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I am looking to begin planning a workshop project. I had posted this on the interim board just before we switched to this system. Don't think anyone had a chance to see or respond. If so, would very much appreciate a repost of any responses....

First, I'm not looking to be a weekend gunsmith. Was just hoping some of you wouldn't mind sharing some pics of your workspaces, workshops and/or workbenches for ideas on best layout for general maintenance as well as reloading, particularly for how you've maximized space in laying out your mounted equipmemnt. Also looking for input on what you consider must have bench tools (I have most of the basic stuff for loading and maintence etc), anyhting out of the ordinary that you have found useful. Additionally interested in power, lighting security and storage for easy access at the bench etc. Basically any tips or ideas you have.

So lay it on me. I haven't seen any thread cover this before. Perhaps could be useful for others out there considering the same. I'm sure there are some great designs and ideas out there.

Thanks all,
RP
 

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I've had good results from clamping my reloading press to the bench top. That way I can remove it when I'm working on something big. I use two C-clamps. I have narrow shelves at the back of the bench to hold dies, brass and bullets.

CDFingers
 

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Here are six photos of what I came up with. Plan your lighting early on. I went with lots of fluorescents, directly over the benches. Height of bench should be the same height as the top of your belt buckle. I used a white Formica work surface; true, it does show scratches and stains, but it also denies hiding places to pins and springs. Glare hasn't been an issue to date (25 years down the road). You can clean it quickly with Windex and a paper towel. In pictures 2,3,4,5, note the power strip along the back of the bench. I just used some cheap 1" x 8" pine boards and inlet six (yes, SIX) power outlets. Can't have too many! The top of the power strip enclosure makes a little raised shelf for stuff. Width of work surface, exclusive of the space taken up by the power strip, is 30 inches. Everything to do with this bench is heavy duty. I way 'overbuilt' it. Picture 6: don't forget the bookshelf. If houseflies in your gun room are a problem, put up a photo of your Mother-in-Law (see picture 1).
 

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jimlay: Very nice workshop reloading setup. That looks like a stack of lead ingots under the book case . Just curious as to where you cast you bullets, in the carport or outside. How do you have your casting area set up?
 

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Yup, those are wheel weight ingots. In the summer time, I melt down wheel weights in the garage with all doors wide open. The fumes and crap blow away immediately. I then take the clean metal ingots up to the gun room and do my bullet casting up there. I just put a square of plywood down on the bench top and feed ingots into the old Lyman XX pot. I flux with old candle stubs and can open the windows a bit without losing too much heat, if need be, but generally there's no need to do that. I do have some pure lead ingots too; I stamp those with an "L" stamp so I can keep them apart from the wheel weight ingots. I use pure lead for black powder, and wheel weight metal for everything else. I don't mess with super high velocities so this has worked beautifully for many years. I have cast everything from a 50 grain .25 ACP bullet up to the old Lyman #457125 HP 500 grain monster. When not in use, all the casting gear stows in out-of-the-way corners.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Great stuff Gents.
Jimlay - exactly what I'm looking for. Keep it coming. Great thread.

RP
 

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Jimlay.... nice Snark!!
 

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Jimmy C, if you are talking about the missile model up on the shelf, that is a Regulus I. My dad had command of the USS HELENA (CA-75) back in the early 60s and she was one of the first ships to have it.
 

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Man I guess I should put my glasses on .... I love those official desk top models. Very nice.
 

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Entirely too neat Jim. It may look disorganized but I've built a dozen rifles and carved close to 100 decoys down here. It's an old farm house so I work with what I have.
 

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Really nice, reddog! And I'll bet you'd know instantly if so much as a dust mote was out of place. I'll admit to being anal about some stuff, but my gun room isn't as neat as I'd like because it has been commandeered as a storage room for boxes among other things. I have another "workbench" in there, but I've never had occasion to use it for its intended purpose, however - in keeping with the Boy Scout Motto... Be Prepared...
 

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Don`t the stirrups belong under the saddle ???....

Oh. OB/gyn stirrups ..

Hey, all in all , nice workbenches.. I got by with a Homak 3 drawer bench , with a home made cubbyhole/ shelf unit on top , for many years. Lighting is by far the key thing to consider.

I put a 3 foot flourescent under the shelf unit , about 16 inches above the benchtop.

The shelves came out about 10 inches from the back of the bench.

Funny side story- I built my bench up while I was living off post at Ft Knox. Used it for reloading , and gun tinkering. I got rotated to Korea , came back after my year , and all my kids ( 6 and 4 years old , then ) broken toys had made it up onto the bench , waiting to be fixed , when I got back.

Gotta love kids !

cevgunner
 

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RP

I just bought a Home Depot work bench and replaced the top with Butcher block maple. Its solid and has plenty of storage. The wood top allows for firearm and reloading.

Its quick and simple.
 

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Somewhere in NE PA are a couple of little towns that have military weapons on display.

One has a Snark, and the other one has a Regulus I.

Good Luck,

dominicfortune00
 
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