Author Topic: Building a dedicated reloading room  (Read 1987 times)

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Offline Pistolet

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Building a dedicated reloading room
« on: October 07, 2019, 06:58:36 PM »
I am building a reloading and gun cleaning room in my old, drafty, cold and humid in winter, garage. It's not very big (5'X7') but this is all the space I can obtain. Last winter I moved everything into my office and it was a mess. I am starting with a thick layer of plastic covered with cement board and a good layer of thin-set. No more lost primers! The walls and ceiling will be insulated, there will be an electric vent to the outside for those Hoppes and Balistol fumes. The door will lock.
I have a good solid bench covered with 1/2" plywood. Here are my questions:
1 Should I leave the bench top plywood untreated or should I seal it with something?
2 The bench is 43" in height, I am 6'2". Is this a good height if I am using a Dillon 550 with no ultramount?
3 It stays above freezing in California but I need a space heater. I know it's a fire hazard. Would an infrared heater be safer?
4 Do you see any thing else I haven't thought of?



« Last Edit: October 07, 2019, 08:28:44 PM by Pistolet »

Online Earl Keese

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Re: Building a dedicated reloading room
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2019, 08:27:31 PM »
I would at the least add another 1/2" sheet of plywood to the bench top. I use solid core door blanks for my benches, stained w/clear urethane. They've held up great for the past 4-5 years. I'll check the height tomorrow, I use a Hornady LnL w/o ultramount(I'm 6'3").

Offline M1A4ME

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Re: Building a dedicated reloading room
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2019, 07:39:17 AM »
Agree with another layer of plywood.

Will you ever work on a gun on that bench?  If so you might think about a finish that would help you see small parts when they escape your finger tips/frame of the gun.  Shelves/old kitchen type cabinets for component storage, dies, etc. that you won't want on the bench all the time.

Lights.  Bright lights are nice when examining brass, reading a scale, setting up the scale/calibrating, etc. and examining your results as you work through the steps of reloading - or to trouble shoot a problem.

Sufficient outlets to supply power to an extra light, charge up your phone (cellular or a home phone you keep in the reloading room) or for a radio.  I won't have a TV around while reloading but I like some background classic rock.

Get a work bench type adjustable chair/stool so you can fine tune the seat height and back height/distance back from the seat.  Then, if you don't get the bench "perfect" you can use the seat to compensate.

That bench.  Any bench.  You never notice when it's sturdy enough.  You will notice if it's not.
I stopped carrying the SIG 556R.  SIG changed models and couple/three times and stopped supporting it with parts.  So, I stopped supporting SIG.  Back to the tried/true AR15 Carbine.

Online Wobbly

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Re: Building a dedicated reloading room
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2019, 09:58:11 AM »
Hey, congrats! That's a big step.

My thoughts...
• A sheet of coarser plywood under the existing top, OR place a 24x24" sheet locally under the press. Then no matter what, add a third leg in the front middle. You only need to worry about the area around the press; primers and books never stressed a bench !

• Don't discount a Strong Mount (or UltraMount). They sit the press much further back onto the center of the bench top AND spread the load over a MUCH greater area. Without it you get into a lot of localized stress, and thus bending of the front lip of the bench. On your bench it will be easy to shorten the legs to account for the added height. Once you load using one, you'll never want to load again without one.

• Dillon recommends having the op lever ball at shoulder height (when the ram is at bottom) when you are in your normal (sitting or standing) loading position. I like standing to load, and recommend those mats restaurant workers stand on.

• You're going to want to bolt that bench to the studs in the wall behind it. Mark the stud locations or get a "stud finder".

• Consider a dehumidifier, which will keep all your stuff from rusting AND cast off heat. Buy one that can be piped to the outside and simply let it run. You'll be plenty warm in winter, and with the aid of a ceiling fan, be cooler in summer.

• You're going to want more electrical outlets, around you and above you. Putting them in now is much easier than later. Remember, anything that plugs in avoids inspection now, and allows you to upgrade easier in the future.

Hope this helps.
In God we trust; On 'Starting Load' we rely.

Ask me about used Dillon reloading equipment.

Offline SoCal

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Re: Building a dedicated reloading room
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2019, 03:39:35 PM »
No more lost primers!

Won't to bet.  ;D


Lights.  Bright lights

Sufficient outlets

Any bench.  You never notice when it's sturdy enough.  You will notice if it's not.

YES more lights never to much, you can always turn some off, I have converted to LED's and love them.

Good luck and enjoy the process.
If I had known how much better being retired is than working I would have done it FIRST.

Offline Pistolet

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Re: Building a dedicated reloading room
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2019, 04:48:53 PM »
Okay, it's about 90% finished for now. I still need to organize and sort stuff. It's not very big but it's ready for winter. There's a transverse 2X4 right under the press, the bench is solidly screwed to the wall it's not moving but I might add a leg right below it. Strong mount is on the list as well as a cabinet or shelving of some kind. The vise is gone. more lights to come.



