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reloading bench question
Discussion regarding the reloading of ammunition and tuning of loads for accuracy
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tlo7mm
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 4:11 pm    Post subject: reloading bench question Reply with quote

Well thanks to Dallan I was inspired to upgrade my reloading bench. I am building it and I am putting together something really sturdy since I cannot attach it to a wall. I had actually intended to build it 6' long and 24" deep but when it came time to compile my materials I discovered that I have enough lumber in order to build an 8' bench. My automotive professor always said that If enough is okay then more would be better and to much would be just right so I decided that 8' is where its at. So my question is this...does anyone think I should place 6 legs on this thing or will 4 legs be adequate? the legs are going to be 4x4's.

I would attach the document that shows the design but unfortunately its not an accepted format.

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TRBLSHTR
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 5:11 pm    Post subject: Re: reloading bench question Reply with quote

Very Happy I would give it six so it does'nt get "sway back "in the middle!This helps to eliminate flex on the top when you pull the lever on your press,and if you have balance scales-it reduces the fluctuation from too much motion!

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Vince
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 6:00 pm    Post subject: Re: reloading bench question Reply with quote

I'm with troubles on this one. In the the same vein as your "automotive professor"...strong is good, stronger is better. The old 4x4 is a good size piece of lumber, depending on the type of wood (hard or soft), but at 8' long, sway back is a definite possibility mate.

Better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.

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PaulS
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 6:04 pm    Post subject: Re: reloading bench question Reply with quote

A lot depends on the construction but to make it as strong as "might" be needed the legs in the middle won't hurt at all. My reloading stations are much smaller - they're meant to be "portable" and measure 30" side to side and 37" long. The table top is at 32" and it has a built in seat. 2 x 4 and 3/4" plywood construction.

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Suzanne
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 7:10 pm    Post subject: Re: reloading bench question Reply with quote

Well I've built lots of tables, never used 6 legs though. To prevent sway-back or a drooping table top there are other ways. I don't know what material you are using for the actual top, but I assume it's 1" ply or maybe particle board. If the design has an edge treatment on the table top, you can start there. A 2x4 on edge to make a sort of skirt all around the table top, will give plenty of rigidity to the top. If that's not enough for you then put one down the center of the table, on edge (underneath and full distance). Another way is to make a small bank of drawers under the center of the table. It will then be more like two seating positions but you might find a kitchen cabinet throw-away that you can buy on the cheap, and we always need more storage at the bench.

You can use those legs in the middle of the table but they'll always be in the way and will be hard to level. Ok then you can also just use one, with plenty of spoke-like bracing, right in the center of the top. That way it's away from the front of the table and not in the way of your legs.

Whatever you do, it'll sure be a nice big top to pile things on, I'd put an off limits sign on it...

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MacD
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 8:35 pm    Post subject: Re: reloading bench question Reply with quote

I am with Sue on this one. My workshop tables are all 4x4 legs with 2x4 support in the middle and as the edge frame and top supports. The 8 foot one has 2x4 legs in the middle which support the drawer rails/slides. You can also run corner braces from 2 foot down on the corner legs to 2 foot in on the front and back 2x4 frame. This transfers the bending strain on the frame to compression on the legs. It leaves you with only a four foot span for the frame and a relatively open front for the bench. If you really want to get fancy, notch the legs and frames slightly to give the brace points a bearing surface. Then use 2x4 on the ends about 12",s up from the floor and then join these together in the middle. This leaves you with no front bottom brace to bang your shins on. I used 3/4" MDF as the tops and sealed them with a clear synthetic varathane. The bench tops are edged with 1x3 which conceals the top edge and protects it from knocks which may cause it to chip.

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tlo7mm
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 12:12 am    Post subject: Re: reloading bench question Reply with quote

Here is a drawing without dimensions.



iso bench variant.jpg
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iso bench variant.jpg


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Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it. - Mark Twain
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tlo7mm
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 12:17 am    Post subject: Re: reloading bench question Reply with quote

The top is made with 2x6's and the shelf is made with 2x4's. The legs are 4x4's and the table top will be cabinet grade 3/4 in plywood as will the shelf. I am honestly not interested in adding drawers as I have a pretty fantastic home build cabinet that I can lock everything up in that I purchased from a friend just for my reloading stuff. Also I am going to add some shelves to the to later on down the road. The actual table top will be 8 ft by 25.25 in. I am also thinking I will use some of that plywood to put across the back of the bench and the sides. This should also help the structure shouldn't it.

