Cheap Tips and Tricks for Dillon 550B and XL650 Presses Organize Your Workspace: Many of us aren't fortunate enough to have the space for a really large bench. Therefore, we must learn to organize our area so that we can use it efficiently. My reloading bench is a modified desk that I added a reinforced 6' x 2' top on to. Over the double 1" thick surface plywood top, I added a piece of 1/8" Masonite to give the top a smooth surface and edges a clean look. It's nailed on so that I can replace it if it gets torn up. In this space I've reloaded in excess of 170,000 rds over the last 15+ years; first learning on a 550B and then later upgrading to an XL650 with casefeeder. Throughout all that time I've thoroughly enjoyed reloading in part because I customized my setup to work efficiently and effectively for my needs. I never thought I was cramped as I've kept things picked up so I could work efficiently. (My reloading area is in our finished basement and the wife has stated in no uncertain terms, "It's kept clean or it's gone!") I have a stereo to the left that plays very softly in the background and on the right is a storeroom with many of my supplies. Behind the sliding doors in the entertainment cabinet is a TV that's never on when I reload. My Current 650 w/Casefeeder Setup: My Previous 55B Setup: Bullet Tray & Wrench Holder: Rather than buying Dillon's fixed bullet tray, I needed one that was removable so I could also use my space to clean my firearms, it had to hold a fair amount of bullets, and I wanted it to be cheap. A 550B/XL650 Akro bin is both the perfect size and removable so I decided to make it my baseline. It works with the Strong Mount stand which I highly recommend for your press. You'll have all the materials on hand for the 550B so cost is $0, the XL650's cost was minimal. 550B: Start with the 550B bench mounted Ejected Cartridge Chute Bracket (aluminum) that came with your press to hold the bin off your bench if you don't have a Strong Mount. Cut the structure off the back, leaving just the face that the bin connects to and drill a couple of mounting holes in it. A 7" long 2x4 cut at the angle of the Strong Mount leg is lag bolted to the Strong Mount from inside leg using existing holes. The bin bracket is screwed to front of wood and holes are drilled for the allen wrenches behind. Spray it flat black and you're GTG and best of all it's free. XL650: Buy a Finished Bullet Bracket from 550B Strong Mount set from Dillon (call them and ask for a 550B Strong Mount Finished Bullet Bracket as well as the bolts and nuts to mount it to the Strongmount). Mark and drill two holes in your left Strong Mount leg so that the top will be square as shown below and then attach it. The tool holder is a simply a 6" long piece of 2x4 that's cut at the same angle as the leg so it sits square on the Strong Mount , lag bolted from inside the leg. Drill into top for allen wrenches (I got a ball end set on sale at Harbor Freight for $6 because they are easier to use than the supplied set and picked out the sizes I needed). Add finishing nails to the front to hold some open end box wrenches sized to fit the various dies and nuts on the press (I got a set on sale at Harbor Freight for $7 and picked out the sizes I needed). I also added a nail on the back for Dillon's bench wrench. Finally, spray it flat black and you're GTG. It's more convenient that Dillon's tool holder which mounts behind the press where it's hard to reach, it also holds both Dillon's Bench Wrench and some open end box wrenches that the Dillon unit doesn't, and it's cheaper. 550B and XL650 Toolhead Die Lock Rings: I mount all my dies, even the Lee die sets using Dillon's special 1" die lock rings (I buy them in the 5 lock ring sets) as it allows me to use both Dillon's wrench and more importantly, a 1" deep well socket I have on a short breaker bar. The socket makes quick work of tightening my dies as it fits right over the top of them. Some of my dies and/or trim dies don't have enough threads showing on top to lock them correctly. When that happens, I just install the lock Ring on the underside of the toolhead. Locking the die from the bottom works just as well as on top. Press Center LED Light: Even with a bench mounted light, the Shellplate is not lit very well to see down into the cases. I recently added a center light that does wonders. An auto LED brake light fixed to a 20ga shotgun hull and slipped into the center hole of either your 550B or XL650's Toolhead will light up the Shellplate perfectly. Then I mounted a switch on the press on the back of the wooden allen wrench holder I mentioned above in a hollowed out wooden support to electrically isolate it from the press. (I removed the allen wrenches so you could see it better.) I mounted the converter to the press with a Tye-Wrap to keep it out of the way and allow me to run the wire for the light over the top of the Toolhead but with enough slack so that I can pull it out when swapping Toolheads. The LED light and converter are not common as the light only has LEDs on the flat and the converter goes to 12 volts, but I found both on the web from China. Two bulbs and a 110 volt to 12 volt converter cost me $6.21 delivered. Note: some of the new Toolheads have a different size center hole. My new one on the left has a slightly larger hole that will allow the 20ga shotgun hull to drop right through without the added washer I hot glued on. The older Toolhead on the right with the ring around the hole fits the hull perfectly. 550B Primer Actuator Rod Walkout Fix: I noticed that during a long run, my Primer Actuator Rod would sometimes walkout of the housing which caused binding. I fixed the issue by adding a simple rubber band around the aluminum Primer Actuator Rod Housing and rod. This helps keep the actuator rod from walking out of the hole. A drop of oil in hole is a also good idea. 550B Spent Primer Catcher Chute Pivot Pin: I found that the Spent Primer Catcher Pin (p/n 13998) which is simply a cotter pin, is too soft and bends over time impeding the operation of the Spent Primer Catcher Chute (p/n 13899). A simple fix is to replace the cotter pin with a finishing nail the size of the holes, cut about 1/8" longer with the tail bent up a bit. The finishing nail makes a better pivot pin and will last forever without hanging up the chute. Primer Follower Trim Piece: To add a bit of 'bling' as well as making it easier to grasp, an empty .45acp or 45 Colt case you picked up from the range will fit on the head of the primer follower rod perfectly. Gives it a bit more weight, it's easy to grab, and it looks good too. I used a 45 Colt case.