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Thread: reload out in the cold shop??

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    Default reload out in the cold shop??

    Fairly new to reloading and I have a question... we just moved into a new house and there isn't much room for me to reload in the house itself, but I have a huge workshop, but it's cold out there! Is it safe to load in freezing temps or should I tell my wife I'll be comandeering the dining room table for a bit?


    Thanks,

    Mountaintrekker

  2. #2

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    I'd find me a corner in the house somewhere, even if it meant sticking a computer desk in a coat closet and bolting the press to it.

    You can always put bullets, primers and powder in you underwear drawer.

  3. #3

    Default DOhhh

    Quote Originally Posted by Mountaintrekker View Post
    Fairly new to reloading and I have a question... we just moved into a new house and there isn't much room for me to reload in the house itself, but I have a huge workshop, but it's cold out there! Is it safe to load in freezing temps or should I tell my wife I'll be comandeering the dining room table for a bit?


    Thanks,

    Mountaintrekker
    It's probably OK to commander the dinning room table , just don't use lag bolts to attach your press. OR she'll get mad. Bolt the press to a 2x12 and then use a couple of C-clamps to hold it to the table. Do this right over a leg not in the middle of a pair of legs. HINT; be sure and sweep up the spent primers that hit the floor. GOOD LUCK !!

    Also old desks make decent loading benches and have drawers for storage.
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    Member AKsoldier's Avatar
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    If your work shop isn't heated, I would advise against loading in there. The condensation caused by fluctuating temp would cause rust on your dies, press etc. and it would get real old having to move all your equipment in and out every time you load.

    I have a very small house and had to come up with a solution myself. I wound up setting up my loading station in my crawlspace. It took a little creativity - I had a stout wood table that I had to cut in half length-wise, to fit it through the opening into the crawl space. I then fastened the table back together with 1" wide flat steel bars and bolts/nuts. One set on each end and one in the middle. It's at least as sturdy now as it was before I cut it. Now my press and powder measure are mounted to the table and I built shelves into the floor joists for the powder and other components. I have a chair down there, a flourescent light and my case tumbler sits next to the table. It works perfect and the temp stays controlled. And - it keeps all the stuff out of reach of my kids.

    The other 299,300,000 people can have it.

    Noone has a more intimate understanding of, or deeper appreciation for freedom, than a soldier who has fought for it in a country where it does not exist.

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    Nice to see I'm not alone on this one. Lag bolts may not go over well... I'll do the clamping on a 2X12 or something. Now to the classifides for a cheap desk!


    Thanks,

    Mountaintrekker

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    If you get cold, you will be in a hurry and goof something up...

    Plus, electronic scales die in the cold if you use one as a reference or a back-up. Plus you could have some condensation problems if you haul stuff in and out from the warm house.

    However sitting out in the shop, without being bothered is a very nice thing. Wife distractions could lead to a double charge or some other accident.

    Is there a way that you could close off a corner of your new shop with some 2x2s and some sheets of semi clear plastic? (just watch out for static producing materials) Maybe a 6x8 corner or something along those lines. Then you could set up your reloading bench and maybe put a small electric floor heater in there while you were loading. Just crank on the heater for 20 minutes before you start.

    Years ago (1970s) I had an old cable spool from HEA that I had set up in the living room as my loading table. I used a couple of rolling office chairs and then set the press, powder thrower, scales, trimmer and other goodies up all around the spool. Then my buddies and I could just roll around to the different stations. I miss that set-up.

    These days the wife makes me have everything out of the living room and kitchen.... But I do use my hand primer and primer pocket cleaning tool while sitting in the living room watching movies with her. A two hour movie lets me clean and then re-prime 300 cases. Depending on how good the movie is.... Guy movies maybe 150 brass, chick flicks maybe 300.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountaintrekker View Post
    Fairly new to reloading and I have a question... we just moved into a new house and there isn't much room for me to reload in the house itself, but I have a huge workshop, but it's cold out there! Is it safe to load in freezing temps or should I tell my wife I'll be comandeering the dining room table for a bit?


    Thanks,

    Mountaintrekker
    oh i here ya!!!! took one of my kidds moving in next to teh water tanks and another gone to see His dad for the year to get me a corner... i could plug off... i now have a 4x7 room with a door. and enough floor space to spin (slowly) with some drawer cabnets 3 -ea 2x10 across the tops.. and an old mini steel locker hung up to store poweder and primers in... i even found keys for the locker....so it is secure and makes her happy
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

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  8. #8

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    Another concern for you there in Homer:

    Fluctuating temps and humidity. You'll rust or corrode out all sort of stuff, and it does terrible things to your primers sitting there in their packaging. I went through this in my early years in Kodiak, and what happens ain't pretty. If space in the house is really limited, you might consider storing your tools and components somewhere in the house, then briefly heating part of your shop with a portable heater to do your loading, then shuffle everything back into the house. Not perfect, but maybe more peaceful than loading in a small house. I did that too, and family relations corrode and rust about as fast as your stash in an unheated shop.

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    I love my crawl-space set-up. I'm the only one who ever goes down there, so it's quiet and I can concentrate on the task. I just have to make sure I don't spend TOO much time down there.

    The other 299,300,000 people can have it.

    Noone has a more intimate understanding of, or deeper appreciation for freedom, than a soldier who has fought for it in a country where it does not exist.

