Setting Up A Reloading Area On A Budget – Part 2
I first started on this theme a few weeks ago when I detailed my Harbor Freight bench. At the time I noted that my choice to cover the top with green felt, though good for working on firearms, didn’t stand up well to wear. I got distracted (Like a squirrel) by something shiny, and here I am a month later. The felt was soon catching and retaining every scrap of brass trimmings, powder and dry media spilled. The brass trimmings are especially hard to vacuum up from the felt.
The felt quickly started pilling up and I found my powder pan resting on the fuzz, and the Lee scale seemed to zero differently if I moved it around on the bench. It seems to me that the small pads on the bottom of the scale were sinking into the felt to varying degrees.
I briefly considered putting a study shelf on the wall behind the bench to permanently place the scale out of the way, and I still may, but I have future plans to wall mount a computer monitor there, at some point. My simple, but inelegant solution was a square of high density vinyl tile.
I made a cut-out where my powder measure is screwed to the bench, and now I have a consistently level surface for the scale, and a surface to catch any stray kernels that spilled. Total cost 98¢ plus tax.
The felt will eventually be replaced, probably with a denim material that doesn’t pick or retain brass trimmings.
I owned a Marlin 60 since 1987, but never really got ‘into’ guns until 2011 when I bought my first 9mm pistol. That was soon followed by a .380 and a 12 guage pump, and I was all in. I had done some 20 guage reloading growing up, and threw myself into 9mm and .223 reloading in 2017, .380 in 2019, 7.62×39 in 2020 and my first revolver in 45 Colt in 2022. It is so satisfying to go to the range and string together ever improving groups with ammo I loaded myself; it doesn’t hurt that I’m a little OCD about technical things, the tangible/visible rewards are really gratifying.
I have a nagging but as yet unattained ‘want’ for a .358 Yeti unloader, it just looks like a really cool caliber. My next learning curve, space permitting, is casting and coating.