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November 30th, 2013

BYOB — Build Your Own Bench for Reloading — Free Plans

The NRA’s American Rifleman Online website has an excellent article showing how to construct a rock-solid Reloading Bench. There are plenty of photos, and a detailed set of Bench Blueprints showing all dimensions and listing all needed materials. This bench is very well designed, with many deluxe features, such as an upper drawer with fitted slots for die boxes, and large lower drawers with 100-lb rated slides to store heavy materials or tools. If you have good wood-working skills this would be an excellent project.

CLICK HERE to Download Article with Photos | CLICK HERE for Bench Blueprints

The author, Dave Campbell, offers good advice on building the bench top: “I ripped a sheet of 3/4″ AC plywood into two 24″ wide pieces and cut them to 72″ long. Then I glued them together to form a 72″ long, 1 1/24″ thick top. The trick here is to keep the edges smooth and flat so that the laminate will adhere properly and without voids. I chose a light grey laminate finish for the top because it’s easier to see what I am working on and keep clean. If you have never worked with laminate, remember it’s prudent to glue and rout the edges flush before gluing on the top. The top was attached to the carcass with eight steel L-shaped angle brackets and No. 10×1 1/4″ wood screws.”

Photos Copyright © 2008 The National Rifle Association, used by permission

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August 22nd, 2013

FREE Shooting Bench Plans — Fourteen Do-It-Yourself Designs

FREE shooting Bench PlansBuilding your own portable shooting bench is a great do-it-yourself project. You can build a sturdy bench for well under $100 in materials. Compare that to some deluxe factory-built benches which may cost $500.00 or more.

FREE Bench Plans on the Web
You’ll find a wide assortment of home-built shooting bench designs (both portable and fixed) on the internet. Renovation Headquarters has links to FREE Plans and building instructions for fourteen (14) different shooting benches. There are all-wood shooting bench designs as well as benches that combine a wood top with a metal sub-frame or legs.

CLICK HERE for Shooting Bench FREE Plans Webpage

Among Renovation HQ’s fourteen featured shooting benches, here are five designs we liked:

Larry Willis Shooting Bench

Sandwiched Plywood top, 1.5″ Galvanized Pipe Legs

Manuel Ferran’s
Steel Shooting Bench

Steel (welded) legs and frame, painted plywood top. Folds flat.

eHow Permanent All-Wood
Shooting Bench

Heavy-duty, very solid and sturdy, but easy to build. Good for right- or left-handed shooters.

Bill Clarke’s
Basic Shooting Bench

Restaurant table Cast Metal Pedestal Base, plywood top.

Missouri Hillbilly’s
All-Wood Bench

3/4″ ACX Plywood with 4×6 Beams and Legs

Reader Jim Jewell has used the eHow bench design shown above. He recommends it highly. Jim reports: “A colleague and I built two of the eHow permanent wood, sturdy benches for our Pt. Phillips Rod and Gun Club in PA, which had outdated benches. I want to tell you that these benches are very stable and a real bargain. The benches cost precisely $100.00 each using the bill of materials and pressure treated wood. The bill of materials, with careful cutting, using a Chop saw, resulted in almost no scrap wood if carefully measured and cut. The plans are terrific and the benches are great platforms for bench-rest shooting. I made only one modification — I left a 6″ wing on both sides of the table to mount a spotting scope. Further we added a base of dry QuickCrete or similar fast setting concrete mix material. Add it dry, make sure the table is level and fill in the 6″ hole. The hole and QuickCrete add maximum stability. The QuickCrete sucks moisture from the ground, hardens in situ, and adds stability to the bench.

I can’t recommend this design highly enough. It is dirt cheap for clubs on a budget, goes together quickly, the table is very stable and there is no waste if you make precise measurements and cuts. A bag of QuickCrete is enough for two tables adding about $2.00 to the cost of each table. We plan on building new tables for the whole club for under $1000. After about a year, with a completely water-free wood in the bench I recommend a coat of Thompson’s Water Seal and these benches should last a long time.”

Heavy Wood Bench That Converts to Three Sections for Transport
In addition to the fourteen benches mentioned above, here is an interesting break-down bench design. Call it a “semi-portable” bench. The legs and frame are made from stout 4×4 post segments so the bench is fairly heavy. However, this bench can break down into three (3) sections for easier transport to and from the range. Dado-cut channels assure proper top alignment. This might be a good choice if you plan a multi-day excursion to a location without fixed benches. This three-leg bench design can be made from easy-to-locate materials. Note: The dimensions of this bench are are larger than typical fixed benches to accommodate 50 BMGs and other big rifles. CLICK HERE for more details.

FREE shooting Bench Plans

Do you like the bench in the illustration at the beginning of this story (top right)? This is a prototype design by Chris Byrne of the Anarchangel Blog. For more details, CLICK HERE.

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