 PM
SamSpade
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Get a 4 X 8 X 3/4" sheet of plywood, cut in lengthwise, glue and screw the pieces together, router the edge, stain, and poly the top. If you want it 30" wide and thicker use 2 sheets of plywood and stack it 3 high which will give you 2 1/4" thickness.
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  #4  
Old 10-26-2005, 01:59 PM
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Bucks Owin:
How wide is your plank? That must have been a good sized tree. No problems with strength, I'll bet.
I'm thinking I need something about 2 to 2.5 feet deep by 8 feet wide, an inch to inch and a half thick. I've had a temporary bench made of scrap 2x4s for years and now want to have a good one.
KC
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Old 10-26-2005, 02:37 PM
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I used a peice of bowling alley for my benchtop.
About 6 foot by 2 foot.
It is heavy enough ,to not bounce around.
Clean's up well..
Looks pretty nice too.
Jed

Last edited by Uncle Jed; 10-26-2005 at 02:42 PM.
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Old 10-26-2005, 04:11 PM
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Jed: Not everyone is lucky enough to live where we do - where surplus bowling alley material is available!
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Old 10-26-2005, 04:35 PM
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My older bro has worked at Brunswick sence 66..
Used to be a good supply there of alley and pin's.
The ocasional bowling ball too..
%%%% Shame they are going to China now.
Who know's,, maybe they will donate the same cash to our defence budget as the working class here does?????????????????????????????
Jed..
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Old 10-26-2005, 04:50 PM
Uncle Jed

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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldSwede
Jed: Not everyone is lucky enough to live where we do - where surplus bowling alley material is available!
Mine accually came from an alley that just had to go with a new surface when they were switching to laminate's..
Worked out well..
But a 12 foot section , was about all my F-150 needed to haul.
That stuff is very heavy.
My benchtop probebly goes about 150 Lbs.
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Old 10-27-2005, 01:54 PM
Bucks Owin

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Quote:
Originally Posted by KCinWashington
Bucks Owin:
How wide is your plank? That must have been a good sized tree. No problems with strength, I'll bet.
I'm thinking I need something about 2 to 2.5 feet deep by 8 feet wide, an inch to inch and a half thick. I've had a temporary bench made of scrap 2x4s for years and now want to have a good one.
KC
Yeah, there's some man sized fir around here all right. My bench is 22" deep and 8' + 5' = 13' long. (It's "L" shaped) I'd cut you one but I think the postage would be prohibitive!

Best,

Dennis
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  #10  
Old 10-29-2005, 12:49 AM
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If I lived closer, I'd take you up on that offer! Solid Wood that size would be really cool. Got any pictures?
KC
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Old 11-07-2005, 03:26 AM
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What I did for a reloading table was screw two pieces of 3/4" particle board together and glued on a sheet of plastic laminate, like formica. That was it had weight, cleaned up easy, and a nice smooth surface to work with. I built is just slightly out of level so I could roll check my brass. Has held up well for about 10 years now.
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Old 11-08-2005, 10:55 PM
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Alaska Mike:
Do you have your press bolted to the particle board? Any problems with the bench flexing or do you have it reinforced somehow?
KC
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  #13  
Old 11-11-2005, 04:25 PM
Bucks Owin

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Quote:
Originally Posted by KCinWashington
If I lived closer, I'd take you up on that offer! Solid Wood that size would be really cool. Got any pictures?
KC
Hey, sorry KC. Haven't noticed your post until now. Rather than show you my reloading bench I've put a photo of the rig I used to make it on the homepage. It's called an "Alaskan Mini Mill" and if you have a saw and a log, you can make your own easily enough. If I remember, mine cost around $69. Check out your friendly neighborhood saw shop.

Best,

Dennis
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  #14  
Old 11-11-2005, 11:39 PM
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Bucks,
I've seen that kind of thing before...pretty cool to make your own lumber with a chainsaw. My problem is no trees big enough on my place to make a solid bench. Thanks for the picture.
I think I'm going with 1 1/8 plywood used for floor decking. It comes in a 4' x 8' sheet which will be enough to make both my reloading bench and my computer building bench. Now I just have to find time to do it.
KC
PS Cool old Willys in the background. A friend had one many years ago and it was a lot of fun!
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  #15  
Old 11-14-2005, 02:19 PM
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KC, if you haven't made up your mind yet, I can tell you what I did. Go here and look at the process:
http://www.svt-enthusiast.com/module...eloading-Bench

I had a work bench and cabinets already and didn't have room to put it somewhere else and didn't want a freestanding unit. So I tore the bench and cabinets out and REALLY strengthened up the entire base with 4x4's. You can click again on the pics to get REALLY big ones to see details - I put in double 2x4 bracing between every 4x4. That thing came out heavy and solid as a rock.

It is of course secured to the wall studs as well. Never having reloaded, I was more worried about the top - all I heard was how much force the press would cause and I had 'better build it strong'.

So what I did for the top was put the existing particle board and formica top on the top - it is very smooth, looks good and is quite functional. Directly on top of the cabinet frame I used 2 thickness of 3/4" plywood... not particle board. I live in a very humid climate and particle board will fail... it's not if, it's when. It may be 30 years, but hey... it's a small price to pay for the difference.

Between the plywood and top, I placed an 8 gauge steel plate that was 2'x2.5' in between the layers. I put it in two places in anticipation of adding another press later. This sandwiched plate added a LOT of strength to the mounting area and it was treated with CorrosionX prior to securing the two tops. Any laminated product will be stronger than a single thickness and I think that the steel and two layers of plywood may be overkill to most people, but I will never have to worry if I built it strong enough.

Afterwards, I added a kick rail and painted everything to match the existing trim. Most people don't even notice the laminated top unless I point it out.

Last edited by Markbo; 11-14-2005 at 02:27 PM. Reason: to fix the link
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