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Old December 9, 2012, 12:15 AM   #1
Metal god
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Turning a small bedroom in to a gun room

I'm going to make a gun room in my house for working on guns cleaning guns and reloading . What are some of the must to have and what are the don'ts.

Like carpet . Is it a bad idea if reloading ( fire hazard )

what should the floor be ? (concrete is not an option )

What safety equipment ? fire extinguisher etc ?

Any particular need for good ventilation other than having the door open ?

Do I want one area for reloading and one for cleaning and tinkering ? It's a small room but I do have 2 good size table/desks to use . I can put them together and make one big work station or have two seperate work areas .

How do you guys like to set up your gun space , reloading area

Im just not sure where to start . I just cleaned the room out so it's empty now and I'd like to set it up right the first time and not have to redo it in 6 months cus I rushed it .

Yes I may be over thinking it but any help would be great .

Thanks Metal
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Old December 9, 2012, 12:32 AM   #2
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Carpet is fine, its no more a fire hazard than the pounds of powder and primers you will have in there... The downside of course is cleanup of any spills and/or small parts.... some sort of smooth flooring would be my choice if possible....

Never hurts to have a fire extinguisher nearby, and dont just stick it in the corner, I like to plan where I put mine for the most likley spot. Figure out where a fire might start, then place it as if I had just started a small fire and stood up/backed away so that its reachable from there... obviously having it ON your reloading bench or cleaning area is a bad plan, since you might then have to reach over the fire to get it.... You dont have to go crazy and get a giant 10 pounder, just a little one is all you need, considering the stuff you will have in that room, if a 1-2 second burst isnt going to take care of it, you best be running, IMO...

A window that opens and a fan are a good idea if you are going to clean guns in there, and especialy if you plan to cast bullets.
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Old December 9, 2012, 06:45 AM   #3
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If you are talking about hot blueing in your house, I hope you live alone.
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Old December 9, 2012, 09:18 AM   #4
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Hey Metal god. I just did the same thing. My oldest just moved out and i took over her room for the same purpose. I set mine up almost as you are talking about. I have one of those PVC table about 6 feet long from walmart for cleaning right below the window. I built a soilid bench 5 feet long for my press,mounted shelfves for the dies and such.I got a desk against one wall for my computer and paper work. Went to Menards and picked up a stackable shelf set for my powder,primers and such. I have carpet in the room,but i got 2 good sized area rugs to put down in the 2 places where messes could accure. I also took some plywood i had laying around made a box 2 times the size of my tumbler,put wheels on it and a cheese cloth cover for tumbleing in the room. My man cave is,,, well i spend a lot of time down there. Wife say;s maybe you need a bed down there too. I am still wondering about putting some form of steel rods or something over the window to deter any one from wanting to get in and a solid wood or steel entry door. As i keep my rifles in there also. I do have a fire exh in there also,but i mounted that right by the entrance door.
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Old December 9, 2012, 01:04 PM   #5
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i built mine as more of a reloading and general purpose bench for myself. Its 36" deep 6 feet long and like 40 inches high? I have shelving on the back 12" leaving me a 2'x6' area for working or whatever. My press takes up probably 2' though so only really have a 2'x4' area. Which is plenty. Ive built an AR, clean all the guns on it, and done other things like built a computer on it.

I have carpet and can tell you it can be annoying at times. Depriming or even priming if a primer hits my carpet and i dont see exactly where it falls it can be a pain to find....although i dont care to much personally but a wife/gf might!

Fire extinguisher wise i have two small ones....they are the size of those compressed air cans. I have one mounted to my reloading bench and one sits on my computer desk on the other side of the room.
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Old December 9, 2012, 05:03 PM   #6
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I load and clean in my basement, but some thoughts on floors:

- oil from press rams, solvents from cleaning, spent primers from loading, and powder from reloading is going to wind up on the floor. You want something these items will not accumulate in.

