Get Inspired with these reloading bench ideas
One of the most enjoyable experiences in shooting activities would be reloading. Whether you’re just starting off or simply enjoying things that it entails, there are numerous aspects that revolve around the activity itself. Whether it’s assembling your own rounds at home for target practice or making ammo to match your guns capabilities, there are tons of things involved when it comes to reloading the bullet casings themselves. In this post, I will talk about the perfect reloading bench ideas to give you some inspiration.
What is a reloading bench?
A reloading bench is a sturdy table or workbench where you can safely build, test-fire and store ammunition. It should be able to hold your press, so it needs to have enough space for this task. A simple design has one lower shelf below the tabletop, which provides some storage room for all the extra stuff you will need while reloading (filler paper, powder measure, scale pan piece etc.). You should also get your hands on a wall storage rack or cabinet if possible. It’s easier to keep everything organized when all components are within arm’s reach.
Why do I need a reloading bench?
Technically there’s no real need to have your own station, but it does offer several advantages beside the obvious one: you can work in a safe and controlled environment (remove distractions from home, too). You also have more freedom to move around while reloading.
What’s the best material for a reloading bench?
There are several ways to build your own station, so it all comes down to personal preferences. The good news is that any material should do the job just fine, even MDF or plywood if you want to save some money. Weight is not an issue unless you’re going to carry it around with you, but there are other issues that may need careful consideration when choosing a material type. For example, metal benches will offer great stability while working, but they tend to be a bit noisier than wooden ones. So choose the one that best fits your needs.
Is a reloading bench expensive?
The great news is that you can have your own work bench for less than $200, so it’s quite an affordable investment. Even if you want to go all out, you should be looking at spending between $400 and $500 on a high-end product with additional features. That said, most people are more than happy with their starter kits as they offer excellent value for money.
How much weight can my reloading bench hold?
A standard reloading workbench will be able to handle anything from 100 to 150 pounds, but there are also special models built specifically for loaders. These are usually rated up to 400 pounds. These may cost you a bit extra, but it’s definitely worth the investment if you’re doing this on a regular basis.
How to choose the best loading bench?
You should keep in mind that buying your own station can be quite confusing with so many features available. What works for one is not necessarily the case with all, so look at reviews and product descriptions to get an idea about what each model offers.
Once you know how much space, storage and weight your unit will need, narrow down your search by setting some dollar or budget limits. You want something that meets both quality standards and fits within your working environment, so shop around before making any final decisions.
It’s also recommended reading up more on the different types of reloading benches, including a portable reloading bench, just to get a clearer picture about what you’re looking for.
How do I improve my reloading bench?
In most cases, it’s easier to upgrade your station after you have it set up and working perfectly. But there are some things that can be done right from the start, such as choosing a chassis with some extra features like wheels or large storage bins under the table. You should also consider adding a wall-mounted cabinet or some floor — standing cupboards if possible, which will make everything more efficient and space — saving In fact, you could add anything else that comes to mind depending on how much work space you need, what kind of loads you’re dealing with and how many components are involved.
What are the benefits of a reloading bench?
Besides giving, you enough room to work in when loading your ammo, having your own station allows you to take your time and focus on the task at hand without getting distracted or interrupted by anything else. You can also keep all components in one spot, so there’s no need to hunt around for missing items in different boxes.
With everything within arm’s reach, it becomes much easier to maintain precision while operating the press. And finally, it offers a sense of security, knowing that everything is close by if needed. Reloading doesn’t necessarily require an elaborate setup but having your own reloading bench will make things go much smoother once you get into all the details involved.
It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to executing any load, so invest in the most efficient machine for your needs and always double check before starting.
What are the types of reloading benches?
Over the years, there have been different styles and models, but they can be generally categorized into three groups — portable workbenches, metal shop benches and home workshop stations. The first type is usually lightweight and adjustable, so it can be easily moved from one location to another. They’re not very sturdy though, so they should only be used when necessary such as when you need to take your station with you while traveling or when working outside.
They typically offer a bit more room than others since the table is open on both sides since this allows for an unobstructed view during operation. Metal units tend to be solid and heavy and come with a lot of storage space in addition to thick steel frame tops. The main bench legs usually fold in when not needed and the workbench itself can be raised to a standing position.
This type of station is extremely versatile, but it takes up quite a bit of space and isn’t very mobile. Home workshops are ideal for people who do this as a hobby or sometimes even professionally, which means they will need to use their station on a regular basis. These may cost you a bit extra, but it’s definitely worth the investment if you’re doing this on a regular basis.
