Portable Reloading Bench

A portable bench for small shops, or those who might want to move the bench easily.

The overall height is 30 inches, same as a kitchen table.  This makes for easy work while sitting in a regular kitchen, office, or livingroom chair.  Overall width is 18 inches.  Enough for stability.

Basic Layout

First……determine the length of the reloading press arm when it’s at a 90 degree angle to the press.  This will determine the location of the floor plate.

The “L” shaped design is to offset leverage.  A support directly underneath the press lever prevents the bench from tipping when force is applied.  The “L” shape keeps the entire assembly light, and manageable.  No need to have a heavy bench to withstand the forces.

The first side panel is set up on the jig, squared, and tacked.  Then the opposite side panel is simply laid on top of it, and tacked.reloading bench1The “L” on this setup is 16″ long, because the lever extends about 15″ from my press when at a 90 degree angle.  Your press may be different, and require a different “L” length. 

Side panels are then married with cross stretchers, and the entire framework is built out from there.  Remember to only tack it all together at this point, do not finish weld until everything is fully tacked together.  You will cause distortion at every step if you fully weld each sub unit before tacking it all together.reloading bench2reloading bench3After the entire framework is tacked together……….then weld it out.

Once the frame was welded, I had distortion in the “L” (naturally), and was able to heat shrink it back into alignment.  The jack is used to apply a bare minimum of force, then the outside radius of the bend is heated, and allowed to cool.  During this process keep an eye on it, and immediately release jack pressure if it looks like it’s going to bend farther than you want.reloading bench4I can’t stress enough……..just enough pressure on the jack to maintain a tiny bit of tension while you heat the metal.  YOU’RE NOT STRAIGHTENING IT WITH THE JACK, YOU’RE STRAIGHTENING IT WITH THE EFFECTS OF COOLING AFTER IT’S BEEN HEATED.

The Work Surfaces

A piece of diamond plate is used for the foot rest.  Nothing heavier than 1/8 diamond plate is necessary.  Remember that you want this thing slightly lighter than a boat anchor 🙂 .

1/4″ UM plate is adequate for the surface to which the press will be attached.  Clamp a piece in place, then temporarily place your press, and other stuff, where it will be most convenient for you.reloading bench5Drill your holes for attaching your stuff, then weld it to the frame.

BUT DON’T DO WHAT I DID!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I carefully marked the holes, carefully drilled the holes, and carefully welded the plate onto the frame.  UPSIDE DOWN.

Luckily, I was able to carefully remove the welds with a razor wheel, and melt the welds in confined areas with the torch.reloading bench7reloading bench8Something I’ve passed along quite often……………..Where there’s a slight gap, shim it with a screwdriver while welding.  It prevents the gap from closing, and distorting the piece.reloading bench6The 1/4″ plate is welded underneath the table with small (about 3/8″) welds spaced around the perimeter.  Where there’s a gap, place the screwdriver wedge at each weld while finishing out.  And again…….always weld starting in the middle, and working your way to the corners.

Finished Out

So, after the slight error 🙂 , it’s finished.reloading bench9reloading bench10reloading bench11The riser for the powder measure was made using the factory supplied bracket, and some stuff laying around.  About a 5″ rise, which makes it a straight shot from powder measure to the press without having to change the level of hand movement.

The work surface behind the plate used to attach the press is simply a piece of 14ga sheet metal.  Enough to provide a surface for stuff, but thin enough to keep the weight down.  Total weight, without the press and measure……….somewhere in the neighborhood of 15-20lbs.

Now go crank out some booooolits!


misc,_stuff_020Any day above ground is a good day

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