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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Fellow shooters/reloaders,

My wife & I are having a new home built and I will be able to have a "dedicated" gun room of about 12' x 15' dimensions. I'm appealing to all of you for suggestions about things you'd do different in your gun room, ideas for what the "well-stocked" gun room should have, and tips about how to build my "dream" reloading bench.

I look forward to all the great input from this very experienced & savvy group of handloaders. :D

Thanks & good shooting to all,

RetiredRod
 

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If you're planning on staying in the home, I'd love a secure gun closet. I've seen some awsome rooms built with either a vault door or "secret" access panels.
 

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hmmm

Good ventilation.
Good environmentals air and heat
VERY secure entrance and beefed up door frames and doors and walls, ceiling, floor. this can also serve as a "safe" room for bad storms and such... well as long as you don't have 50 lbs of powder and such in it.. :)

A secure box(locking) for powder .

Good lighting, probably good flourescent..

I think I would like my room to have a vault for my weapons, but that would depend on how you beef up the construction around the room, wether it would need it or not.

Most definetly a PC with internet access..

Nice bench, I think i'd stick with wood.. Lots of shelving and cabinet space, how you would do that is personal prefrence i think..

I think i'd seperate my loading bench from my actual work bench i think you have enough room, the benches don't have to be huge..

geez now i'm going to have to think about this some more, maybe i'll redo a room in the house.. :)

Jeff.

PS: was just thinking a Washtub type sink with hot and cold water would be nice to have..
PSS: the electrical for this room should be it's own circuit, maybe two.. with PLENTY of outlets and or Power strips.
 

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My dream is to build a custom home someday for my family. If this happens, I'm building a gun room with special entryway (i.e., separate vault door). It would include a reloading area as well as gun storage. Ventilation and combustible storage are big issues to be considered.

Please send photos of whatever you end up with.
 

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The two most important parts for me is light and space.

I am building a T shaped bench the goes accross the whole back wall. All the machines go against the back portion and the part that sticks out is for cleaning and maint. I am going to cut a hole for cleaning patches and trash to fall in.

Halogen track lighting seems to be the brightest for what I need. I like the option of being able to move them around.

Lots of cabinet space helps.

A good exterior steel door with a good deadbolt to a "secure closet" should keep kids out and honest people honest. If someone wants in, they are going to get in, vault door or not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for all the good ideas. Please keep them coming. I wish I could, but I'm not going to be able to do the "vault door" thing.

Jeff- I am going to have a PC w/internet, and a "janitor-type" sink with H/C water just outside the room.

Tom- Great idea to have a "trash hole" in the bench top to sweep patches, etc.

I'm really trying to come up with a good ventilation system and good lighting. Also looking for good bench designs.

Thanks again guys, and good shooting to all. :)

Rod.
 

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I built a bench and attached it to the wall. The top is 2 pieces of 3/4 plywood the lower is 3/4 cdx the top piece is 3/4 ac then I put cheap Formica over the whole thing for easy cleaning. Under the presses I put steel angle channel supports that the bolts tighten up against under the bench. The supports are 2X4 about 24-36" on center. The back 2X6 is nailed and glued to the block wall. If I were clever I would have gone to Lowe's or Home Depot and bought some cheap cabinets and put them under this bench. I would not use the cabinets for structure but just for storage.

I used 8' 4 tube flourescent lights over the bench one in front over the bench and a 8' 2 tube behind me over the walking or standing space. This gives you virtually shadowless light at a fairly high level that is required for old eyes.

In an earlier bench I used 2X8 and 2X12 lumber for the top and it did not hold up all that well. After a while the lumber would split requiring the replacement of the top. With the new bench I have not replaced anything in 7 years.

I have 2) 1050's, 2) 650's, 1) 550 and 1 Case-Pro all in a row. The 1050's and the Case-Pro do the bulk of the work. The top of the bench is great.

I bolted a couple of gun safes to the wall and made them somewhat difficult to remove. The problem is, if there is no one home you could take a 12" Target saw a cut though the safe and no one would hear you.

By the way with a saw like this I can cut through anyones safe in less than 20-30 minutes. I know because I have cut through stuff that make the best gun safes look easy.

