I wanted to create a portable reloading press stand that I could mount my full-size RCBS Rockchucker Press or smaller RCBS Partner Press to. The plans I came up with were simple to build, used easy to find materials, and the finished product has worked exactly like I was hoping. The stand is very strong and stiff, which is critical when designing a reloading press mount. It is ergonomic and natural to use on either a table top or a work bench surface. I just use one or two Irwin Quick-Grip Clamps to hold it securely to the surface. The stand has ”window cutouts” at the bottom of the sides and back of the press, which allow you to slide in a clamp jaw.
When making mine, I walked around the Lowe’s (a local hardware store) looking for thick, quality pieces of wood to use for this and discovered stair treads are typically very thick (a full 1″), made from tough woods, high quality, and very affordable. I was able to cut all of the wooden pieces I needed from a single, $19 red oak stair tread. The dimensions of stair tread I used were 36″ long, 11.5″ deep, and 1″ thick (unlike most lumber these were actual measured dimensions). The stair tread I bought had a rounded lip on one side, but it really doesn’t matter if it does or doesn’t if you simply cut from the flat side like shown below.
The sides are the most complex part, because I wanted the top plate to be angle slightly backwards. This makes it more ergonomic and natural to use the press when it is just sitting on a table top or work bench, and also allowed the top plate to be slightly shorter and still give the press adequate clearance for a full lever pull/ram stroke. Here is a more detailed cutout diagram for the sides:
While designing the reloading press stand, I made sure it would accomodate RCBS’s full-size Rockchucker Press, as well as their smaller and more portable Partner Press. You would just vary the mounting template you used to drill the holes on the top plate of the stand to accomodate the Rockchucker, Partner Press, or likely any of the other popular reloading presses out there. Click on the drawing below for a printable mounting template for RCBS reloading presses, or view my post that includes the full list of dimensions for RCBS reloading presses.
Here is the finished product. You can see I used bolts to connect the angle iron with the top plate and sides. In addition to the parts shown, I also attached 2 Simpson Strong Ties on each side of the press for added strength. This portable reloading press stand is built like a tank and I’m sure will last a lot longer than I will.
Building for Other (Non-RCBS) Presses
These plans were designed to accomodate an RCBS press, but if you are planning to use other types of presses you may need to vary the height of sides to ensure you have adequate clearance for a full stroke. Don’t worry, it is easy to measure. You can see in the photo below the RCBS Rockchucker Press requires around 8.5″ of depth for a full stroke. If your ram has a deeper stroke than that, just extend the sides by whatever additional depth you need. For example, if your press requires 10″ of clearance, that’s a difference of 1.5″ … so just make both sides 1.5″ taller.