- you will need more electrical outlets than electrical codes require, so they are easier to add before you add your equipment.

- I have fire extinguishers near the kitchen, in the garage, and within easy access of most rooms in the house, but reloading is a low risk area in my opinion. If you doubt this, try burning some smokeless powder unconfined. It burns very slowly and can easily be extinguished without the need to discharge a chemical fire extinguisher in your house.

- Your reloading surface needs to be strong and thick. You might want to reinforce you table tops to take the force of the presses.

- lighting is invaluable to reloading. I have a 96" fluorescent fixture over my bench and track lighting with high intensity lighting I can move and adjust the direction of. This is easier to add now before other things are moved and anchored in the room.

- will you use a chair or stand while doing these activities? Makes a difference on floor covering and bench height.

If I were going to set up a reloading area, I would spend a lot of time looking at the pictures of the reloading setups listed in a thread. I happen to have 4 different benches in my basement. 1 for loading rifle, 1 for handgun, 1 for shotshell, and 1 for cleaning and gunsmithing. And I use my work bench for trimming brass. I realize you don't have room for this many benches, but the pictures will give you lots of ideas words cannot (picture = 1000 words)
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Old December 9, 2012, 05:15 PM   #7
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Even if you have a smooth floor, I would still consider doing case tumbling in the garage and doing the media separation outside. The lead compound residue accumulates in the media and you don't want that dust in the house, children or not.

I do gun cleaning on a workbench in the garage, too. With the door open, the fumes don't become a problem.

The reloading operations are located in a spare bedroom, as you are suggesting. They aren't that noisy and they don't make fumes. Spilled powder is easily vacuumed up. I have a tight weave carpet, so primers are easy to spot. I don't think I would want a shag carpet, as that would be too much of a challenge...
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Old December 9, 2012, 06:26 PM   #8
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I'd use a laminate on the floor, I have hard wood in my house and laminate in the basement, no comparison in durability. Laminate is great, easy to clean, cheap, easy to see stuff on the floor. I'd stay away fom carpet. If you can get some ventilation in there I would. Cleaning chemicals are rough to be around for extended periods. You may want to look at reinforcing the ceiling (if its drywall) above the press. While I have never had it happen I know a few who have had primers go off while seating. Durable surfaces on benches and easy to clean surfaces.
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Old December 9, 2012, 06:44 PM   #9
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Good stuff so far thanks .

As for the floor there is no carpet now and I think I'll keep it that way .

I like the idea of putting a fire extinguisher away from the work area and where I most likely would be moving towards if something were to happen .

At this time I will not be making my bullets so no casting issues for now .

As for cleaning brass and seperating the media . I here some if not most media dust can be very flammble so that is a concern for me as well as the lead that can be released in to the air . Any more Ideas on this matter would help . I'm in construction , I build and remodel houses so making a system to vent those things out side is not out of the question . If there is a better and or quicker way that is safe I'm all for it . If outside is what's best so be it .

Good call on the lighting . Right now I just have one small over head light . I will get a large fluorescent light for the room . I also have a long armed light that hooks to the bench that I can be moved and directed were it is needed . I am also buying a Professional 2-in-1 Spring-Arm Magnifier Lamp that can be moved around as well .

As for electrical outlets . I had done some work in the room a few years ago and added a dedicated 20 amp circuit to the room . I have a 15 amp cicuit running the overhead light and 2 outlets and the 20 amp circuit running 2 other outlets . Power should not be an issue but I will have to make sure I have power where I need it .
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Last edited by Metal god; December 10, 2012 at 09:58 PM.
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Old December 10, 2012, 09:46 PM   #10
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One thing that you can consider is using a standalone press stand. When I started reloading I didnt have a bench, so I got a Lee Press Stand. The 3 legged ones are incredibly rugged.

