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Old July 23, 2014, 03:38 PM   #1
Peter M. Eick
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Starting completely over from Scratch (new reloading area)

I am contemplating a complete new start from scratch reloading, work on my guns, shop area. I have the land, I have the money (or could have when I get around to it) but I am faced with a choice. I can either squeeze into a small space in a new home or build a shop. I am leaning toward the shop as it just simplifies everything. No more squeezing the safes into small places and gaps. No more dealing with laundry and other stuff in the reloading/gun room.

So, my question to you all is what are the key things you would do if you were building a shop for only the shooting stuff?

I came up with (just off the top of the head):

Concrete slab floor.
Brick/rock walls with metal roof and fire suppression system.
Full Security system
Industrial doors and possibly one large width door for access.
Plenty of lighting
AC (I am in Texas you know, it gets bloody hot here in the summer)
One wall of industrial shelves for supplies
Separate powder magazine
Great lighting and lots of power access points
One full wall with thick reloading bench and work area.
Central "island" type bench for cleaning guns and working on them.
Bullet casting area and vents to outside.

What else would you do?
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Old July 23, 2014, 04:33 PM   #2
spitballer
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Didn't leave much room for improvement! Let's see... maybe a Barnes poster with current cartridges on the wall. Have fun!
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Old July 23, 2014, 04:36 PM   #3
bodam
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I gotta have music while I reload
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Old July 23, 2014, 04:41 PM   #4
moxie
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Peter,

Looks like the dream reloading shop.

Recommend insulation of walls and ceiling. Also you'll need heat as it gets cold in Houston too. If it's not comfy you won't want to work out there.
If you have the room a toilet and sink. And a fridge.
Separate powder mag could be a problem, unless by separate you mean physically separate from your shop. You should be able to store up to 50 lbs. in the shop using the residential guidelines of DOT. See: http://www.saami.org/specifications_...ess_Powder.pdf
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Old July 23, 2014, 04:44 PM   #5
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How about a bench that spans the whole length of one of the walls sporting a 3/4" or 1" thick top.
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Old July 23, 2014, 04:54 PM   #6
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A full bar and a big flat screen TV. Think man cave meets reloading room/arsenal.
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Old July 23, 2014, 05:19 PM   #7
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Without question, a TV, carpeted area to have an easy chair so you can watch the TV and take a nap. Copy on the fridge, I have one full of diet Pepsi a few steps from my bench. If you can do the bathroom that's a plus (shower, if possible)
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Old July 23, 2014, 05:30 PM   #8
cfullgraf
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Last year I put up a 30'x30' shop made by Morton Buildings. Well insulated, well lit, lots of power (200 amp service), one wall is basically a door although you probably don't need a door that large.

It has it's own HVAC and stays cool in summer, warm in winter.

It would make a great reloading room/gunsmith shop.

Then, fill it with all the comforts of home.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Shop.pdf (772.1 KB, 134 views)
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Last edited by cfullgraf; July 23, 2014 at 09:20 PM. Reason: Added photo
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Old July 23, 2014, 06:30 PM   #9
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A dehumidifier, bathroom, fridge, twin bed, 2 burner hot plate and a toaster oven. Now there's no reason to leave.
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Old July 23, 2014, 06:47 PM   #10
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If you're going to be building a separate shop, you're really going to want running water to clean up. If you have running water and sewer already, you mind as well put in a urinal...unless you like to "sit."

The fridge makes complete sense as does a TV and DVD/computer to stream software while working on guns/equipment. You'll also need a coffee maker and a microwave

Depending on your local codes, I'd give serious consideration to a unloading barrel...for test firing. If you have the room/backstop, you might consider a area for choreographing loads
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Old July 23, 2014, 10:58 PM   #11
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My wife would change the locks on the house if i built a shop/reloading/man cave like described here!

I would love it...but I'd be forced to move to an area that would have more "open" code allowances!

If you can make it happen...GO FOR IT! Show us how it goes.

Mark
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Old July 24, 2014, 12:12 AM   #12
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Quote:
put in a urinal....unless you like to "sit".
LMAO!