Ed Henry
 

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Here is my 2cents: I have two different homes that I can reload ammo in. The biggest of the two has a special room that is 9.5 feet wide and 14.5 feet long. I have a closet across one end that is 9.5 feet wide, 7 foot tall and 41 inches deep. I had custom heavy duty shelfs built in along with a 5 drawer unit in the middle. it is covered in the front with two large paneled sliders. I have a heavy built in reloading bench and work (computer desk) along the seperate walls. The only mistake I made was the safe I bought 20 years ago when I built the house is now to small... I have utilized all the space now and can't really fit a bigger safe in the room. I now have another medium size safe in my wifes pantry----it is a big pantry plus she gets to keep all her valuable stuff in it along with my extra rifles and pistols.
The lighting is a big thing---pay close attention to it. I have lots of can lights that use flood and spot bulbs over my bench and closet area---about 8 total. Track lights would work well to. Electrial outlets are a must----make some of them bench height for the various power tools you might use in reloading.....Dremels etc etc.
Storage and shelf units are a must---better with doors that will hide things from view...Locks on the cabinets if kids are around.
I have commercial grade carpet in my room....I just replaced it and it was a royal pain emptying the room for the new carpet. I should have gone with tile or vinyl floors. My room is paneled with nice wood as well...
If your gun room is above a basement area-----be sure your floor is secure enough to hold the safe ok----Big safes are very heavy.
I do not clean my guns in this room. I use a bench in the garage for that.
At my Condo in FL, I have a very small area with custom made bench set up with all the reloading stuff and various things I need for working on guns. Plus a medium size safe bolted to the concrete floor. I miss the lighting and storage of my bigger home up north....
Advice:
Pick out the safe that would best fit your needs and get the next bigger model!!
Lots of light in the room....
Heavy duty shelfs in the storage areas
Lots of electrical outlets
Some sort of floor that can be cleaned up easily...Spilled powder..ETC ETC.
I also have both places wired for CABLE....for computer access and watching TV---but not when I am reloading!! This is my special hide out and I do like my comforts...
HEAVY DUTY bench for the reloading press's. Even if you only have one press now-----make the bench big enough for 2 or 3 more... If you enjoy reloading----you will be buying more equipment as needed.... It is a DISEASE!! But a fun one...
There have been several threads here that deal with reloading benchs and rooms....Do a search and see what you find....There were lots of pictures and lots of different ideas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Condo45,

Thanks for the link. I remember reading the thread the first time around. But at that time a new gun room wasn't in my mind. Enjoyed reading all the posts again.

Now I'm particularly looking for bench designs. I've got a set of plans coming from the National Reloaders Manufacturing Association, but judging from the picture on their website, it looks a little small.

Thanks everyone. Keep the suggestions coming. My house won't be completed 'till early next March, so I've got plenty of time to figure out the "perfect" room.

Good shooting to all. :)

Rod
 

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One other thing worth considering in a gun room is an anti-static mat in front of the reloading bench. Computer shops (not the retail electronic stores) should have them available or can order through a catalog.

I play around with computer hardware and I have a 3x5 mat at my workbench. Just stepping on it helps to ground you and take any static electricity away. I also use a wrist strap that clips to the metal bench which is also connected to a electrical ground.

I find that cold winter days with very low humidity will create the most static. Walking around on carpeted floors can do it too.
 

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Any flooring area around reloading equipment should not be carpeted (static electricity vs. flammables/explosives--even if this is an "old wives' tale", I like to stack the odds in my favor). Two windows would serve nicely to push-pull as a 'ventilation' port. Failing that, even a kitchen range's overhead vent (at the minimum a couple of bathroom vent fans installed judiciously overhead in the prime cleaning/casting area would work if you're gonna cast your own lead or clean guns indoors.

Home Depot and Lowe's Building Supply (and I think Sear's, too) remove old refrigerators for those folks who've purchase new ones from them. I talked to the managers of both stores, and I daresay they were eager to let me come down with my truck anytime and pick and choose any refrigerator I want, for free. I've got three of them in my reloading area now. These make excellent hermetically-sealed storage containers for bullets, primers, and powder. No matter what anyone tells you, components should NOT be locked in a non-expanding container. If it gets hot enough, they'll go off like the biggest pipe bomb you can imagine, unless the lid can be 'blown' to allow the pressures of rapidly-expanding gas to vent 'less harmfully'.

Lots of lighting, maybe a separate 30AMP circuit breaker and outlet for an air compressor and baking oven (a little 'toaster oven' could suffice), a 60AMP breaker for the stereo :cool: if you can afford the shelf space:D ; one of those swing-arm magnifying flourescent lights, and plenty of wall outlets would be on my list.

A judicious use of C-clamps can eliminate the need to permanently mount those tools that aren't used very often--for me that'd be a Dillon Swager, or the RCBS case trimmer.

If your home is still in the planning stages, I'd suggest revamping the dimensions from 12x15 to 50 x 10--a long 'doored hallway' running the length of one side of the house. That way you could install a bullet trap for pellet or .22 at the other end.
 

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Rod, You say that your new home will be ready early in March, that is only near 3 months away!
If you can get it done before expensive change orders are required make sure that you have the room the way you want it.
If your room is in the heated and cooled part of the home insure that a return air register is installed. Two N.R.M.A. benches can be set side to side to fill your reloading wall, they can be scaled down to fit the space and dressed up beyond what the plans specify.
A fairly secure room doesn't cost that much more than standard construction if it's done while a new home is being built.
 

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I thought of one thing that I should have done. I really should have put in an industrial style hood and vent system so I could clean inside the house without getting fumes around the house.

Just a though.
 
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