Taking the plunge

Discussion in 'Caliber Talk: Ammunition, Reloading, and Shooting ' started by CanIhaveGasCash, Nov 1, 2011.

  1. CanIhaveGasCash

    CanIhaveGasCash Member

    Sep 11, 2011
    I ordered a Dillon 550 and various other hardware and am taking the plunge into reloading. The next step is to build a bench. I haven't really done any wood working besides sanding and staining so it should be fun. My goal is to make a sturdy bench that looks half way decent since it is going in my spare bedroom.

    I've scoured plans and picked up a few ideas, but I think I am going to attempt to build from scratch. Hopefully I'll be pulling the handle by the end of the month. :thumb:
  2. duketbrd88

    duketbrd88 Well-Known Member

    Sep 1, 2011
    Good for you!! Benches are fun to make. I think the hardest part is deciding the height. DO you want to stand? Sit at a stool? Or like me, I sit in my office chair and load. It is very comfortable. IMHO standing sucks.

  3. Joe C

    Joe C Custom Pistolsmith Sponsor

    Sep 11, 2011
    I sit also to reload...and boy do I reload! A LOT! Used to stand...that was a bummer...

    As for the bench, I've built a few and the best system I've found so far is the brackets you can get from Lowe's that allow you to fasten together a frame work of 2x4's with screws through the brackets. You need 8 brackets to make it work the best, four top and four bottom and then I use 3/4" plywood, double layered, as the top of the bench screwed down...VERY sturdy and very heavy...but when you are pulling that lever you don't want it to move.

    So, there are some thoughts for you and congrats on getting the 550! You will enjoy that machine!
  4. Carolinaboy

    Carolinaboy Aim Small Miss Small Supporting Addict

    Sep 17, 2011
    Glad you went Blue :biggrin1:
  5. CanIhaveGasCash

    CanIhaveGasCash Member

    Sep 11, 2011
    I think I will sit on a stool. I plan to use 4X4's on the corners and 2x4's between them with lap joints and lag bolts. I'm either going to find a solid core door or a couple sheets of 3/4" for the top. I'd like to use some cabinet doors on each side with an open middle to make it look a little more like a cabinet. I'm still trying to figure out the best height. I was thinking about 36". With a strong mount it should about the right height for a stool.
  6. Legion489

    Legion489 Well-Known Member

    Oct 28, 2011
    Buy Dillon! I bought a Lee LOADMASTER because I "couldn't afford a Dillon". OMG what a MAJOR screw up THAT was!! The Lee "Load of something" went back to Lee after three days and they admitted it was warped from improper heat treating at the factory, HOWEVER...that did NOT mean they would fix it or replace it under warranty!! After sending it back to Lee 28 times in 24 months, they sent me a nice letter saying it was now out of warranty (yeah, like THAT mattered before!) but now, out of the goodness of their little hearts, they would, for only half of the MSRP, repair or replace it, OR NOT! Wonderful. After spending twice what a Dillon would have cost me new, I still didn't have a working press, and they wanted MORE money to, maybe, fix it! So I bought a used Dillon 550B and guess what? JOY! If the paper that Lee prints the warranty on made good TP, it would be worth something, but as it doesn't, I consider the Lee warranty totally worthless! At least Dillon stands behind their equipment!
  7. CanIhaveGasCash

    CanIhaveGasCash Member

    Sep 11, 2011
    My press and other goodies arrived today. I'll be building the bench next week and will hopefully be pulling the handle soon. I'll get pics up as soon as everything is set up.
  8. Rinspeed

    Rinspeed Member

    Aug 22, 2011
    Don't forget to plan in some decent shelves as they will fill up fast. Also some brackets to lag the whole bench to the wall helps a bunch when you're seating primers. Good luck and post some pics when it's done.
  9. CanIhaveGasCash

    CanIhaveGasCash Member

    Sep 11, 2011
    As promised, here's a picture of the finished product

    Dub likes this.
  10. Gress

    Gress Don't need no education Supporting Addict

    Nov 21, 2011
    Very professionally done. If this is indeed your first wood work you have a talent :smile:
    Just out of curiosity, why did you mount the press so far on the left? Seems there is not enough room for a stool between the press and the wall on the left.
  11. CanIhaveGasCash

    CanIhaveGasCash Member

    Sep 11, 2011
    I mounted it on the left side so that I could still use the rest of the bench for cleaning and what not. There is enough room to sit and reload, however I haven't found a stool yet so I do it standing.

    I ended up building the bench out of 2X4's since I couldn't find kiln dried 4x4's. I made some lap joints and glued them together before bolting them and screwing them together, so it is pretty solid. Then I trimmed out the front to make it look nice. I cheated on the shelves though, if you look you can see how. I plan on getting some cabinet doors for the right and the left side to hide all the junk. I have around $160 in materials and it took probably close to 20 hours to build with the learning curve, and basic tools. I did have the luxury of borrowing a chop saw from a friend which helped. I am happy with how it turned out.

    I've loaded 500 rounds so far and I love my 550. Now I just need to go make some more brass so I can load more.
  12. Gress

    Gress Don't need no education Supporting Addict

    Nov 21, 2011
    The bench looks very nice and sturdy. Having the press mounted on a side definitely makes sense. BTW IMO there is no cheating on the shelves just a solid support boards. Now to the fun part, which you have started doing already :smile:
  13. pdogkilr

    pdogkilr Can't afford Therapy

    Jan 7, 2012
    VERY nicely done - Congrats on a great build - and a great press. You're gonna love it !!
  14. Samcro

    Samcro US Army Retired 1911 Supporting Addict

    Nov 19, 2011
  15. Steve B

    Steve B Well-Known Member

    Nov 29, 2011
    I used 2 layers of 3/4" ply glued and screwed to a 2x6 frame. Then used 4x4's as legs and anchored it to my basement walls. It's a rock, solid and unmovable.

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