I do have a bench now, but instead of moving the press onto it, I positioned the press stand in the corner with a bench on one side and a trunk full of supplies and some of my tool boxes on the other side. When I am seated at the press I can basically sit "around" the press the way I have become accustomed to, while maintaining access to a work surface and supplies.

Definitely not everyone's cup of tea, but something to consider. It is a great way to keep your work surfaces clear for other large projects.
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Old December 12, 2012, 12:25 AM   #11
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After 25 years of reloading I use a carpeted garage. Good lighting is important and have plenty of table-top room. Pipe in some music and the place becomes a sanctuary that calms you down. No cars in the garage.
I run a dillon 1050 and a dillon 550B. Good times.

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Old December 12, 2012, 12:36 AM   #12
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I don't want to clean guns or load ammo over a carpet that will hold spills.
My present shop has rubber tile like you see in gyms with a hard plastic desk chair liner at my most used press.

I would not open a door back into the house for ventilation, open a window.
I would (Do, even in a shop opening off the garage.) clean with M-Pro 7 which is a detergent rather than a solvent. It is not flammable and has almost no odor.
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Old December 12, 2012, 12:42 AM   #13
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lol Bob, and a 12 pack of chineses beer??? that is my dream romm xept a 12 pack of bohemia...
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Old December 12, 2012, 02:51 AM   #14
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OK I want that reloading room . oh and all the stuff in it . The reason Im going to start reloading is , I plan to start shooting at much longer ranges then the 300yds I shoot now . I may and most likely will start shooting comp .

This question is for all .

Do you guys reload all your ammo on a progressave reloaders or do you use a single stage for the more percision loads . What I want to know is will a dillon 550/650 give me the exact same load every time I pull the lever/handle . I was told that if Im going to reload for my long range 308 I may not want a progressave reloader .
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Last edited by Metal god; December 12, 2012 at 05:00 PM.
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Old December 12, 2012, 04:39 PM   #15
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A good progressive loader...will give you very good consistency ..and a very high quality ....its a matter of setting it up properly ...and making sure its bolted solidly to the work surface.

The only reason not to use a the expense of adding calibers if you're going to only fire or reload 25 rounds for one caliber, and not shoot it very often, I might consider a single stage...but it can take an hour to reload 50 rds on a single stage....and only 5 minutes on a good progressive...??

So there is no inherent quality issue using a my opinon / although I hear there is, on this forum and others all the time...I think its just a myth...or a perception / because some don't want to buy a progressive ...
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Old December 12, 2012, 05:08 PM   #16
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I've heard vaccuuming powder can be a no-no... so I'd stay away from carpet, which you've already decided. I just wanted to toss that out there since someone mentioned they do it.
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Old December 12, 2012, 05:15 PM   #17
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I'm very much it to rifles right now . I just bought a 308 bolt action heavy barrel bla bla bla and Im planning on building a high power comp gun in the next year or so . My plan is to reload 308 and 223 to a very high degree of precision to shoot in competitions . That's the plan anyway , if I'm able to do that is another question . If and when I get that perfect load . My guess is I'll be loading 1 to 2 hundred rounds per caliber per range trip , competition or what ever I may be doing and or shooting in .

Has anybody had any more thoughts on where I should clean brass and how dangerous it is to do indoors i.e. lead in the air or flammable media dust . I was thinking of installing a exaust system but I got to thinking that some small motors when turned on will create a small spark . I was thinking of 2 different type of systems . 1) is a good sized closed box with a fart fan on the top venting outside via ducting 2) a similar box with a big computer fan venting the media dust outside through some type of ducting . OR I can just do it all outside
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Last edited by Metal god; December 12, 2012 at 05:31 PM.
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Old December 12, 2012, 05:24 PM   #18
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I managed to carve out one side of our master closet to use as my reloading/tinkering bench. Once my girls leave the house, I'll take over that entire area as mine and give my wife the entire closet back. Maybe anyway.

