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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Update:click here for finished product :D

I'm planning on building new benches/cabinets/countertop from scratch for my reloading room and then getting a Spolar. I currently have two manual MEC 9000s (28ga and 410), but my available area is somewhat small, so having one machine that does multiple gauges is desirable. I also load a ton of shells, so the increased speed will be welcome.

Anyways, those of you that have Spolars, if you were building from-scratch benches to put it on, is there anything specific you'd do, or is there anything you wish was different about your current arrangement? Unfortunately, I can't get the machine first, and I don't want to end up doing something I regret later. I also don't know anyone nearby that has one. I emailed Spolar about the required dimensions (table depth, headroom, table top thickness for hydraulics, etc), but if anyone has such information they'd like to share, I'm all ears. For example, if I wanted wall cabinets above the machine, how high off the table top would they need to be and how far out could they extend without interfering with working on the machine? Stuff like that.

I've also read a lot of threads about the Spolar hydraulic system vs the PW electric drive. I didn't fully understand some of the pros/cons that were mentioned, but I think I'm leaning towards the hydraulic system at this point unless someone can convince me otherwise.
 

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I have a Spolar that I use for 12, 20 and 28 ga loads. And, I love it! I also built my bench. Here's my two cents worth ... (1) Call Spolar and get the footprint template used to locate the machine on your bench top. This will help you locate holes, back-up structure, etc. (2) Build it sturdy ... Mine has a 1.5" thick plywood top and 4X4 fir legs and framing. (3) Make it big enough to do the job with ample room on each side and in back. Mine is 96" X 30". Deterine a height that will allow you to load either sitting or standing. This dimension depends on your personal preference. Mine in 35.5" high.

I use mine manually. But, I plan to add a hydraulic unit soon. And, I will buy the Spolar. It is made for your machine and you are unlikely to get better service from anyone.

By the time you buy the machine, the gauge conversions, building materials, hydraulics, etc., you will have a lot invested. Don't "scrimp"!

Enjoy it ... for a long, long time!
 

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I couldn't tell you what happened to them, they were there the other day.
 

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The table dimensions are 30"x 60"x 1 3/4" maple tops at 34" height, 24"x 36" is as small as you want to go, gives you room for your wads and hulls on each side of the reloader also with a 24" deep table the hoses just go over the back of the table not through it. The loader stands 32" tall so you want to give yourself clearance to put powder and shot in the bottles need about 10". You want to mount the reloader 1 1/2" from the front of the table.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Diddle said:
I have a Spolar that I use for 12, 20 and 28 ga loads. And, I love it! I also built my bench. Here's my two cents worth ... (1) Call Spolar and get the footprint template used to locate the machine on your bench top. This will help you locate holes, back-up structure, etc. (2) Build it sturdy ... Mine has a 1.5" thick plywood top and 4X4 fir legs and framing. (3) Make it big enough to do the job with ample room on each side and in back. Mine is 96" X 30". Deterine a height that will allow you to load either sitting or standing. This dimension depends on your personal preference. Mine in 35.5" high.

I use mine manually. But, I plan to add a hydraulic unit soon. And, I will buy the Spolar. It is made for your machine and you are unlikely to get better service from anyone.

By the time you buy the machine, the gauge conversions, building materials, hydraulics, etc., you will have a lot invested. Don't "scrimp"!

Enjoy it ... for a long, long time!
Thanks for the info. I'll order the footprint template right away. What about headroom? How high above the table top and how far back from the edge of the table would an overhead wall cabinet or shelf unit need to be to not interfere with using or working on the press and still be able to access the cabinet/shelves? I'm pretty tall...I'm the guy who can reach back into those recessed cabinets that are always above the fridge in the kitchen :lol:
 

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My Spolar is built with 4"x4" douglas fir,I put a slight flair on the legs and also used a 4"x4" as a stetcher on each leg.This gives great stability to the table.My table sits exactly 2' from the floor to the
top of the table,this way I can sit back in my easy task chair and tip back if necessary.You want to add and electrical strip [breaker type] with the multiple connections on it.A handy tip to add is a 3' magnetic bar,that you can screw to the table,Harbor Freight sells them for about 7 bucks,this will hold your tools
and parts when you clean them,so you don't loose them.I built mine about 1983 and it has served me well for different loaders along the way.
 

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When we remodeled our house and replaced all the kitchen cabinets, I put the old cabinets in my reloading room and went to Home Depot and bought a one piece laminated counter top. I put my Spolar on this and it is as solid as you can get. I also hung some of the old cabinets above and behind the Spolar.

The hydraulic pump is in the doorless cabinet directly below the loader.

The hydraulic lines come up through the counter top and the shells drop don through a hole in the counter top to a bucket underneath.

The floor and overhead cabinets give me lots of storage space for components, tools, etc. Even if you don't have any old kitchen cabinets just laying around gathering dust, you can find some cheap ones at stores like Home Depot, Lowes, etc.
 

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I built my benches very economically with 2x6, 4x4 and 3/4 inch plywood.

