Best way to utize bench space? A perfect layout?

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Best way to utize bench space? A perfect layout?

Postby Bergie on Tue May 12, 2020 5:48 am

I'm just getting into reloading and through various sources have what I believe to be enough 'stuff'. (This'd be for .45, 5.56, 45-70) I built a bench that measures 2' x 4' and its rock solid. I have two RCBS presses that I was thinking of using on the bench at the same time (my pseudo progressive method) and I was thinking of one on the far right and one on the far left.
Does that make sense? What's the best way to utilize my real estate on this bench?
Here's the stuff I see needing a footprint:
The 2x RBCS presses, manual powder dispenser, powder trickler, case trimmer, scale, shell casing block -for holding rounds in-progress, and all the misc small stuff (caliper, funnel, primer hand press, bullet remover, etc.
(the tumbler, powder, extra dies, and bulky stuff doesn't need to take up bench space)
Thanks in advance for suggestions on a practical layout,
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Re: Best way to utize bench space? A perfect layout?

Postby aprilian on Tue May 12, 2020 8:19 am

Are they both single stage RCBS presses? If newer, I'd modify one to the Hornady LNL quick change bushing and ditch the second press. I can change my dies on my Rockcucker (Supreme) in 30 secs (at worst case) and so the idea of leaving a second press to just hold a different die, doesn't make sense to me.

If your press is capable of taking the larger dies, you can convert it. Hit me up if you decide to go that way as I have an extra conversion and extra bushings.

Image of my small bench. https://imgur.com/OzHmzys
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Re: Best way to utize bench space? A perfect layout?

Postby samginko on Tue May 12, 2020 10:27 am

I have two presses. I use one at the left end for decapping, sizing and priming. I use the one in the middle of the bench for the rest. Having one of the press at the end is convenient for working with buckets of brass. I have a powder measure at the far right.
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Re: Best way to utize bench space? A perfect layout?

Postby OldmanFCSA on Tue May 12, 2020 4:24 pm

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Last edited by OldmanFCSA on Wed May 13, 2020 9:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Best way to utize bench space? A perfect layout?

Postby Bergie on Wed May 13, 2020 6:08 am

aprilian wrote:Are they both single stage RCBS presses? If newer, I'd modify one to the Hornady LNL quick change bushing and ditch the second press. I can change my dies on my Rockcucker (Supreme) in 30 secs (at worst case) and so the idea of leaving a second press to just hold a different die, doesn't make sense to me.

If your press is capable of taking the larger dies, you can convert it. Hit me up if you decide to go that way as I have an extra conversion and extra bushings.

Image of my small bench. https://imgur.com/OzHmzys



My presses are old! (I think they both say "Jr" on them.) Probbaly from the seventies....
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Re: Best way to utize bench space? A perfect layout?

Postby Holland&Holland on Wed May 13, 2020 6:11 am

Bergie wrote:
aprilian wrote:Are they both single stage RCBS presses? If newer, I'd modify one to the Hornady LNL quick change bushing and ditch the second press. I can change my dies on my Rockcucker (Supreme) in 30 secs (at worst case) and so the idea of leaving a second press to just hold a different die, doesn't make sense to me.

If your press is capable of taking the larger dies, you can convert it. Hit me up if you decide to go that way as I have an extra conversion and extra bushings.

Image of my small bench. https://imgur.com/OzHmzys



My presses are old! (I think they both say "Jr" on them.) Probbaly from the seventies....

Wait, the 70s is old?
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Re: Best way to utize bench space? A perfect layout?

Postby Bergie on Wed May 13, 2020 6:13 am

samginko wrote:I have two presses. I use one at the left end for decapping, sizing and priming. I use the one in the middle of the bench for the rest. Having one of the press at the end is convenient for working with buckets of brass. I have a powder measure at the far right.


Just out of curiousity, is there a reason you layed it out in this configuration (left/middle/right)?
I guess I wasn't thinking of progression of things, just space requirements.....but it would make sense to have a flow to things.
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Re: Best way to utize bench space? A perfect layout?

Postby Bergie on Wed May 13, 2020 6:14 am

Holland&Holland wrote:
Bergie wrote:
aprilian wrote:Are they both single stage RCBS presses? If newer, I'd modify one to the Hornady LNL quick change bushing and ditch the second press. I can change my dies on my Rockcucker (Supreme) in 30 secs (at worst case) and so the idea of leaving a second press to just hold a different die, doesn't make sense to me.

If your press is capable of taking the larger dies, you can convert it. Hit me up if you decide to go that way as I have an extra conversion and extra bushings.