Am I first to say stay in the house and cram your stuff into the nooks and crannies? I like to be close to the family.YMMV
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Old July 24, 2014, 12:21 AM   #13
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Sounds like a dream shop! I am preparing to start building a new shop myself. I would love to have such a place! I have plenty of room on 6.25 ac, but telling my wife that I'm building a shop to house my reloading/ gun smithing/cleaning, and it will cost $10k+ would be my death! LOL! She loves shooting as it's her hobby also, but that would be going too far without spending $10k+ on her kitchen or new hardwoods!

My plan is to build a 12x16 building with a wood floor. More or less a big storage shed. Both 16ft walls would have a wall length bench, and the entrance door would be on the front 12ft wall. Install a HVAC unit like you see in a school trailer (I have access to these dirt cheap) on back wall. 8ft celeings, and cabinets above the bench. My benches are all 36" deep so I would have plenty of room for cabinets above the bench to clear the Dillon presses. Security system, and reinforced door & jams would be a must. My biggest problem is finding the time to get started!
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Old July 24, 2014, 07:38 AM   #14
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Separate shop, running water with a bathroom and a separate big wash sink in the shop area. A window unit to cool things down. You can get them with heat built in. A lounge around area. It will be like a gun safe, build bigger than you think you need.
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Old July 24, 2014, 08:06 AM   #15
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I am with potatohead on this one. It is just me and the bride at home now after 41 years. I would not like to have to go outside to my reloading/gun area. I like to be around my wife and go back and forth between my stuff and things like food. I dont want to isloate myself, only so much time left anyway. I dont have the guys over so my cave isnt a big hang out. I also have a work out area in mine so I can do some bench cleaning in between sets of lifting. I understand if there are little kids around and it needs to be kept separate. I had a really small space when the kids were little and put everthing up each time after use. It didnt kill me. Sounds like a nice shop though and I am a shop guy!
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Old July 24, 2014, 03:27 PM   #16
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Oh, don't forget the sweet, young gun babe as an assistant. However, if you already have a partner in life and shooting, forget that or you may end up on the wrong side of one of your guns or at least have both, a lot less money for your hobby after the divorce and a lot more time for your hobby.

Four points on the serious side:

Floor: The concrete floor is highly desirable but maybe cover it with a floating laminate floor in more or less solid color on the lighter side. Works well to further reduce moisture seepage through the concrete when installed correctly with the plastic style moisture barrier, the thermal insulation it provides, and makes it easier on the feet/legs as it tends to give a little. Also, makes it real easy to hear when and where things fall and hit the floor; you know like primers, springs, pins, screws, etc. The color selection helps with finding dropped parts and things and brightens the work area while enlarging one's perception of the area.

Lighting: Go totally with LED. I know florescent produces great, low cost lighting with very little shadows but, it messes with the electronic powder scales, is fatiguing to the eyes and does have a strobe effect** as in stop-motion effect on rotating equipment unless multi-phase power is available which is not typically available to residential properties. Besides fixed lighting on the ceiling, use adjustable style track lighting over your benches along with flexible armed LED lights in the vicinity of where your presses will be located. I have seen some flexible goosenecks that will attach to track lighting tracks. Just make sure the length of the lighting necks are long enough to get close down to the work, like 4-6" from the case neck to easily see case powder levels, measurements, etc. They cannot be too long as they can be pushed up out of the way.

HVAC: The heat and air will keep the humidity down but you may want to have a small dehumidifier for those few months where the temps are mild enough to avoid running HVAC system. It also allows you to not have to run HVAC or at least minimize its use when you are not using the shop.

Plenty of cabinetry especially over your benches. Making them lockable will enhance your security system. I use castored tool cabinets as sold by Sears, Lowes/Home Depot and even Harbor Freight also. These are all lockable. You can never have too much storage.

**Some LED's also have a strobe effect, typically the cheapest and earliest lights produced are the worst. The technology is available to eliminate the strobe effect by using the correct light drivers but in the rush to get the LED lights out on the market, the simplest and cheapest drivers were typically used. There are newer LED's that don't strobe.

Forgive the long windedness, but the engineer in me really makes the shortcomings of my reloading area stand out. If I could do it again, I sure would use your criterion with the four enhancements I've provided above.
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Old July 24, 2014, 03:37 PM   #17
Peter M. Eick
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To fill in on the details, I am in the process of buying a ranch where I will have space to shoot (in theory) but at minimum I will have space to build what I want. So this is now a clean slate build for my hobby.

