Mounting Your Tools
By now you should have a robustly constructed bench with solidly mounted presses installed in an ergonomically fashion providing many stress free hours of operation so it’s time to move on to the next area of creating your own Ultimate Reloading Bench, the mounting of your tools. Depending on the types of handloading you perform you may have many supporting tools that facilitate your process(es). I’m of course speaking of supporting items like vices, trimmers, swagers, etc. which should also be given as much careful thought when mounting as was given to your presses. You should lay everything out prior to turning single screw to check for clearances, interference free operation and maintenance, and of course ergonomics. I spend as much time on the supporting tools as I do on the actual presses, and probably more so being able to comfortably operate them without stress is paramount. If you have more tools than bench area you might consider creating a modular system that allows for the different tools to be locked into place and then interchanged as required. Lee Precision makes such a system for their presses that they call their Bench Plate. The Bench Plate is intended for switching out presses but being of the mindset that you should be able to do chin-ups on your press without any movement, I’d give this a pass for press mounting and use it for tooling where space is limited.
Notice that these items are not mounted squarely allowing me to use them in a natural neutral position that doesn’t induce stress. I can, and have, prepped hundreds of 308 cases and swaged thousands of 5.56 cases in a single sitting without fatigue. Since I prefer to stand while handloading my legs are usually the limiting factor, otherwise I queue up the podcasts on my phone and go to town.
And per my normal modus operandi, everything should be securely fastened to the bench top to prevent movement of any sort.