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"If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun." ~ The Dalai Lama
Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence. - Napoleon Bonaparte
The wisdom of man never yet contrived a system of taxation that would operate with perfect equality. - Andrew Jackson
Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it. - Mark Twain
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Aloysius
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 3:05 am    Post subject: Re: reloading bench question Reply with quote

tlo, a square is never strong, triangles are strong. Look how they built cranes with all triangles.
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Grumulkin
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 3:51 am    Post subject: Re: reloading bench question Reply with quote

Rather than using 2X6 lumber for the top, I'd use 2 pieces of 1 inch plywood glued and screwed together as it would probably be stronger. The edges of the table have to extend enough to give clearance for anything you wish to attach to the edge.
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MacD
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 6:09 am    Post subject: Re: reloading bench question Reply with quote

That bench will support an engine block but eventually it will sway a bit left and right. You can strengthen it and prevent sway with corner braces or a plywood back or even center braces like you see on picnic tables. I would at least move the front bottom rail to the inside of the legs to give you more leg room. If you use 2x6 for the top take the time to glue up a slab using threaded rods through holes drilled through the board edges to clamp them together. A belt sander will level the top and get rid of any grooves and uneven edges. For reloading and carpentry work that bench design is much heavier than it needs to be IMHO?

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Suzanne
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 6:54 am    Post subject: Re: reloading bench question Reply with quote

I'm with you MacD, that could support any ole box of brass, 2x6 is overkill. I think the ply top will keep sway at bay, but also the addition of the ply back and sides will do wonders for rigidity. Don't know why you were concerned about the top sagging, there's enough support for a refrigerator. If you're going to sit at the bench, the lower shelf might get in the way (depends on the height) you could rest your feet on it but your chair won't be able to get very close because of it. Depends on how you're going to be working I guess.

For the bottom shelf, it might be better to put the frame on the inside of the legs instead of the outside. With the frame as it is, you'd have to cut out a notch for each leg, or you could just add an additional support on the inside of the legs but just on the ends, to be able to just slide some ply onto it.

This is fun....I should join a woodworking forum..

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Vince
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 9:10 am    Post subject: Re: reloading bench question Reply with quote

Suz the could be Pirate Queen wrote:
...This is fun....I should join a woodworking forum..

Here ya go Suz...something that is right up your alley mate...something that you could get ya teeth into, well the teeth of your saw anyway.

Wooden Boats and Plans

I revise my suggestions in my previous post. Your plan shows a bench that should be strong mate...but like others have said...a little massaging of the plan, along with some bracing and I think it should be good.

Enclosing the underneath of your bench should stiffen everything up...assuming you use a ply of sufficient thickness. It will also keep the dust etc out.

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DallanC
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 12:55 pm    Post subject: Re: reloading bench question Reply with quote

Looks similar to mine except I used two 2x4's nailed together for the legs over a 4x4, and I omitted the horizontal 2x6 in favor of running a second board from front to back on the other side of the legs. The press bolts straight down into those and with the leg supported on both the outside and inside, sway is greatly reduced.

So far its pretty rock solid. My 12 year old loaded up 3 boxes of shells for his 7mm08 last night all by himself, the melamine top is fantastic! I still need to get a neoprene work mat but until I do, I'm using a cheap large place mat.

Give thought to leaving leg room by only running the bottom shelf halfway (or 2/3rds if you are that long). I really enjoy being able to sit in a chair all tucked in close while working on things.

-DallanC
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tlo7mm
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 2:42 pm    Post subject: Re: reloading bench question Reply with quote

okay so all the suggestions are good. First of all the bench is going to be between 36" and 40" tall so that I can sit on a stool or stand so I will probably just place the front 2x4 to the back of the front legs. Also I did mention before that I am adding 3/4 inch plywood to the back of the bench, if this will prevent sway in the future then that is perfect. As for it being overkill for reloading, I am using the materials that are available to me without having to spend a lot of money. I have purchased bolts in order to bolt the top and shelf to the legs as well as glue them in order to make sure they are sturdy. This thing is not going to be put together with only screws. I do want it to be plenty sturdy as I do not have walls that I can attach the thing to in my home. I am renting and cannot make it a permanent part of my home.

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"If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun." ~ The Dalai Lama
Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence. - Napoleon Bonaparte
The wisdom of man never yet contrived a system of taxation that would operate with perfect equality. - Andrew Jackson
Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it. - Mark Twain
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