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  #1  
Old 11-09-2010, 11:48 PM
Hackman61 Hackman61 is offline
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Workmate




I'm beginning to acquire the materials and equipment for starting my reloading hobby/activity. I'm going with .45acp. I've got everything but the powder and the press. The big issue, is getting a bench system set up in the small room I have over my garage. I currently have a Workmate hanging on my garage wall that I'm thinking of using. I know it's not ideal or even close to what most of you fellas have created. I thought I read somewhere that somebody used their Workmate. Any thoughts or suggestions? I'm leaning towards the LCT by the way. Affordable for the amount of shooting I do.
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  #2  
Old 11-09-2010, 11:57 PM
c_m_shooter c_m_shooter is offline
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It'll work as long as you are loading pistol rounds. I had my press on a cheap tool stand for about 6 years and it was fine until a stuck a .270 case and pulled the top off the thing.

The one I had was pretty much this
http://www.harborfreight.com/garage-...ion-46725.html

It was more stable if I put something heavy on the bottom shelf.

Last edited by c_m_shooter; 11-10-2010 at 12:04 AM.
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  #3  
Old 11-10-2010, 12:03 AM
Hackman61 Hackman61 is offline
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Thanks Shooter. I'm only reloading pistol rounds. I don't own a single rifle. Hmm...maybe I should start browsing.
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  #4  
Old 11-10-2010, 12:25 AM
boxerglocker boxerglocker is offline
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You can get a 2 X 3 foot piece of 3/4 inch ply or MDF from home depot. Mount the press on the edge with carriage bolts heads down with flat, lock washers and nuts. Then take a 2X4 cut it to length lengthwise and screw it to the board as a spine. This is what your workmate jaws will bite to. You will want to add some weight to the legs to help make it more stable. I suggest a couple of 3/4 full sand bags folded over and draped over the leg cross bars of the workmate.
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  #5  
Old 11-10-2010, 12:33 AM
Nick A Nick A is offline
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Yes, I use a Workmate as a portable bench. I take it in the motorhome to reload in the field. Great for working up a new load at the range.

I haven't done any modification to it. I just drilled holes in the top to accomodate three presses: A single stage, a Lee P1000 progressive, and my MEC shotshell press. Additional holes for powder measure and trimmer. Just unfold the Workmate, bolt the equipment on top and start loading.
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  #6  
Old 11-10-2010, 01:01 AM
Hackman61 Hackman61 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boxerglocker View Post
You can get a 2 X 3 foot piece of 3/4 inch ply or MDF from home depot. Mount the press on the edge with carriage bolts heads down with flat, lock washers and nuts. Then take a 2X4 cut it to length lengthwise and screw it to the board as a spine. This is what your workmate jaws will bite to. You will want to add some weight to the legs to help make it more stable. I suggest a couple of 3/4 full sand bags folded over and draped over the leg cross bars of the workmate.
Awesome idea Boxer. Sounds like it would make a nice platform to work off of. Right on, fellow Washingtonian. What do you think about the LCT? I can't afford the Dillon, RCBS, Etc...Stay dry Boxer.
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  #7  
Old 11-10-2010, 01:31 AM
c_m_shooter c_m_shooter is offline
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I still use most of my Lee Anniversery kit that I bought in 1998. I have thrown away the the Lee scale because it didn't like to stay at the weight I set it to. I prefer using the hand priming tool over the press mounted. This looks like the best deal to get you started.

http://www.cabelas.com/product/Shoot...Tz_stype%3DGNU

I don't quite understand the draw of the turret presses. I prep my brass by the bucket full (size and decap 1,000 or so in one sitting, bell them in another sitting) and keep plenty on hand. Then the night before I plan to go to the range I can load up whatever I need in an hour or two.
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  #8  
Old 11-10-2010, 06:39 AM
herd48 herd48 is offline
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Before you use a Workmate as a reloading bench. Read as many threads on loading benches as possible. Many on this forum. Then decide if this is really the route you want to take. Can it be done? yes. Is it even an "OK" option....questionable. Just cause folks do it, doesn't make it a good option. Unless it's a portable set up. Used occasionally. With a room over your garage, no matter how small, there are sturdier options. And sturdy is good while reloading. If you decide to try the workmate, using case lube will help. But with a permanent place to load like you have. I would look for a better option.
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  #9  
Old 11-10-2010, 11:40 AM
boxerglocker boxerglocker is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hackman61 View Post
Awesome idea Boxer. Sounds like it would make a nice platform to work off of. Right on, fellow Washingtonian. What do you think about the LCT? I can't afford the Dillon, RCBS, Etc...Stay dry Boxer.
Yes, itís a tried and proven method of temporarily mounting a press. I have done so myself. Both with a SDB on a strong mount and a LCT. Just remember to mount the press first on the board and then adjust the distance of the spine so the mounting press bolts clear yet are as close to the actual workmates top edge surface as possible to help keep it stable.
The LCT is an awesome starting press, the only one I would personally recommend for those within a reasonable complete budget of $350-$400 for a set-up. If you havenít ordered one yet I recommend getting it from:
https://kempfgunshop.com//index.php?...mart&Itemid=41
Make sure you get both upgrades, well worth it. The Kempfs kit includes dies for one caliber and even MTM boxes for 300 rounds. Total cost is about $225 delivered. They ship fast and have great customer service. You can also get extra dies for additional calibers and spare turret wheels from them. I started on a LCT for 9mm and .40 it worked out well, though in the end I moved to a SDB, and then a XL650 as my round count is about 2500 a month of 9mm and .45ACP. The LCT will put out quality ammo for a budget conscious reloader though and once you get the hang of it 150 rounds an hour or more is easily achievable. Here is an excellent link to set-up the LCT; you will find it very useful.
http://www.surplusrifle.com/reviews2...ress/index.asp
Other than the kit, all you will need is a good scale, I suggest staying away from the Lee and going with a Dillon, RCBS or even Lyman beam scale. You will also need a caliper (digital at Harbor freight is about $12 on sale) then a means or cleaning your brass, either the Cabelas or Midway starting models with media are a good buy for roughly $65.
Good Luck .
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  #10  
Old 11-10-2010, 01:19 PM
Pow-ding Pow-ding is offline
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azlester, one of our forum members, made a very clever workbench for confined areas. I hope this link works. If not, the info. is located in a thread on reloading rooms (benches).

