Tour of Upgraded Reloading Bench

Tour of Upgraded Reloading Bench

Where you store and use your reloading equipment can be just as important as how you use it.  A neat and tidy work area not only increases productivity, but eliminates a lot of the distractions that can lead to costly mistakes.  Recently I decided it was time to clean up my act, and build some proper shelving for my bench, which was becoming a real pigsty.  Fortunately, one of my best friends is a master handyman, so when I told him what I was preparing to do, he generously suggested I buy the materials, give him the designs I’d made– and then just stay out of his way.

If there’s one thing life has taught me one painful lesson after another, it’s that I have no business doing carpentry, so I was happy to comply.  As you’ll see in the video above, the end result of that self-realization was a complete set of expertly-built shelving that perfectly fit my needs.

Layout

Divided into three basic sections, from left to right we’ve got tools and dies, metallic cartridge loading, and shotshell loading.  Naturally the order in which you choose to organize your setup is a matter of personal preference, but I find laying things out in this fashion helps keep me on track, as well as minimize the amount of time I spend scurrying around looking for components, and tools.

Maximizing Efficiency

In addition to room for most of my presses, one of the great things about this setup is I can now fit all my tools and equipment in one place.  Again, that’s made a real impact on how much time I waste hunting for things, as previously I had been forced to store some equipment and materials in other rooms due to space constraints.  Part of how I was able to achieve this was by designing each shelf specifically for what’s stored on it.  I’m fortunate in that I have a room set aside just for my reloading work, but not everyone is so lucky.  Custom shelving like this may seem like a lot of work, but in the end I was able to nearly twice as much equipment as I could previously, in the same amount of horizontal desk space.  For reloaders living in cottages, trailers, apartments or other cramped quarters, maximizing the space you’ve got is critical.

Something else we did here was add some white melamine to the bench top.  At first glance this probably seems like a purely cosmetic feature, but it’s actually made a world of difference when it comes to cleaning, or even just keeping track of small components.  Everything up clearly against the bright white background, and the smooth, waterproof surface makes wiping things down a piece of cake.

Summary

I can’t stress enough what a difference this upgrade has made to my bench, and my reloading.  I feel like the room has doubled in size, and many of the tasks conducted within take a fraction of the time they used to.  If you’re in the process of building a reloading bench, do yourself a favor and take the time to really plan things out the first time.  Whether it’s measuring your tools, counting up dies, or just working out how much space you should have free around each press to ensure ease of operation, no one ever regretted having a solid plan.

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