Image of my small bench. https://imgur.com/OzHmzys



My presses are old! (I think they both say "Jr" on them.) Probbaly from the seventies....

Wait, the 70s is old?


Not if you were born in the 60s like some of us, (the presses actually have held their looks and capabilities better than I have)
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Re: Best way to utize bench space? A perfect layout?

Postby BigDog58 on Wed May 13, 2020 7:53 am

My bench is 6' long, and it never seems enough. I tend to pile stuff on it, then have to clean it off, before reloading.

I have 4 Lee Presses (C-Press, O-Press, Classic Turret, Loadmaster Progressive, and a Hornady 50 BMG). I only have one mounting spot, and I used the Lee Bench Plate Quick Change mounting system. I can change presses in about 60 seconds, and I really like having the extra bench space as well as being able to easily swap presses.
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Re: Best way to utize bench space? A perfect layout?

Postby wrench on Wed May 13, 2020 8:01 am

I'll throw in my 2 cents...
Since you are just getting started, I'd mount those presses to a couple hunks of wood, and attach them to the bench with clamps. That way, you can move them around as you find what works for you. I know my bench has a *few* extra holes in it, where I had presses mounted and ended up having to rearrange them later. Sometimes, even just a few inches makes a big difference.
You may end up with different presses altogether, I know the presses on my bench right now are not the same ones I started with.
Same with the powder dispenser, keep it 'mobile' for now.
My trimmer is likewise screwed to a board, when I need it, I clamp it to the bench. When I don't, (which is most of the time), it can sit on a shelf and not take up bench space.
Have fun!
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Re: Best way to utize bench space? A perfect layout?

Postby speedy396 on Wed May 13, 2020 8:53 am

Wrench’s idea to make a temp mount makes sense until you figure out where you like everything. I mounted my press too far to the left not leaving enough room for both a powder measure and bullet/loading trays. I weigh and charge in batches any ways, but still wish I had more room. The Hornady quick change bushing work great especially if you are loading multiple calibers. Only downside is that the dies may no longer fit in their boxes with the bushings. I forgot that they make the conversion for other presses.
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Re: Best way to utize bench space? A perfect layout?

Postby aprilian on Wed May 13, 2020 10:00 am

speedy396 wrote: Only downside is that the dies may no longer fit in their boxes with the bushings.

Storing the dies with the the bushings installed is no big deal. Look at the wood block behind my press for an idea.
https://imgur.com/OzHmzys
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Re: Best way to utize bench space? A perfect layout?

Postby Erud on Wed May 13, 2020 4:48 pm

Just sell the two single stage presses and buy one Dillon 550. You will save space, and will never need another press.
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Re: Best way to utize bench space? A perfect layout?

Postby warrlac on Wed May 20, 2020 10:13 am

I know this thread is a bit old, but I have a similar set-up to Samginko and BigDog58. I use the Lee loading plates, particularly the basemounts. I put my presses and accessories on the removable plates or make a custom, wood plate for the things that I want to lockdown (see pics). I store the unused presses under the bench. The entire Lee loading plate kit is only about $20. I think they are worth it.
P1030837.JPG
Press Storage

P1030840.JPG
Baseplate & Texan Progressive

P1030843.JPG
Homemade Base


I even cobbled together a way to lockdown my ancient Texan Progressive reloader. It stays put and I can move it (with some muscle) out of the way when needed.

Cheers!


samginko wrote:I have two presses. I use one at the left end for decapping, sizing and priming. I use the one in the middle of the bench for the rest. Having one of the press at the end is convenient for working with buckets of brass. I have a powder measure at the far right.
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Re: Best way to utize bench space? A perfect layout?

Postby OldmanFCSA on Wed May 20, 2020 6:19 pm

I built a double loading station setup in the front of my son's 7X14 enclosed trailer and utilized the LEE setup to add 9 accessory stations, 2 behind presses at easy reach for us long-arm persons, 7 on shelf above press area - these are used for transport stations to keep thing from being damaged when he uses trailer for his off-road activities (KTM450XCF).

I made a template off the master LEE plate out of aluminum so I could drill holes for new station locations. I put threaded sprag nuts on bottom of shelf that stay retained by 1/4-20UNC Pan Head Phillips screws thru LEE Z-rails. Powder measures, case trimmer, manual scale, power station, and other tools can be clamped securely this way.

One of the presses was my Redding T-7 turret press - a gift to my son - with 5 heads and die sets. I made stands for the additional heads that were clamped in position.

Back to topic - the LEE setups are very useful tool.

I have a 3-station LEE tower with 3-presses and 3-set of dies for 9mm I used for teaching purposes for sale: $120.00 cash
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