I used the beech butcher block from Ikea for my reloading bench top. It is 1-1/4" thick and is plenty strong enough for any press, but soft enough to work with fairly easy. I clear coated it with 4 coats of Minwax urethane, added some pegboard and am working on shelving both above and below the bench.

I opted to keep my bench relatively shallow - reason #1 was limited room, but mostly because the deeper the bench, the more crap accumulates on it that always gets in the way. I like a clean bench as much as possible.

I also drilled some holes and mounted some threaded inserts on the bottom of my bench, with all equipment except my LnL-AP being mounted on smaller blocks of the same beech butcher block as the top. All blocks have the same mounting pattern so that they are modular and can be put in any position on the bench, which is nice depending on what I'm working on at the time (my Dillon swager being the only exception due to it's configuration). Right now I can mount any 3 pieces of equipment at a time, but will probably add some more options as time goes by. Right now I have the following mounted on the modular blocks:

Forstner trimmer
RCBS Single Stage press
MEC 12 Gauge Press
MEC 20 Gauge Press

I will add a 16 gauge press one of these days, and if any additional "needs to be mounted" item pops up. One of the nice things about modularity is that you can change what you need when you need it.

For me, it works extremely well. Would prefer to not have the carpet, but I can live with it. I added a single power outlet and use a power strip to run any electrical. Right now I have room to spare on that, but one day I know it will be used up and I'll have to add another outlet.

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Old December 12, 2012, 05:35 PM   #19
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I tumble my brass in the garage for 2 reasons:

1. It's noisy and I wouldn't be able to tolerate it inside anywhere
2. The dust would be unbearable and my wife would probably castrate me

Like casting, there are some things better left for the shop/garage/back porch.
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Old December 12, 2012, 05:35 PM   #20
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Harbor freight has some nice heavy wood work benches for a reasonable amount. #93454. They are heavy oak and well made. You can fill in the holes with hardwood dowels. It even comes with a built in wood vise. The 4 drawers are of generous size.

I would check and see if I could get some wood cabinets from a remodled kitchen from a contractor or such. That will give you a place to store some of your supplies and will fit above the bench.

If you already have carpet, then get some computer chair mats to put around your work area. Dont forget about lights. Under cabinet florescent works well and you should get and adjustable goose neck for close up work.

Go to walmart or big lots and pick up a cheap book cabinet to keep your load books etc. organized.

A good padded barstool should be on your list. Along with a small tool box to keep a few wrenches, screwdrivers, and pliars in. Or you can hang them on peg board.

This should get you headed in the right direction.
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Last edited by sc928porsche; December 12, 2012 at 05:43 PM.
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Old December 12, 2012, 05:41 PM   #21
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Additionally, you don't want a high volume of air moving around your loading bench. It will easily move powder and make reading charges on exposed scales or balance beams near impossible.

Don't overthink this so much - powder isn't going to spontaneously ignite. Many of us have been reloading for decades and have yet to bang enough things together to cause a spark.
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Old December 12, 2012, 05:51 PM   #22
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I have two big desk Im planning on using for the work areas . I don't know why I did not consider building a custom bench like that I do that kind of stuff all the time . I do like the peg board idea , I will be putting some of that in there . I don't want to get to far ahead of my self . I've built thing in the past for my self and others that worked great on paper but when all was said and done some changes had to be made . I want to minimize any changes if at all posible . I can tell you , there is no dought in my mind that this thread has help a great deal and I want to thank you all for the reply so far .
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Old December 12, 2012, 06:17 PM   #23
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Trust me, I know all about change. Those pictures were from 6 months ago - a few things have already changed on the bench. Over the Christmas break some more things will change as well, namely additional shelving below the bench and probably some permanent shelving above it to go with what I already have.

Your reloading bench is always going to change. No doubt about that. I'd steer clear of folding type tables though - they are not designed for that type of use and just about always have significant movement in them.

Think about it, plan it, draw it up, then build something permanent with the knowledge that it will never be perfect and always need a tweak.
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