I used 2x4 for bottom shelving of 2x6.

I went to Home Depot with drawings and had them make almost all cuts there and just came home and assembled. One bench is 6' the other 8'. 2x6 covered with 3/4 plywood on 4x4 legs is very solid.

Love my Spolar by the way. Kept my 12 ga 9000G for specialty loads.

 

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KennyPowers said:
Thanks for the pictures. What's the depth of your countertop from the wall, and how deep are the wall cabinets and how high off the countertop are the ones behind the reloader?
My 10 foot counter top with built in splash guard is 25 1/2 inches deep. The wall cabinets are 12 inches deep. The wall cabinet directly behind the loader is 32 1/2 inches above the counter top.
 

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A follow up ... I don't recall the exact details, but ... the Spolar template shows the location of the hole in your bench top when the loaded shells fall through. The location is correct but, IIRC, the size of the hole is a smigen small. Buy your 4"-to-3" PVC adapter and measure the OD of the small end and cut your hole to match. My adapter may have been bigger than it was supposed to be but just a heads up.
 

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KennyPowers said:
Diddle said:
I have a Spolar that I use for 12, 20 and 28 ga loads. And, I love it! I also built my bench. Here's my two cents worth ... (1) Call Spolar and get the footprint template used to locate the machine on your bench top. This will help you locate holes, back-up structure, etc. (2) Build it sturdy ... Mine has a 1.5" thick plywood top and 4X4 fir legs and framing. (3) Make it big enough to do the job with ample room on each side and in back. Mine is 96" X 30". Deterine a height that will allow you to load either sitting or standing. This dimension depends on your personal preference. Mine in 35.5" high.

I use mine manually. But, I plan to add a hydraulic unit soon. And, I will buy the Spolar. It is made for your machine and you are unlikely to get better service from anyone.

By the time you buy the machine, the gauge conversions, building materials, hydraulics, etc., you will have a lot invested. Don't "scrimp"!

Enjoy it ... for a long, long time!
Thanks for the info. I'll order the footprint template right away. What about headroom? How high above the table top and how far back from the edge of the table would an overhead wall cabinet or shelf unit need to be to not interfere with using or working on the press and still be able to access the cabinet/shelves? I'm pretty tall...I'm the guy who can reach back into those recessed cabinets that are always above the fridge in the kitchen :lol:
The top of my shot bottle is 31.5" above the bench top. You'd need some extra room to install and remove the cap if you had overhanging cabinets. The primer tray (closed) extends back 23" from the front of the bench -- open, it extends back 34". Per Spolar's template, my machine sets back 1.5" from the edge of the bench to the base plate of the reloader. I have mine set up where I can walk around the loading bench. If you have the room, I'd suggest you consider that.
 

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Kenny, I have one of the older models and I need 34" for depth( and don't have it) so I can open the primer tray top all the way to load it easily. The newer ones have pins so you can take the primer tray lid off to load. I need to see if I can upgrade mine. Cut a hole in the top of the table for the shells to fall through. I didn't look at all of the trapshooters comments but I am sure they covered that. I just drop the finished shell into a large plastic tub and then take them out and dump them into 2 gallon icing buckets I get from a grocery store bakery. They work well and are free for the taking.

I have the Ponsness Warren Auto-Drive on mine with a foot pedal (wired passed the Attorney switch on the control box - got the instructions from the manager at PW). It runs the same speed as the hydraulic. I upgraded my station 1 shell holder with the new magnetic ones and they make loading fast more trouble free.

 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I went and measured the room and came up with the following top-down dimensions for the countertop. This is going in one corner of what is also our laundry room (this is maybe the top 2/3rds of the room...laundry machines and existing built-in cabinets are along the bottom wall that isn't pictured):

Click here for diagram

I went with 28" deep counters because 30" was too big for the room and Spolar's table is 28" deep. I'm planning on a counter height of 36". The counter top will be formica over 1.5" thick plywood with a raised wood lip all the way around. There will be base cabinets/drawers everywhere under the counter except directly under the reloader where my legs (if I'm sitting) and the hydro pedal will be. I'll span that gap with a recessed shelf for the hydraulic pump similar to Spolar's table (what are the dimensions of the pump by the way?).

So, I can't design what's under the counter until I know where the press will go, and I still haven't decided whether I want it on the top arm of the 'L' shaped counter or on the right. I want plenty of extra counter space for gun cleaning and stuff like that too. Given what I've read so far, both spots seem like they'd be adequate for the press. Where would you guys put it?
 

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I would NOT put it next to the door.
 

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I would center it about 2 1/2 feet from the bottom wall.
 

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Here's my set up 3" hole through the table, with a pvc 1 1/4" 45* slip fit elbow painted with flat black paint, just pressed on no glue. had to many issues with steel based hulls bouncing out the back of the 3x4 reducer.


I put my Pump under my shelf on the ground, hydro is appx 24"L x 12"W x 11"H mounted on a board, give more room for supplies on the shelf, don't store shot on the shelf it will bend.
 
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