April 8th, 2017

Wonders of Wood — Amazing Reloading Room Projects

Wood fine furnitures Reloading Room cabinet project exotic wood
Bullet sorting station — quilted Maple with marble tile inlay, created by JVW2008.

We have a master woodworker in our Shooters’ Forum, Jerry from Colorado (aka JVW2008). In a recent Forum thread, Jerry showcases multiple examples of his handiwork — various wood projects for the reloading room. Beautifully made, these one-of-a-kind custom cabinets and tool stands deserve to be on display in a museum.

Jerry’s creations exhibit exquisite craftsmanship and some very clever design features. What is your favorite item among the Jerry’s wood wonders shown here? You can reveal your favorites in the comment section below.

Throne for a Sartorius Analytical Balance
Jerry built this “Throne” for his ultra-precise Sartorius Entris force restoration scale, which is linked to a V2 Auto-Trickler. This is a true state-of-the-art powder measuring system on a beautiful base unit.

Wood fine furnitures Reloading Room cabinet project exotic wood

Cabinet for Balance Beam Scale
Here is an oak balance beam scale cabinet and weighing surface. Note the mulitiple tiers, side wings, and other smart design features.

Wood fine furnitures Reloading Room cabinet project exotic wood

Custom Arbor Press Base
Below is a handsome, well-designed base for K&M Arbor Press and Wilson dies. Look at the fitted recesses for the hand dies — very nice!

Wood fine furnitures Reloading Room cabinet project exotic wood

Jumbo Walnut/Maple Loading Block
And here is a beautiful 100-cartridge reloading block, crafted from Walnut over Maple. It’s impressive to see 100 cartridges all lined up like that!

Wood fine furnitures Reloading Room cabinet project exotic wood

To see more impressive wood projects by our Shooters’ Forum members, visit the Wood Working Ideas Forum Thread. Along with Jerry’s reloading toom wonders, you’ll see cleaning cradles, shooting benches, transport boxes, and much more. Check out this amazing inlaid rifle case crafted by Forum member Nando-AS for his son.

Wood fine furnitures Reloading Room cabinet project exotic wood

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August 30th, 2014

Labor Day Weekend Sale at Harbor Freight

For the next four (4) days, Harbor Freight is offering some very attractive Coupon Specials. First, with the coupon below, you can get 20% off the purchase of ANY item on HarborFreight.com or sold in one of the Harbor Freight stores. Interested in a big-ticket item? Then use your 20% off coupon.

harbor freight sale

Along with the 20% off coupon, Harbor Freight is offering some handy items for FREE with any purchase. Grab a free LED flashlight for your range bag, or pick up a free power strip for your loading bench.

harbor freight sale

If you need a general purpose bench with drawers, Harbor Freight has a great deal right now on a metal-framed, lighted utility bench. With Coupon Code 73007230, this bench, normally priced at $149.99, is just $79.99. NOTE: We don’t think this workbench is strong/rigid enough to serve as a primary reloading bench. However, it CAN serve many functions in your loading room, such as holding gun-cleaning cradles, vibratory tumblers, annealing machines, and general reloading gear. The built-in overhead light is a nice feature. And there is a full width shelf on the bottom which is good for holding shipping boxes and other items that are bulky (but not too heavy).

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March 28th, 2014

BYOB — Build Your Own Bench with Free Plans

Serious shooters spend lots of time in the reloading room. If you want to produce great ammo, start with a good, solid bench with a very rigid working surface and plenty of storage space. Here we present three sets of FREE workbench plans. Any one of these bench designs can be a good summer do-it-yourself project for those with basic word-working skills.

Easy-to-Build Basic Bench
Simpson, maker of Strong-Tie fasteners, offers FREE Workbench Plans for a sturdy, 48″-wide bench with a pegboard backing and both upper and lower shelves. A complete list of fasteners and cut lengths is provided. For use as a loading bench with mounted presses, double-up the bench-top for extra ridigity. Without much difficulty, the plans can be adapted to build a wider bench if you prefer. The same downloadable document also contains plans for an 80″-high 6-shelf unit, a 72″-high heavy-duty shelving unit (with 4 shelves), and a 48″-wide heavy-duty table.

FREE Strongtie Bench Plans (.pdf file).

