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gun bench


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I thought it might be nice to start a thread on gun benches.  I sometimes like to surf around to see what kind of set up others have, and while I've seen a few, I haven't seen alot of just gun benches.  They've mostly been for reloading.

I just bought a workbench from Cabela's and it should be on the door step in a week or so.  Here's a link to it.  http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templates/product/standard-item.jsp?id=0031351215763a&navCount=0&podId=0031351&parentId=cat20797&masterpathid=&navAction=jump&catalogCode=UK&rid=&parentType=index&indexId=cat20797&cmCat=netcon&cm_ven=netcon&cm_cat=Google&cm_pla=gunsmith%20gun%20cleaning%20kit&cm_ite=netcon&rid=2146251080&hasJS=true  What I like about it is that I can make it to any width and length.  My plan is a bench 3x5 or 3x6.  It will allow we me plenty of space to clean or work on my firearms.  I got tired of wrestling with stuff on the kitchen table, so purchased the Tipton "Best Gun Vise" and will be arranging that on it along with a regular vise, power strip, overhead shop light and lighted magnifier lamp, which I'll get from Cabela's as well.

So, it's coming together.  I bought the lumber for the kit over at Home Depot the other day and now it's just a matter of waiting until it arrives to begin setting up.

I'd be curious to see what others use if anyone feels like adding to this.

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Yeah, I don't think that would be a bad idea at all.  Would it be possible to separate gun benches from reloading benches?  I mention that because while some like myself don't reload (to date), we all clean weapons somewhere.

And, just to continue this, here's a photo of the lighted magnifier glass I plan to add. 


The two other photos are of my Tipton vise with my AR and my M1.  The thing I like about the vise is that I can move the middle support in moments to accomodate either.  It's not a high end vise, but it will do the job for me, and I can anchor the base if I want.  I decided to throw a little business at one of this website's supporters at Optics Planet and I bought it there for $99.99 plus shipping.  They were fast and it was well packaged.  I'll do business with them again.

Next up will be peg board hooks, bench stool, and the other items I mentioned above.  As I can afford it, better gun cleaning equipment (which currently is spread out all over the place), will consolidate itself in drawers I will add to this bench.  I plan to move all this to the cellar where it will be decidedly warmer than my barn which is hovering somewhere in the mid-teen's right now.  It will also be cooler there in summer.

Originally, I was saving up for this 6 ft. Edsal steel workbench: http://www.allworkbenches.com/work-benches/garage-workbenches/13888+13893+4292838631.cfm (click on garage workbenches)---but when I saw the Cabela's bench I knew it would be more economical and fit my need, plus leave me some cash for other things.

For anyone like myself contemplating their first bench,  I can help out a little by itemizing my shopping list and the cost, which are based on prices in N. Hampshire this past weekend.  I'd like to think that I thought of everything to stand this up, but then again, I may have left something out.  Keep in mind, the Cabela's kit runs essentially $85.  The beauty of it, is that I can make it to any length and width.  I think I've elected to make mind 3'x6'.  So, add the cost of the kit to the materials cost below.

(9) 2x4x8 fir studs @ $17.73

(1) 4x8 pegboard sheet @ $15.47

(40) 2"x 1/4" lag screws for legs @ $9.20

(2) 4x8x7/16 particle board sheets @$15.54

(1) 4x8x23/32 fir sheet, (bench top) @ $37.88



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Hope to get this zipped together this weekend.  I'll start out by displaying the kit itself, then photos of the post sockets for the upper section of the table, as well as the reverse side of the main table legs.  I don't know if you can see the shelves on which the 2x4's sit, but they are held in place by what are essentially sheet rock screws.  The legs themselves come with pre-drilled holes to guide the screws in, which is an assist.




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  • 2 weeks later...

Finished up my bench Saturday.  I did have to get two more 2x4's for the upper bench/peg board piece, but other than that, it's done.

My final thoughts is that it's a basic work bench.  I found that no matter how square you cut your lumber, the plastic molded pieces may be a little out, so getting things to join tightly and square if at all, is a chore....a two-man job or both.  I needed a blue collar bench, so this fit the bill for me.  If you want a pretty bench you may want to keep looking----for the money, it's worth it for me.

Though my bench measures 6x3 and change, you could probably go 6x2.5  I wanted a little bigger surface to fit a vise and other stuff on it, which will include lighted magnifying glass, overhead lights, and accessories off the pegs which I want up and out of the way of the work surface.

It ain't necessarily pretty, but it fits my need.  Hope others will include their gun benches as well, as it's an under reported facet of gun ownership.


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Thanks.  It's a work of art as long as you don't get too close. 

I found a nice vise at Grizzly @ $59 that I'm going to add to one end of the bench  The vise opens to 4", rotates 360 as well as vertically and has an anvil on the back.  http://cdn0.grizzly.com/pics/jpeg288/h/h8188.jpg

I'll start adding everything else as I perfect my whining.... :D

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  • 1 month later...

Got my vise today from Grizzly.  I opted for the 4", so it's a little smaller than a standard bench vise, but it rotates 360, and I can clamp vertically as well.  Also, on the other side of the main mouth is one for clamping tube or other round stock.  Gotta hit the hardware store for a couple of bolts and we're in bidness.