Insulation is a must, thanks for that.
Water, sinks, bathroom all are good and easy to add as the building will be near the well and septic.
TV and other stuff like that are a no for me. When I work on the my hobby, I want no distractions so no radio or anything. Too many risks (for me) of distraction so this space will be for reloading, cleaning and storing the guns. Nothing else.

The external powder mag will be down in the garage that way I can have 2X the legal storage limits outside the home. I should have elaborated on that.

I want to build the shop as the wife complains about the smell of cleaning chemicals. So it will have to be a separate space solely for this purpose.

I was going to central air it over wall AC. I am worried the wall AC just wont keep up the cool. I was thinking a Mitsubishi type unit like I see internationally where they have the compressor outside and just a linear fan in a box inside.

I like the shop you suggested in the shop.pdf. That is along the lines but the rest of the place is build with stone. To fit in I will have to have the side walls be stones just to look right.

The suggestion of a full length bench of 1" thick boards is a good one. That I will do.

I will make sure I have an internet link to my WIFI there or a repeater. Too many times I want to run online and double check a load or verify some data while loading.

Now the second question. Should I put a shooting port on the building and make it my shooting spot also?

I see pro's and con's. On the pro side, it will make testing loads easy as I could leave the choro up permanently. It would be easy, I have the space and while I am still working the details, I believe it to be legal.

On the con side, I don't think the wife will like the noise. I worry about the security and safety of any sort of shooting port. I worry about the noise inside from a revolver and then you have the issue of lead and smoke in a confined space.

These are big concerns so I think it would be easier just to build an awning over a shooting bench for rifle and then pistol I will just pour a pad and build up a berm so I can get my brass back easy. Wow that is a concept. The idea of just sweeping up the pad and get all of my brass back easily.

Thanks for the suggestions any other ideas?
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Old July 24, 2014, 03:51 PM   #18
9mmepiphany
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Quote:
I was going to central air it over wall AC. I am worried the wall AC just wont keep up the cool. I was thinking a Mitsubishi type unit like I see internationally where they have the compressor outside and just a linear fan in a box inside.
The mini-split systems are a great way to go.

They really cool well, have a highly controllable draft and are very energy efficient
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Old July 24, 2014, 04:02 PM   #19
Peter M. Eick
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I agree, they are very controllable and energy efficient. I wonder why they are not common here in the states. Southest Asia, middle east, Australia. Very common and easy to use. Much better than the conventional systems in most hotels or homes I think.

Pretty quick I will have to get a sketch pad out and start draft it up for a builder. I will need to get started on it maybe this spring.
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Old July 24, 2014, 04:16 PM   #20
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Solar panels?
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Old July 24, 2014, 04:17 PM   #21
9mmepiphany
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I wonder why they are not common here in the states.
Most homes are too large, interior volume, to make a mini-split efficient.

I thought about adding one to cool the two hottest rooms (200 square feet; 2k cubic feet/ each in my home (two home offices), but I wouldn't want to try cooling the whole 4k sq ft with it
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Old July 24, 2014, 05:33 PM   #22
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I am looking at a mini split unit for the tack/feed/lavatory rooms in our riding arena. A fairly small area.

My new shop has a central HVAC unit.
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Old July 24, 2014, 05:46 PM   #23
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I had never heard of the split units until very recently. I have my safe, computer, work/cleaning bench (an old drafting table) two walls of bookcases, my favorite nearly 50 year old easy chair and ottoman, TV, and double door storage closet in a room at the end of the house. It is hot in summer and cold in the winter. It is 20 x 13. It opens into the garage where I have my reloading equipment and supplies. Seems like the split unit might take care of my problem?
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Old July 24, 2014, 09:43 PM   #24
9mmepiphany
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Perfect for it.

I like it around reloading because you have more control over air flow...you can keep it from blowing on your electronic scale and throwing it off...and it doesn't take a much airflow to cool the room
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Old July 25, 2014, 04:37 PM   #25
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I think the fire supression system is a great idea. It's completely underutilized in residential construction but well worth it when you need it.
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