Approach the Bench
January 04, 2011
Be more efficient with an organized workspace.
I'm sure there isn't a soul among us whose Mom hasn't yelled at us to put away our toys. I'm not your mother, but if you want to keep your bench organized--and you should--I'm here to tell you the same thing.
Without a doubt, shell holders are the biggest detriment to a neat bench. They're small, roll around, look pretty much alike and most of us have lots of them. The best solution is a rack of some kind, and RCBS has a new one that will keep 24 holders. If you don't want to go the rack route, keep the ones you don't use often in a drawer of the toolbox on the loading bench.
A small machinists tool box is a great way to organize a loading bench. These used to be quite expensive, but I've seen some attractive imports in big box stores at very reasonable prices.
Our benches are always going to have some assorted small tools that we need frequently like those small hex wrenches for die lock rings, and we always need a little screwdriver. What I've done is simply drill a few holes in the bench top for those necessities. They're right there but out of the way.
Dillon also has come up with a handy rack that fits in the same holes as the press and provides storage for everything you need to work on the 550B.
Even though we try to minimize the stuff that stays on the bench all the time, there are a few items that we use so often that putting them up is really just a waste of time. For me this is stuff like case lube, a can of air for blowing off dust and the odd grain of powder, a few tools, case neck brushes, the cans of powder in use at the time, and a container for spent primers (my way of keeping score 'cause when it's full I know I've loaded a bunch of ammo).