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    We are kind of nomads until we find the property we want, so we move around the area a couple of times a year. I have all of my reloading stuff in plastic rubbermaid bins, should I vacuum seal the primers to keep them from getting damp? How about my powder being in the shop in the same type of containers? All this was at a storage facility this summer in the same bins... am I going to reduce the life of my components or ruin them?
    Yikes!


    Mountaintrekker

  11. #11

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    Vacuum sealing the primers is a good idea. I put my powder cans in ziplocs and squeezed the air out of them. Just be sure to carefully oil dies, reloading presses, etc after each use, and you'll probably be alright in the plastic totes. The deal is to keep the moist air away from the metal and chemicals, whether through oil or plastic or a combo. As the temp drops that moist air condenses without protection and starts to work its evil ways. Sounds like you're on top of it with your evolving plan.

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    When I started reloading I had very limited space. I built a small stand for my press. It was built out of 2X material and plywood. It sat on the floor in kind of an L shape and was only maybe two feet tall where the press was and maybe 3 feet long. I would sit on the long flat part on the floor...I was younger and more flexible then...to do the press work and also used the press to hold the powder measure. When I was done everything but the press went into large rubbermaid containers and would sit on the long part where my butt would go. All the other work could be done from a normal table/chair. When in "storage mode" it took up very little floor space.

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    Mountaintreker:

    I think LeonardC's idea is a great one.
    It would work at the range too.

    Not too long ago, someone posted about using his Black and Decker Workmate.

    Another idea is a Lee Hand Press. They don't cost a lot, and one might get you by, at least, until you have more space.

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    Years ago when the wife and I were living in an apartment I had laminated to 1” thick chunks of plywood together to make a portable slab with my press attached to it. I figure that the little dinette bar that separated the kitchen from the living room would be the perfect place for my set-up and proceeded to clamp her down with some big “C” clamps. It worked pretty good, but after full length resizing about 100 pieces of 375 H&H brass there was a knock at my door…. It seems that the dinette bar was essentially part of the load bearing wall for the upper apartments and the repetitive clunking action of resizing that brass was shaking the holy heck out of our neighbor’s apartment and driving them crazy….

    I am fortunate enough that I now have a nice heated garage to do my reloading, but the crawl space idea intrigues me….. especially since mine is tall enough to stand up in…
    “You’ve gotten soft. You’re like one of those police dogs who’s released in to the wild and gets eaten by a deer or something.” Bill McNeal of News Radio

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alangaq View Post
    Years ago when the wife and I were living in an apartment I had laminated to 1” thick chunks of plywood together to make a portable slab with my press attached to it. I figure that the little dinette bar that separated the kitchen from the living room would be the perfect place for my set-up and proceeded to clamp her down with some big “C” clamps. It worked pretty good, but after full length resizing about 100 pieces of 375 H&H brass there was a knock at my door…. It seems that the dinette bar was essentially part of the load bearing wall for the upper apartments and the repetitive clunking action of resizing that brass was shaking the holy heck out of our neighbor’s apartment and driving them crazy….

    I am fortunate enough that I now have a nice heated garage to do my reloading, but the crawl space idea intrigues me….. especially since mine is tall enough to stand up in…
    That's whatchewget for not using enough LUBE on the cases.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alangaq View Post
    the crawl space idea intrigues me….. especially since mine is tall enough to stand up in…
    Yeah, that's my only complaint with mine - it's a 42" crawlspace. I thought about digging it out another 3 feet, but I'm afraid that might effect the integrity of the walls or foundation. I can still sit upright comfortably (just barely) in my chair at my loading table, so I guess I should be satisfied.

    The other 299,300,000 people can have it.

    Noone has a more intimate understanding of, or deeper appreciation for freedom, than a soldier who has fought for it in a country where it does not exist.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKsoldier View Post
    Yeah, that's my only complaint with mine - it's a 42" crawlspace. I thought about digging it out another 3 feet, but I'm afraid that might effect the integrity of the walls or foundation. I can still sit upright comfortably (just barely) in my chair at my loading table, so I guess I should be satisfied.
    You can dig it if you step it down. Dig down level of the bottom of the footer then come in a foot to go down a foot, repeat till you get to the depth you want. I did it here and boy was it a bunch of shovel work.
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    Thanks for the tip Andy! I'll have to re-examine where I have my loading station and see if it looks doable. I guess the next obstacle would be determining what to do with the dirt I dig out. 5-gallon bucketfulls dumped outside somewhere would take a long time, but there have been prison breaks with far more earth displacement.

    The other 299,300,000 people can have it.

    Noone has a more intimate understanding of, or deeper appreciation for freedom, than a soldier who has fought for it in a country where it does not exist.

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    I have my stuff set up in my living room... well tucked away into a corner of the living room... My kid is 9 she does not mess with it... I store my powder, bullets and primers outside in the garage...

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    Smile ziplock baggies

    I stored my reloading gear in an unheated shed and reloaded out there. Then I had a problem with primers that wouldnt ignite waisting a lot of rounds. Since I store my powder and primers in the heated house in ziplock baggies. NO further problems. All of the messy tasks of reloading I do in the unheated shed using Winter coveralls. I will put a wood stove in the shed to make it more comfortable, but am hoping to get a big garage soon!
    “I come home with an honestly earned feeling that something good has taken place. It makes no difference whether I got anything, it has to do with how the day was spent. “ Fred Bear

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