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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Got a new reloader, and I need to build a bench that fits the reloader (Dillon XL650).
Just no space on the top I've been using...

I have an aluminum table top, which I'm leaning towards using, but anyone know of any draw backs to aluminum or wood?
 

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I preferr wood. Softer for when you put weapons on it and they may get pushed. Poly coat for easy clean up. If you go with the aluminum, Have a mat available. Just my opinion.
 

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Mine is wooden because I converted some old wooded tables to be my work benches.

The added weight of the wood adds to the stability, but you can definitely make an aluminum table top work just fine.
 

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I would advise hard wood,
might keep ya from electrofluting yerself...:yikes:
 

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I would go with wood drop tool make a dent but on metal could make a spark and wood is weapon finish friendly
 
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Wood. I use 2 3/4" pieces of plywood glued nailed and screwed together with a piece of melamine glued and nailed to the top for a smooth work surface.
 

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Mine is wood also, and like some of the others I wouldn't necessarily weed out the aluminum. I think the wood bench top would serve best, and for the reasons posted above.
 

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Another vote for wood. Also, are you planning on having storage under the bench (shelves, drawers, etc.)? Will you be needing vises, hold-downs, and so forth? Lot's of options and customization can be designed in for future needs.

A bench is a tool, not just a place to set stuff down, so you should put some thought into it. :)
 

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wood it is for my suggestion too... errr... x100

Two pieces of 3/4" plywood with some hardboard on top is what I've used for a long time.
 

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I would advise hard wood,
might keep ya from electrofluting yerself...:yikes:

I'm just still trying to picture what kind of electric FLUTE Al has. :rolleyes:


I prefer wood bench tops myself. Mainly because I've got a good collection of woodworking tools to build with.

With aluminum...you shouldn't have to worry about sparking from dropping tools on the bench but the electric shock hazard is still there. But, one advantage to aluminum would be easy enough to ground so that you didn't get static buildup.

You could always fasten a plywood or hardwood layer over the aluminum table top too. Would beef up the surface and give you a wood working area.
 

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My vote is for wood. That static electricity thingy could affect a powder scale, and the odd (maybe one-in-a-million) chance of getting a spark if there may some spilled powder granuals about. Maybe never happen, but maybe wood is a better choice for safety.
 

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I have to use wood - I use my bench for fixing electronics and computers and won't risk shorts or static discharge. Wood doesn't conduct electricity. Besides, I used old sliding closet doors to build mine so the bench top didn't cost me anything.
 

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Wood. Its because I like to do woodwork and it looks better. Also is easy to clean and is easy on the finishes. I still use pads though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks to all for the ideas and opinions! Rational one and all with good explanations for your votes!

This is the science nerd in me, electrical is part of my day job, so I'm pretty 'Up' on the electrical issues.

But for STATIC electricity to become an issue, the surface has to be NON-Conductive.
Conductive surfaces are GROUNDS, and will cause a discharge of any static build-up.

I have a plastic top bench for gunsmithing work, this will be a RELOADING ONLY bench.
(I don't like to mix gunpowder and potential spark makers like tools).

I have a sheet of 3/4" plywood with a sanded side which I was going to run with,
But the metal top became available...

I like wood myself, since you can't patch a hole in metal worth a darn, but a a little putty filler or glue in a dowel rod and a wood top is patched just fine when you decide to move something and leave holes in the top...

I just don't want anywhere for powder to hide on the bench, that's why I was thinking about metal. Easy cleanup of powder, tumbler media, case lube, ect.
Looks like I can leave the aluminum in the garage!
Thanks Guys!
 

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Hers a pic of one of my benches. I use it for loading on the single stage RCBS and for gun cleaning,adjusting etc. I clamped the press to the bench foe easy removal and because I dont want to drill a bunch of holes in it. Underneith I keep my brass and bullets. My other loading bench is metal, but I dont have a static problem and I dont put guns on it.
 

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Another vote for wood. At least a total thickness of 1 1/2 inches. Strong leg supports and fastned to a wall if possible.
 

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But for STATIC electricity to become an issue, the surface has to be NON-Conductive.
Conductive surfaces are GROUNDS, and will cause a discharge of any static build-up.
You are correct that a conductive metal top will prevent any static from building up...if it's bonded to a good ground. If you build a metal table on wood legs, or even metal legs with the little rubber non-skid pads then it is insulated and the potential for build up on the entire top is there.

I'm an industrial electrical/electronics tech and former consumer electronics tech (TV man :)) by trade too so yeah, I am particular about static on my benches.
I use conductive floor mats and I've got a grounding bar/pad across the front of my reloading bench same as how I have my electronics bench set up. It's just force of habit for me to ground myself out before I grab anything on the bench. I don't go so far as to wear a wrist strap when reloading though.
 

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Hers a pic of one of my benches. I use it for loading on the single stage RCBS and for gun cleaning,adjusting etc. I clamped the press to the bench foe easy removal and because I dont want to drill a bunch of holes in it. Underneith I keep my brass and bullets. My other loading bench is metal, but I dont have a static problem and I dont put guns on it.
While had to smile when I first saw the big white tap-light "EZ Button" I really had to laugh when I saw the BS button right next to it. Haven't seen one of those in years. I'd like to find another, but I'd take it to work and get in trouble.
 

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While had to smile when I first saw the big white tap-light "EZ Button" I really had to laugh when I saw the BS button right next to it. Haven't seen one of those in years. I'd like to find another, but I'd take it to work and get in trouble.
Thats for when my friends stop by. I'm surprised that you could make it out in the not so good pic.
Bet you didnt see Carl's (Woodnut) business up there. You'd have to inlarge the pic to see it. It is just to the left of the laser level.
 
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