Corner Bench with Swinging Doors
The next design is rather unique — a corner bench with swing-out cabinets. This reloading bench is based on plans by M. L. McPherson as published in the October 1993 American Rifleman. The compact footprint that makes good use of corner space that is usually poorly utilized. This set of plans originally came from Ray-Vin.com. The folks who started Ray-Vin have retired.

Reloading bench plans

FREE Corner Bench Plans (330kb .pdf file)

Classic NRMA Bench with Cabinets
The last bench design is a large, versatile bench with a full set of enclosed overhead cabinets. A National Reloading Manufacturers Association (NRMA) design, this bench requires many hours to build, but it will house all your reloading gear and provide a very stable platform for your presses.This bench was designed to be as versatile as possible to meet the needs of most reloaders. However, the bench design can easily be customized. For instance, it can be made larger or smaller to meet space requirements or quantities of equipment and components. As it is currently designed, the work area is about waist-high for a 6’2″ person. This can be adjusted to fit your height simply by making the legs longer or shorter.

NRMA reloading bench

FREE NRMA Reloading Bench Plans (2.42 megabyte .pdf file).

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December 3rd, 2013

Bookcases With Secret Storage Compartments for Valuables

Everyone should secure their firearms and valuables in a safe place. For most folks, that means getting the biggest, heaviest gun safe they can afford. There is another school of thought, namely “hiding in plain sight”. The theory here is that you hide valuables inside common, every-day items that would not attract the attention of thieves. A hollowed-out hardback book is a classic example.

Well here’s the “book safe” idea carried one better — an entire full-size book cabinet fitted with hidden storage. Some clever wood-workers have come up with custom-crafted cabinets with secret compartments. We first saw one of these cabinets on Glocktalk some months ago, and now matthew [at] archangelwoodworks.com has created a large, elaborate wooden bookcase that contains multiple secret compartments. The patent-pending QLine SafeGuard Shelving System “is available in your choice of wood or custom colors. Dimensions can be altered to suit your needs. Shelving or compartments are customizable for your specific application.” QLine Design also offers media centers and coffee tables with secret compartments. Watch the video to see a half-dozen secret shelves, drawers and vertical compartments built into the QLine SafeGuard bookcase. Watch all the way through — it gets more and more amazing….

Video Reveals Secret Compartments — Check it Out

Credit Steve of the Firearm Blog for finding this YouTube Video.

Smaller, Custom Cabinet with Secret Compartments
If you’d like to see a smaller cabinet with hidden compartments, check out Hidden in Plain Sight thread from 2012 on Glocktalk. That thread features a custom oak cabinet with a lock-secured secret shelf on the top and two hidden compartments on either side, with slide-out vertical drawers. We like the idea of hiding locks under movable wood covers — for an added measure of security.

Secret Storage Cabinet

Secret Storage Cabinet

EDITOR’S COMMENT: We still recommend a heavy, steel-walled quality gun safe for storage of firearms. A wood cabinet offers no fire protection, and “hidden in plain sight” systems are only useful until thieves get wise to the gambit. Still, clever engineering (and impressive word-working) went into the cabinets shown above. This style of cabinet could be a good option for storing smaller items such as knives, cameras, watches, and laptop computers if your regular gunsafe is already full to the brim.

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December 22nd, 2012

FREE Plans for Building Deluxe Reloading Bench

The NRA’s American Rifleman Online website has an excellent article showing how to construct a rock-solid Reloading Bench. There are plenty of photos, and a detailed set of Bench Blueprints showing all dimensions and listing all needed materials. This bench is very well designed, with many deluxe features, such as an upper drawer with fitted slots for die boxes, and large lower drawers with 100-lb rated slides to store heavy materials or tools. If you have good wood-working skills this would be an excellent project.

CLICK HERE to Download Article with Photos | CLICK HERE for Bench Blueprints

The author, Dave Campbell, offers good advice on building the bench top: “I ripped a sheet of 3/4″ AC plywood into two 24″ wide pieces and cut them to 72″ long. Then I glued them together to form a 72″ long, 1 1/24″ thick top. The trick here is to keep the edges smooth and flat so that the laminate will adhere properly and without voids. I chose a light grey laminate finish for the top because it’s easier to see what I am working on and keep clean. If you have never worked with laminate, remember it’s prudent to glue and rout the edges flush before gluing on the top. The top was attached to the carcass with eight steel L-shaped angle brackets and No. 10×1 1/4″ wood screws.”

Photos Copyright © 2008 The National Rifle Association, used by permission

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