Ken

http://forums.1911forum.com/showthre...211233&page=12

Last edited by Pow-ding; 11-10-2010 at 01:22 PM.
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  #11  
Old 11-10-2010, 10:09 PM
8AteEight 8AteEight is offline
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The LCT is a great way to go. I have the regular (?) turret, and it does fine for any pistol round you want to load.
I have it mounted to a rolling Craftsman toolbox that I was using as a mechanic. When weighted down with bullets and loaded ammo, the thing wont budge.

As far as rifle rounds, just give it time. I vowed that Id never do it, and now Im loading '06 and probably will be .243 in the near future. Its just the addiction of shooting. Its a force that cannot be reckoned with.


PS, the Lee Turrets arent really the way to go with large/long rifle cases, though. The 30-06 and others are too long to fit well. I had to remove the indexing rod to get it to work right. Thats not a problem for me, as I prefer to quadruple check EVERYTHING when it comes to this big of a bang. I only load 20 rounds in a full session, and Id rather it took 3 hours, than spend that much time in the E.R. having shrapnel removed from my face.
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Last edited by 8AteEight; 11-10-2010 at 10:15 PM.
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  #12  
Old 11-11-2010, 12:28 AM
Hackman61 Hackman61 is offline
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I'm beginning to wonder if a nice solid single stage would be the best way to go to get started. The Breech Lock looks like a nice system.

I'm still thinking my workmate might be the answer, but I'm going to research a little more on plans for maybe a smaller bench design that can fit into my room over the garage. I might be able to fit something around 36" in length. The room has angled ceilings like an "A" frame.
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  #13  
Old 11-11-2010, 12:38 AM
noylj noylj is offline
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I measured my small space, told my wife to find a sturdy small table of a certain length and height, so I could reload sitting, at a thrift store. About a week later, I had an ugly but super strong table for next to no money. My set-up is in a closet. The back wall in maybe 6 feet long and I needed a table and a small refrigerator to fit on that wall. Bolting it to the wall is also a good idea.
I look at YouTube videos and so many appear to have very flimsy work tops with the press flexing back and forth. You want that press to be locked down tight. I would want the bench to be on the ground floor or basement so it is on concrete.
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  #14  
Old 11-11-2010, 12:42 AM
Nick A Nick A is offline
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A single station press will be handy the rest of your life. Swaging primer pockets, forming brass, sizing lead bullets with Lee sizer, etc. Some day when you graduate to a Dillon, you still have odd tasks that you can't do on a progressive.

You can also do those tasks on a turret. No doubt about that. But sometimes it just isn't quite as handy because you need to mount the tools on a turret rather than a quick-change breech lock.

So you can certainly use either one. If you don't think you'll ever get a nice progressive, get the turret now. If you think you'll graduate soon and the single station breech lock will be handy in the future, get that one.
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  #15  
Old 11-11-2010, 02:02 AM
GabeM1911 GabeM1911 is offline
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I was just looking into getting a workmate today and this is what I found. They have the plans to build the top here http://bulletin.accurateshooter.com/...loading-bench/ this here too http://forums.1911forum.com/showpost...&postcount=285

also here's a vid of a guy using a workmate with his dillon square deal. Looks like all it needs is a more sturdy top http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8m9QXh-ZYI

Last edited by GabeM1911; 11-11-2010 at 02:14 AM.
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  #16  
Old 11-11-2010, 02:18 AM
Bullseye1911 Bullseye1911 is offline
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The size of the bench does not matter as long as it is big enough to do what you are trying to do with it

The SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT thing about a reloading bench is strength

With a rickity bench you will hate reloading

Check out some of the benches some of the guys have posted pics of and you will see some small benches but they are made strong

Hopefully you will get some ideas that will help
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  #17  
Old 11-11-2010, 10:39 AM
Hackman61 Hackman61 is offline
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You fellas have really given some great input. I appreciate the comments, suggestions and ideas. I look forward to reading more and continuing my research. Unfortunately, my wife has a to do list a mile long for me today, so it's gonna have to wait til she goes to bed.

As far as a bench, I'm one of those guys that if there is a flat clear surface around me, I will put something on it. Then something on top of that. So, the bigger the bench I come up with, the bigger the mess will eventually be.
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Last edited by Hackman61; 11-11-2010 at 10:43 AM.
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  #18  
Old 11-11-2010, 11:37 AM
Emerson Emerson is offline
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I've loaded tens of thousands of pistol rounds on Dillon 550 on a Workmate. I cut a piece of 1/2" plywood to size and mounted the Dillon on that, and then C-Clamped the plywood to the Workmate.

If you're on a tight budget it is an easy way to go and it works fine.
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  #19  
Old 11-11-2010, 08:31 PM
mikld mikld is offline
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My "temporary" reloading bench, lasted three years before I moved to a place with a real bench...
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My Reloading Bench.jpg  
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