A Nice Winter Project

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by Freebore, Jan 4, 2010.

  1. Freebore

    Freebore New Member

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    At a gunshow yesterday I picked up these four RCBS "A" series presses, they date from about 1949 on up. there are two "2A's, an "A", and a pre-A model with no designation. All are fully functional. The second press I ever purchased was an A2 and I still regret selling it, but I guess this makes up for it as the A series are getting harder to find. I find it hard beleve that one guy had four of them...?

    These will be completely rebuilt and refinished over the winter

    Attached Files:

    • A21.jpg
      A21.jpg
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  2. mikld

    mikld Active Member

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    Press on the far right; is the "attachment" on the left side a part of the mounting system or ??
  3. zkovach

    zkovach Active Member

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    thats pretty cool! cant wait to see them refurbed.
  4. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

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    I know you will do a beautiful job on them!! Be sure to show the finished results.
  5. Freebore

    Freebore New Member

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    The mounting bracket on back of this press is actually part of the press itself and not an add-on, This is the first RCBS press I've seen with this kind of attachment. In the pic below, look at the toggle assembly (also a first for me). This press has a reversed stroke whereas pushing down on the handle lowers the ram.

    All four of the presses have Orville, Calif on the front of the castings, the only reference to RCBS is found stamped into the top of this one (RCBS Pat. Pend.).

    My guess is that this is a very early version of the "A" series and somewhat rare, because of this, I may not refurbish it, but rather just give it a good cleaning.

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    Last edited: Jan 4, 2010
  6. Freebore

    Freebore New Member

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    Other picture of mounting assembly

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  7. Freebore

    Freebore New Member

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    Just completely finished rebuilding the RCBS A press.........the old girl never looked so good

    Attached Files:

  8. 312shooter

    312shooter Active Member

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    Absolutely awesome work Freebore keep it up! Someday you 'll let us in on your "secrets" to such fine rehab work? Very nice.
  9. Lee C.

    Lee C. New Member

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    Very nice work Freebore, it looks like new.
  10. zkovach

    zkovach Active Member

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    That looks amazing!!!!!!!!!! Nice Job!
  11. bucksnducks

    bucksnducks New Member

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    Great job Freebore! Looks like a new one.
  12. jdon72

    jdon72 New Member

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    wow...that is amazing. If I see any in the future, I will send them to you to refurbish.

    J
  13. flannelman

    flannelman New Member

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    Man you do great work. I'd love to find some old presses like that. I really like old equipment of almost any kind.
  14. FTK87

    FTK87 New Member

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    Thanks for posting, I always enjoy seeing your handywork, keep the pics coming!
  15. Suicide*Ride

    Suicide*Ride New Member

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    You're an ANIMAL!! :D How many hrs. do you have in this last refurb? & what kind of paint do you use?

    I've got a thing about rescuing old presses too & this next week I'm thinking about having a go @ that old Rockchucker I was telling you about. I tried to get it from my Brother, but as soon as I showed any interest in it, he figured that it's got some sort of hidden value :rolleyes:, & now will have it buried w/ him. As it sits now, it's only a rusty paperweight.

    I would have to agree! IMHO, someone wanting to build a period era display would pay more for an un-restored press.

    Speaking of displays..... when are you gunna post a few pictures of your collection? That's me assuming that you have them all set up & ready to use. Whenever you show off another finished 'project', I save the pictures in my "Reloading" folder. ;)

    SR
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2010
  16. Freebore

    Freebore New Member

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    SR,

    Thanks for the positive feedback....on this particular press I put in about 20 - 25 hours, I rebored and installed new bronze bearings in both upper link arms and eliminated most of play in the linkage system), this took a little longer than usual. After further evaluation, just today I rebored the lower toggle assembly and installed new bearings there also, now there is virtually no play at all in the entire linkage system, the press is actually smoother then when it was new.

    The paint used is actually manufactured by Rust-oleum and marketed as an industrial hammered finish (the old hammer-tone texture). Their green hammer finish closely replicates one of the earlier RCBS finishes (used here), they have a number of industrial colors available.

    Most time spent is in preparation, removing some the old dried oil and paint finishes is not an easy task, I use a meduim grit media in my sandblasting gun on all of the frame components, and a very fine grit on the machined surfaces, the fine grit gives bare steel a nice satin texture similar to the kind found on many reloading dies today. Some parts (colums, handles, etc.) are spun polished on a lathe to restore an original look and preserve dimesions.

    I actually do not collect old reloading equipment, but rather just enjoy rebuilding and restoring them, most of the equipment I work on eventually finds its way to some reloader who is looking for a certain model.

    Currently waiting to be rebuilt are two RCBS 2A's, two RCBS RS's, and a MEC 650, plus a Lyman case trimmer ?

    The pic below is the above press broken down with new bronze bearings installed in the upper link arms, as mentioned above, the toggle assembly (upper left corner) had new bearing installed like the links.

    Attached Files:

  17. zkovach

    zkovach Active Member

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    cheers to you my friend for even knowing how to do that in this day in age!!!!!!!!!
  18. robertchambers

    robertchambers New Member

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    The press with no marings and the strut reinforced bench mount is known as the 1st production model. Before this, the presses were welded parts rather than cast steel. All 4 presses you purchased are cast steel...made before the "ductile steel" models were advertised...by the time of the late A2's, the material being used was cast iron due to it's much lower costs of production. The late A2's can be spotted by the cast-in bench mounting slots rather than the drilled holes found in the steel predesessors. The RCBS presses evolved in 4 separate areas that overlap in marked models. The frame, the pivot block,
    the operating handle, and the benchmount all evolved independantly. These model variations have not been sorted out yet...not even by the remaining Huntington sons.

    Iff'n you fellers would like to discuss this subject in detail, I have a boat load of data to contribute...including letters hand written by the co-inventor Fred Huntington...I have NOTHING on Albert Swift as of yet...very little is known about the San Francisco foundry who cast these presses for RCBS or the exact dates they went from welded--to cast steel---to ductile steel--and finally to cast iron.
  19. Freebore

    Freebore New Member

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    RC,

    Thank you very much for the information, I feel there is a growing interest regarding old and collectible reloading equipment, but no actual direct forum here to dicuss this interest. I've sent a note today to the TFF to request a forum be established for discussion pertaining to this subject, hopefully we'll see a forum set up for this subject....would definately like to know more about the early days at RCBS, and the equipment that was made back then.

    Thanks a miilion for your input
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