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Metal or wood bench?

  • Metal and pegboard

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I'd have to look at each of these on display before making a decision on them. One may be able to do something about bracing them. If you are in a place where they can be secured to a wall, it would help. Over the years, I have changed and adapted my space many times as my needs changed. I would do whatever I needed to do to get started, and add to and adapt as needed.
 

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Most of my benches are lumber with plywood on top and then covered with rubber conveyor belting. My work vise is on a stand that's epoxied to the floor.
 
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I like JBELK's idea. I use lumber and plywood for by benches. The conveyor belting is also a good idea. My concern with the metal bench is that its bench top will be thin, and will "flex" when your reloading press is mounted to it and you start resizing cases for some major rifle caliber. Were I to use such a metal bench, I'd likely attach a couple layers of 3/4" plywood to the top, with measurements that extend 3" or 4" (enough to mount the bench & other implements without interference from the metal top, but no more) beyond the edges of the metal top. You may STILL have some flex from the metal, but weighting bottom shelf and the back of the top shelf with bullets or other components should help that.
 

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I have purchased three of 'Wooden' Harbor Freight benches. One for me, one for the wife's kitchen use and one for my neighbor. I like'm, they are useful for light to medium work. I wouldn't pound on them and I wouldn't use them for a reloading bench. Other'n that, you may find it useful?
 

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I worked at a place a few years ago and we built 2 benches out of 2 x 4 and 3/4" plywood that held up pretty well. But, both of those pictured might be just fine.
 

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I'd be tempted to get the wooden bench and bolt it to the wall. If the top isn't sturdy enough to suit you, a layer or two of plywood or whatnot should help a bunch. You'll need some sort of mat on top of it, anyway, to keep solvents out of the bench top, and help to keep from dinging up things you are working on. Press mounted at one end, a generic bench vice at the other, and a shelf on the wall for the loading scale would be a nice setup. Plus a light overhead.

Things like powder measures and trimmers, you can mount to the bench with long bolts and wing nuts for easy removal. The press can even be held with a couple of 'c' clamps or whatnot, I've done that.
 

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I have the wood bench from harbour frieght about a year and half ago. I have probably about 250-300 pounds worth of equipment on each one. They're actually pretty sturdy.
 

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I have the metal one from Harbor Freight for a home garage bench. Its pretty flimsy so had a 14 gauge steel top bent up for it. The back and front brake stiffened up some but still isn't much of a bench.
 

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I built a bench for my SIL about about 4 years ago. I wound up getting it back when I moved here a year and a half ago because he wasn't using it and it fit perfectly into an area of my garage. I used doubled up 2X4's for legs and 3/4 inch plywood for the top. I ran another layer of plywood along the front to give it a little more oomph. It's a tad smaller than the HF wooden one. I would think that one would be good with a little reinforcing along the front and would bolt it to the wall as has already been suggested.

Adjust the height where it is comfortable working while in a standing position. I also have a bar stool that is the perfect height for doing some things sitting. I like to throw and weigh powder when standing.

With lumber prices being what they are now, that HF one would look pretty attractive at that price. :D

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Found two ideas for a budget table for general gunsmithing. Lumber is too high to build View attachment 102116
I have both. Neither is suitable for a reloading press. Too light. My reloading bench is made of 2x6x8 tongue and groove decking with 4x4 legs. I know it's expensive for wood, but the price is starting to come down and you only need one half the size of mine. I think you could probably find an antique table or use a preformed countertop. Good luck.
 

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I used two solid core doors for benchtops for many years.
 
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My loading bench has 4 x 4 legs and 2 x 6 top. No flexing here! My work bench is constructed out of 2 x 6 lumber another solid one.
 

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2 of my benches are made of 2x2x1/8" angle iron w/2x8 pine tops. I got them @ industrial auctions selling everything from drafting tables (way over priced) to overhead cranes (way under priced but you needed semi's & cranes & riggers to move them off-site, think they went for $20 each). Anyway, the benches cost me $10 each. Can't buy ¼ of the raw steel for that!
 
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