What items should I include in my reloading bench?
You can choose any model that meets your requirements, but there are certain things you should look for regardless of what kind of workspace you want. The most important part is obviously the table area where everything will be happening.
This needs to be large enough to accommodate the press and any other machine you may use, such as a drill, grinder or sander. It shouldn’t be too wide though since you want to place all your components within arm’s reach and keeping them close together will make things run more efficiently. Some people like adding an integrated storage unit, but this isn’t necessary if you choose a workbench with lots of drawers’ underneath. You can also add cabinets above it for extra space, such as wall-mounted units, which will give you even more room for storage containers and tools that are used less often.
Where can I find reloading benches?
You have plenty of options when looking for the best product on the market so choosing one isn’t going to be the issue. Your focus needs to be on finding a compact yet rugged space instead of thinking about how many drawers or shelves it has. This is something you’ll only use every so often so don’t waste your time looking for things that aren’t important.
Some manufacturers do offer free shipping with larger orders, but this will depend on where you live and what selection they have available. If you’re having problems finding what you want then there’s always the option of visiting a local hardware store, which may also carry some units that can get the job done even though they don’t offer all the storage options available online.
It’s actually pretty common for people to build their own stations from scratch using wood and pegboard since you can choose the exact sizes and dimensions depending on your needs.
Do reload benches offer other functions?
A lot of people like to use their stations for all kinds of projects involving various tools and machines, including but not limited to woodworking skills, metalworking and pipe fitting. These workshops are extremely versatile, so it’s only a matter of setting up the right area with lots of storage containers in addition to adding cabinets or wall-mounted units.
Depending on your hobby you may need specific items such as a drill press machine, grinder or even a vice clamped onto your table — things you won’t find in any product made specifically for this task. Building one from scratch will allow you to have more control over its dimensions, but this requires a significant amount of planning and customized installation.
How to build a reloading bench?
To build a sturdy bench in a small space, you need to start with a good work surface. You can use any flat surface, but it should be sturdy and easily cleaned. When working with powders and solvents, a non-porous surface is best. The garage floor works well as long as it has been swept clean of spilled powder scale, debris and oil before starting the project.
Next, decide on bench height. Everybody prefers a different height for their bench depending on their stature and arm length as well as whether they are standing or sitting when reloading. The bottom line is that the top of your woodworking bench should be at about waist level, so you don’t have to bend over much while seated or reaching down from standing up. If there’s room, you can build two levels to facilitate loading both rifle and handgun cartridges.
The next thing you’ll need is a set of 6″ bench dogs that are inserted into holes drilled in the top of the new bench. What are these things? They are round dowels with screw threads that clamp into your vice on one end and fit into matching holes drilled into the work surface of your reloading bench.
When loaded into the bench dog holes, they serve as an anchor for jigs, fixtures, vices and hand tools such as calipers and dividers. Since most people already own a good quality pair of parallel jaw locking pliers or wrenches, I would recommend using those as your vice if possible, on the upper level. If not, you will need to either build an inexpensive vice or purchase one separately.
Since the heart of any reloader bench is its reloading stand, and reloading press, you’ll want to figure out how many loading stations you need before purchasing them. The answer depends on the cartridge cases you intend to load in and what type of press (single stage, turret, progressive). If you are hand loading a .223 Remington, then a good entry level turret should be fine.
However, if you want to work with cartridges like 10 mm Auto or .50 BMG then a single stage press won’t cut it by itself. The more loading stations, the better, as it allows for other family members or friends who enjoy your reloading room, to set up their own station around your bench plans, so they can share the cost. When you start hand loading heavy recoiling rifle cartridges like .300 Winchester Magnum with 300 grain bullets, you’ll quickly appreciate having three or four loading stations instead of just two.
The last thing I would recommend in your gunroom, is purchasing reloading equipment, one or two cases that can be clamped into your bench vise to act as extra support for long pieces of brass when cleaning with a stainless-steel brush and solvent.
They will keep the cartridge from rolling around in the vice, which could damage it and allow for easy handling while scrubbing off carbon residue. You can also use these cases to hold your loaded ammunition rounds by poking a hole through the primer pocket with an awl before inserting them on your loading press, so they don’t roll off when the press is tipped to the side. You’re reloading bench plan should be designed to help you work efficiently.
Let’s take a look at some reloading bench ideas.
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Take a look at these reloading bench design ideas…
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