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Thread: Is too big of a reloading room a problem?

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy


    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    Pulaski, WI
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    Is too big of a reloading room a problem?

    We are moving to a new house in the next few weeks and the basement is unfinished. I have a space that is about 12.5' by 32.5' that is all mine (rest of the basement is spoken for for other use). Being that everything is packed up, I have had lots of time to think about it. In the space I need two separate areas. The first is a small closed off area for my mini lathe/metal working, the rest would be for reloading/gun stuff/"man cave" (I have a separate space in the garage to do all my casting and wood work). I was thinking about 8x10' for lathe room, because if I add a mill it will just be a bench mill anyways (I barely want to get my 8x12 lathe down there, let alone a large mill/other equipment) So I think that should be plenty of metal working space, but that leaves me with a good 12'x22'+ reloading room. I am thinking I will build a 2' wide bench with cabinets on at least one L shape of the wall. Lots of bench/storage space but also a lot of empty floor space. Right now the kids are young so I will probably pig pen a section off so that they can play in the same room as me so I can keep them occupied until they are old enough to actually help. Basic size, benches, and lots of LED light is about all I have really thought about.


    This will be an ongoing project as we plan to be at the house for a long time... so does this seem like a logical layout? Any other ideas...all are welcome I am going to have a long two weeks to think about it before we even move...then lots more time as we are unpacking boxes.

    Thanks,
    Guywitha3006

  2. #2
    Boolit Grand Master



    M-Tecs's Avatar
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    Mine is 28' x 28' and it is packed full of stuff. The bigger the space the bigger the mess. Other than that it's wonderful.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master



    Join Date
    Feb 2018
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    Do you really have to separate your metal working area from your reloading? For sure if you will be welding. I just installed my new mini lathe where I reload. I don’t have the same luxury of space as you do.

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy


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    Feb 2013
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    Bigger space bigger mess is exactly what I am hoping to avoid, lol. I am hoping by carefully laying it out and building cabinets I can keep everything need and tidy, the past few years my reloading has all been done a wheeled cart and I had to dig through bins and shelves to find what I needed. My goal is to have a "station" for each press that has everything for that press is right there.

    Greg, as far as separating the lathe/metal working stuff, I definitely want to separate this space. Reason being I turn a lot of steel (4140 especially) and the shavings (along with sparks from the grinder) get every where. I plan to keep the metal working room with a concrete floor so I don't drag metal shaving through the rest of the basement, as I plan to eventually put flooring (Vinyl plank?) in the reloading room and then eventually the rest of the basement. The little bit of welding I do (if you can even call that mess welding lol) is limited to outside in the garage.

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy jeepvet's Avatar
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    Feb 2013
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    Beautiful Central Texas
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    In my experience, if you need a 10 X 10 room, build a 20 X 20. By the time you get it finished the 20 X 20 will be too small.
    "Nothing is more uncommon than common sense." Benjamin Franklin

  6. #6
    Boolit Master Handloader109's Avatar
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    Jan 2014
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    I've a 1600 Sqft basement. And a roughly 800 sq ft building for my woodworking, casting and any junk welding/grinding etc that I do. (plain concrete floor).

    My basement is carpeted, loop indoor/outdoor stuff. I've a 20x24 for my lasers and minor storage along with bathroom in that area. (shower, toilet and sink). Did that as it includes the door to the walkout area and could actually be rented as a single room apartment if we so wanted. Adjacent is a 12x24 so could add door into laser room for bedroom.
    Then I have a 8x10 area walled off for reloading.
    Has a HF bench, small table and some shelves around three sides. Plenty of room for what I do. If I had several presses, I'd have extended another 6-10 feet along the long side and I could do pretty easily as I made free standing shelves from 2x material and ply to store a bunch of plastic totes containing my wife's stuff and holiday items. One end could be turned 90 degrees and open up more room for loading.

    Make it as big as possible. we still have about 700 square feet of open area that could be 'kid' area if I still had small kids.

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
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    New Jersey
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    I'm the same way I have pretty much full 1300sq ft basement to myself. i have everything from a small gym to computer/electronic table to a full 8x4 table for my reloading gear plus computer desk, tons of storage and if I didnt keep my wifes **** in check I'm sure i would run out of room. Its one big open area with 7 foot ceilings because I'm 6'6" and i've banged my head on support beams at other peoples basements before so i had it done extra tall which i love. You can never have too much room but you can have too much stuff lol.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master

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    May 2009
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    I have an 8'x10' area and less than 1/4 of that is loading bench so to make up for that all my presses are mounted to plates so they interchange using the same four mounting holes. Make your loading area as big as you can.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master


    Taylor's Avatar
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    Jul 2006
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    Tennessee
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    No, absolutely not. There is no such thing as too much room.
    Pro Patria-Ne Desit Virtus

  10. #10
    Banned

    Blammer's Avatar
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    Asheville, NC
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    put it all on rollable carts.

    move as needed.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master

    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
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    Put the reloading stuff in a corner and get a chair that rolls & swivels.
    You'll have 2 walls to arrange the shelves and benches. Everything will be close, compact, accessible, and expandable.

    It shouldn't stick out far enough to get in the way of anything else, and if ya get a messy project going,
    You can hang tarps from the ceiling along the top of the wall to cover all of the reloading equipment and shelves.
    Last edited by Winger Ed.; 02-01-2019 at 07:56 PM.
    Everyone can learn from their mistakes.
    However; it's less painful, and cheaper to learn from the mistakes of others.