Offline SoCal

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Re: Building a dedicated reloading room
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2019, 08:14:11 AM »
Looks great.
If I had known how much better being retired is than working I would have done it FIRST.

Offline Dan_69GTX

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Re: Building a dedicated reloading room
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2019, 08:54:02 AM »
Looks good!  Do you have issues with the scale sitting on the same bench as the press?  I had to move mine off the bench so it didn't get confused and stayed consistent.  Guessing it was due to the vibrations of the press when cycling to adjusting the powder drop.

Some trust in chassis, Some in Horsepower, But we trust in the Lord our God.

If it goes "boom" or "vroom" I'm intersted.

Offline Pistolet

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Re: Building a dedicated reloading room
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2019, 09:25:38 AM »
Looks good!  Do you have issues with the scale sitting on the same bench as the press?  I had to move mine off the bench so it didn't get confused and stayed consistent.  Guessing it was due to the vibrations of the press when cycling to adjusting the powder drop.
I haven't had any issues. I keep a piece of check-weight of 500mg/7.7gr right net to it that I check often. And I like to keep a tray underneath to catch any spillage. The only time my Dillon powder-measure varies is when it sits overnight, then it will drop a couple of tenth more on the first one or two loads.

Offline recoilguy

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Re: Building a dedicated reloading room
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2019, 09:39:12 AM »
That is freakin Awesome!!!!
Nicely played SIR

I am jealous!

RCG
…….It's that you shoot!

Offline Dan_69GTX

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Re: Building a dedicated reloading room
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2019, 09:52:37 AM »
Good to know.  I also have various check weights and it always zeros, it just seems that the vibration from the press operation will affect the results.  So, I just place it on a small table next to the bench and haven't had problems - unless I leave the ceiling fan on.  ::)
Some trust in chassis, Some in Horsepower, But we trust in the Lord our God.

If it goes "boom" or "vroom" I'm intersted.

Offline cdhbrad

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Re: Building a dedicated reloading room
« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2019, 11:30:47 AM »
If you find that you need more outlets at table top level, take a look at one of these:  https://www.ebay.com/itm/BESTEK-Power-Strip-Tower-8-Outlet-and-6-Smart-USB-Charging-Ports-1500-Joules/352779261358?  I re-did an existing room for reloading a couple of years ago and didn't want to change any wiring.  I sit one of these at the far end of my bench and it runs everything I need on the bench top:  two lights on my press, separate LED desk light, two digital scales, etc.  All the USB ports also come in handy to recharge bike lights, computer, anything that gets power through a USB.  Small footprint too.   

Offline Rcher

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Re: Building a dedicated reloading room
« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2019, 03:16:01 PM »
Looks great! What happened with the window on your first photo? Did you decide to get rid of daylight?

I have a workshop attachment to my garage with window and my desk is just opposite it. I use it for all kinds of work, including guns cleaning and maintenance, but I haven't started reloading yet. This location is humid and cold in winter, bad insulation and no centralized heating (it is just +7-10 degrees warmer than outside). When it is really cold I turn on portable heater, but the temperature is rarely higher than 58F.

I might be eventually use my workshop for reloading, but will store powder and other stuff in more dry areas.

Offline Pistolet

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Re: Building a dedicated reloading room
« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2019, 04:48:45 PM »
Looks great! What happened with the window on your first photo? Did you decide to get rid of daylight?

I have a workshop attachment to my garage with window and my desk is just opposite it. I use it for all kinds of work, including guns cleaning and maintenance, but I haven't started reloading yet. This location is humid and cold in winter, bad insulation and no centralized heating (it is just +7-10 degrees warmer than outside). When it is really cold I turn on portable heater, but the temperature is rarely higher than 58F.

I might be eventually use my workshop for reloading, but will store powder and other stuff in more dry areas.
The window is blocked temporarily until I find a used one that opens on a jobsite (I work in construction) and I need shades, the white building across the yard blinds me in the afternoons. It does feel a little claustrophobic though and I might have to fork out a hundred and twenty or more for a new one.
If you can isolate the floor from humidity and  build a couple of walls you will have a much better space.
My reloading room is probably going to keep the rest of the garage from collapsing in the future.

Online Wobbly

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Re: Building a dedicated reloading room
« Reply #14 on: October 15, 2019, 07:01:02 PM »
That is freakin Awesome!!!!
Nicely played SIR

I am jealous!

Seconded ! Seriously nice.


If you find that you need more outlets at table top level, take a look at one of these:   

Here's what I use. You take off the outlet's faceplate, plug this into the outlet, then attach it as if it were a faceplate with the center screw....

GE Outlet Extender
« Last Edit: October 15, 2019, 07:07:26 PM by Wobbly »
In God we trust; On 'Starting Load' we rely.

Ask me about used Dillon reloading equipment.

 

anything