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reloading bench top

I can't find 2" thick wood anywhere which is what I wanted to use. Would it be better to take 1" pine planks and double up, 3/4 plywood and double up or use stain grade 1" furniture wood for the top?


  • shooter93shooter93 Member Posts: 322 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Two inch thick lumber in softwoods is a nominal 1-1/2 inches. In hardwoods it called 8/4...again 1-1/2 inches finished. The next size would be 12/4 then surfaced to the size you want. I often glue two layers of 3/4 inch plywood together and cover with a plastic laminate when putting togethr tops for customers. It's very strong unless the span between support members is to great. If it is I triple it.
  • dclocodcloco Member Posts: 2,967
    edited November -1
    Do as Shooter indicated....3/4 doubled.

    Or...use a 2x10 or 2x12 under the location of the press...under the top.
  • bpostbpost Member Posts: 32,201 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    The 3/4" plywood doubled and glued is very strong I used polyureathane as a finish. I would also suggest you mount a 3/16" steel plate under the press area if you do heavy swaging or 50 BMG sizing.
  • goldeneagle76goldeneagle76 Member Posts: 4,359
    edited November -1
    thanks for the replies, got the 3/4" last night and will be building the bench this weekend. Thought about putting steel on the entire top but then saw the prices of a sheet that large...not to mention I'm not planning on doing anything heavier than 308 in the near future.
  • perry shooterperry shooter Member Posts: 17,390
    edited November -1
    Hello I found a 2 inch thick BUTCHER BLOCK table from a hospital surplus sale 5 ft X 3&1/2 foot it works great chech out some surplus resterant and hospital sales.
  • dcso3009dcso3009 Member Posts: 2,350 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Your top does not have to be so strong if it sits in a frame. My bench is made out of welded steel and has a plywood top on it. It works very well.
  • fire for effectfire for effect Member Posts: 121 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Use 3/4" MDF , Medium Density Fiberboard. MDF is strong, and can be worked like wood. Double it up and you will love it. Send me your Email address and I will send you pictures of a reloading bench you wll be proud of.
  • GUNFUNCOGUNFUNCO Member Posts: 2,920 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I used the thick pressed board that builders use for countertops. I doubled it and then coated it with minwax polyurethane. Strong, sweeps up clean and looks good to boot. Also made a smaller bench with a pre-made formica top for cleaning guns on.
  • bsallybsally Member Posts: 3,165
    edited November -1
    I used a 3/4" piece of osb with 3/4" oak harwood flooring as the top. Kind of like a butcher block. Flooring is glued to the osb and nailed together like you would if you were laying it as a floor.
  • dakotashooter2dakotashooter2 Member Posts: 6,186
    edited November -1
    Hit the commercial remodeling jobsites and see if you can find an old solid oak door.
  • jailermanjailerman Member Posts: 145 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I built mine out of 2 pieces of 3/4 in sturdy floor plywood with 1/4 tempered hardboard on top. Looks great and cleans up easy.
  • RossRoss Member Posts: 156 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Over time both ply and particle tend to mash at the edges under a press or vice. The scrapyard should have a scrap of ?" or thinner steel, about a half a foot square, or larger to lay over the bench to spread the torsion when you mount the press. Another piece under the bench would be really stiff. I have drilled and tapped a couple such bases to fit presses.
    Cheers from Darkest California,
  • MobuckMobuck Member Posts: 12,957 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Over the years I've used an old heavy built oak kitchen table with the legs braced to prevent loosening. The presses are mounted on full inch oak 1x6's that extend past the edge of the top. I'm getting ready to remodel the basement and build a dedicated loading area. The bench will be 3/4" ply doubled with 1/4" steel plate under the presses and heavily braced legs. Should last me as long as I need to use one.
  • rongrong Member Posts: 8,459
    edited November -1
    I've had my Rockchucker mounted to a
    free standing cabinet/island type table
    with a 3/4 plywood surface topped with
    yellow formica. It was in the in the 1st house
    I bought. Been using it like that for 33 years,
    might not be the strongest surface around
    but I reload all the pistols.Use to reload
    308,270 but now only 444 for rifles. Never had
    any problems,course I don't reload 50 cal.
    If 1/4 steel plate does it for you
    or doubled plywood-use it!
  • pjcarawaypjcaraway Member Posts: 5 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I use a premade bench from one of the big lumber company's like Lowe's, it has a 1" high densistive partacale board tope . I use a 550 dillon and a lee C press bolted through the board and some large flat washers and have never had any trouble ,and I load several calibars and have never had any trouble . The name of the bench is called a Kobalt and was very price compative. the frame is built out of steel and also has 4 draws in it to store stuff and a peg board back that is about 3' high. you don't need a 2" thick top on a reloading bench,that is over kill but it will difentaly be strong,
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