    Old age and treachery will always overcome youth, and skill.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master


    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Tennessee
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    My reloading/gun room is 12x26. I sectioned off one end for a 5x12 gun room. My reloading bench is 16 ft. long along one wall. Opposite wall has my desk, book shelf, and three metal cabinets for ammo, powder, brass and misc. tools. In the center of the room I have a 4x6 table with two gun vice's for gun work. Over this table I have suspended a double sided piece of peg-board to hang gun tools on. Works well but wish I had made it bigger.
    Larry

  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
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    AL
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    Thats more room to grow! Like was said earlier, it will fill up fast.

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy


    Join Date
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    Pulaski, WI
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    Lots of good points ...I have a feeling this is going to be a long few weeks lol... I wonder if my wife will let be take a satirical from work for a few months to build my shops...something tells me her and the bank would frown on an sabatical lasting longer then Friday evening to early Monday morning. Oh well only 26 to 35 years until retirement, but who's counting?

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Dec 2017
    Location
    Farmerville,Louisiana
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    I’ve built 3 shops and 3 barns, in my married lifetime, keep getting bigger each time. Barns now 40X50’, shop now 40X50’ reloading room 14X32’ and still not big enough.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    My smith has a 12x24 space for reloading, supply storage and cleaning. His mill and lathe are in the garage downstairs. His interests in guns range far and wide. You'll eat that space up quickly.

  17. #17
    Banned



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    Color Me Gone
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    We could get into a lot of is this big enough? I have 8x16 and I make it work with 6 foot front and back porches. Cast on front porch and shoot off back porch. Within reason how can you have too much? This seems like trolling. I do have a 2500 square foot metal barn but it is not a controled environment, so I only go in if I have to.
    Good for you, enjoy.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master RogerDat's Avatar
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    Stuff does grow to fill the available space. Guess one has to consider what they think the final use case is that the design will have to support. I didn't plan for shotgun reloading. That entailed more storage shelves and crowds the bench if I clamp a shot shell press on one end of the bench. Not unacceptably crowded but if I had known I might have gone a bit longer on the bench.

    Plan for power and light that exceed your expected needs. Well lighted space with plenty of outlets can always have a use found for it.

    The nice big free standing island tables or work tops seem like they would be very useful. The one in the kitchen sees daily use and is a welcome addition that uses "wasted" space in the middle of the room. My location has too much of a traffic flow past the bench so I can't do in this in the reloading area but I like the functionality where I have had it in shops. I'm also big on the corner locations for compactness.

    Seems like there is a thread of reloading room pictures or maybe a few threads. One thing I noticed is some have presses on shelves and rotate them into work space. Others tend to have multiple presses set up already at work spaces. Either one can be neat and organized from what I saw. Or a cluster of whoflungpoo from my own experience.

    Starting with the basics, how many press or work stations do you need? How much will you desire to swap out presses? I have two on my bench. Larger area for the turret press, smaller area for a C press. My presses are removable but don't seem to get taken off much. Those two do what I need for metallic. Shot shell gets clamped for working but may end up getting a stand or I might do a docking station for swapping bench area between the C press for the shot shell press

    IF doing it over I might consider starting out with a press mounting system. Lee has one, and Patmarlins has the RockDock system. There are I think others. Both of the ones I mention allow for fairly quick release of press from mount to switch presses. Might be worth considering now. If you're in the 6 presses set up group maybe not so much use from docking plates but if you are more inclined toward one or two presses max on the bench at any time and shelves or cabinets to store the other presses set up to use then the docking systems could really work out for you.

    Have had good luck with the tight loop indoor outdoor or swimming pool area type carpet from Home Depot. Glued down. Water proof glue has some pretty strong off gassing, the water based less so but if it gets soaked it needs to be allowed to reset without being stressed or moved. This carpet gives part of the basement a warmer and softer floor. Easy clean too. Epoxy 2 part garage floor paint with sprinkles, lots of sprinkles on the concrete has worked out well except a dropped primer or small part is really hard to spot against the sprinkles. Don't like slippery floors.

    Whole basement huh? Hate you is too strong, jealous likewise a little too much, I think we will go with prepared to dislike you due to my shop space envy.
    Our basement is divided into hers, mine, and ours. I have no complaints but it does seem like another bench would fit if only.....
    Je suis Charlie
    Scrap.... because all the really pithy and emphatic four letter words were taken and we had to describe this way of getting casting material somehow.
    Feedback page http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...light=RogerDat I do trade a bit from time to time.

  19. #19
    Boolit Buddy


    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    Pulaski, WI
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    Jmort...not trolling my reloading prior to moving was a 2x6 wheeled bench that at shared a 10x10 space with my wood working tools, metal lathe, gun cleaning space, chest freezer and general storage. Lol I have never had this much space and was looking for ways to utilize it. I know people have all different size shops and was curious how others utilized their space. When I started in college I had half of a solid door for a bench in the living room. I honestly can't wait for eveything to have a permanent home...sick of multipurpose/use carts and benches.

  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy


    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    "Whole basement huh? Hate you is too strong, jealous likewise a little too much, I think we will go with prepared to dislike you due to my shop space envy.
    Our basement is divided into hers, mine, and ours. I have no complaints but it does seem like another bench would fit if only.....[/QUOTE]


    Rogerdat..no not the whole basement. She has declared a bathroom (has to be nice no toilet on concrete lol), bedroom/office, a family room and then storage for the rest of the basement. I Just get the back 1/3 or so,but I get to put the sweat equity into the whole basement lol.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check