Oh, meant to mention.  From the time I ordered, it was here in less than a week. 

Here's a photo



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Alright.  A few new improvements.  I know to some, this is boring, so you may want to pass, but to others like myself on a very limited budget, learning to plan and be patient enough to do things step by logical step can be an encouragement.....at least, that's been my approach on every firearm and collateral piece of equipment I've invested in.  If you're patient, and save your pennies, you can realize your goals, and it's one of the reasons I've been doing this gun bench piece.  I want to encourage others who, like myself have to rely on overtime, and depend on limited budgets to improve their situation, that their weapon systems, and maintenance areas can improve with planning, and that yeah, it can be done.  Just remain unwavering toward your goal.

My gun bench is neither necessity nor luxury.  You can clean a weapon anywhere, and if you were like me it was the same old ritual of laying down newspaper on the kitchen table and rooting out gun cleaning stuff from every available crevice as needed.  I finally decided that this was really stupid, and subconsciously told myself it was time to man up and upgrade. 

As a result, I've dedicated myself to assembling what I call my shtf home defense system in firearms and am now reaching that plateau where I feel I have the proper place to maintain them, and not only that, but extend that to include reloading if I so choose.  That all said,  this is my ground zero area.  There are many othes like it, but this one is mine. 

I will add to it, streamline it, and make it more efficient as time goes on.  But for now, every one of my weapons has a new home from which I can maintain them more efficiently.

Today, the latest additions include a 43 piece peg board set from Lowe's @ $12.  Next up?  A nice 48" dual lighting system with plug in and light cord for about $30. 


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  • 2 weeks later...

Would you mind posting how much you spent on just the fully built bench?  I decided to build one from scratch and bought (and aquired from friends and family ;D ) most of the lumber and materials that I will need to build it so I was curious about price comparison.  No problem if you don't though.  I will try to update with pics as I get time to work on it, but time is a valued commodity at the moment with not enough to go around it seems though so it will probably be a little slow coming lol

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Sure.  I itemized most of that on the first page, so I went back to that for reference, but here it is:

(9) 2x4x8 fir studs @ $17.73

(1) 4x8 pegboard sheet @ $15.47

(40) 2"x 1/4" lag screws for legs @ $9.20

(2) 4x8x7/16 particle board sheets @$15.54

(1) 4x8x23/32 fir sheet, (bench top) @ $37.88

(1) bench kid ($84.99 + $17.20 tax/shipping) @ $102.19

(1) 43 pc. peg board hanger kit @ $13

For a total, I get $211.01

I found out I didn't need the lag screws, so subtract that.  It comes with screws.  Also, keep in mind that geographic locale's and fluxuating lumber prices will bump that up or down a bit.

Obviously, you'll dress this out to your own design,  For mine, I can factor in the 4" vise, from Grizzly which with S+H comes to $71.65 and a nice two-bulb, 48" fluorescent shop light from Lowe's at about $31.  I'll also add a Cabela's lighted magnifier lamp @ $70, so with those personal additions, I am looking roughly at $384 to date. 

When you tally that up, your bench, however you personalize it, begins to be seen as an investment.  And it's why I decided to do this thread.  Keep in mind, I didn't bother to throw in the price of Dewey rods nor the squeeze bottles, gun mats and other cleaning gear I'll be adding.  It just takes time if you're like me and doing it on OT money. 

By and large, I'm impatient and want things NOW, so this has been good in a way as it's forced me to shop around, price things out.....and more importantly, to be patient.  But I can stand back now and say, hey, I have

solid work station to store and work on my firearms.  No more flopping stuff on the kitchen table with old newspapers.  Mother didn't appreciate, the boquet of Hoppes gun oil intertwined with her evening meal either, so it's a win, win.  ;)

Shop around for vises.  I like this Grizzly, as it's just right for me and fits my budget, but I found that  it does not lock solid in the upright position for clamping things horizontally, so I will have to see whether I am missing something (a real possibility) or that I'm going to have to drill the housing and throw in a bolt for stability. 

Also found that the kit, while straighforward and relatively easy to assemble would be easier to do with two people.  The legs are a heavy plastic, but I found that the molding isn't exactly square, so your bench corners aren't going to go precisely together at 90 degrees, which may bother the purists among us.  If you can live with that, as I can, you'll have a relatively inexpensive work station to take on any project.  I'm sold.

Hope that helps?

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Yeah that helps.  Like I said, I was just wanting a little price comparison data.  I bought most (hopefully all) the materials I need to build a bench and am going to make it out of 2x6's and 4x4's mainly.  Here is what I spent so far on materials for a 6'x40"x34"tall bench.

2      2x4x10 treated              @ 8.48

4      2x6x12 treated              @ 29.88

100  3/8x1 1/2 washers        @ 14

100  3/8 nuts                      @ 9

50    3/8x5 1/2 carriage bolts @ 37.50

10    3/8x7 carriage bolts      @ 13.50

8      6" 6 hole L-brackets    @ 29.44 (might take them back though)

1#    2" screws                  @ 8.67

1#    3 1/2 screws              @ 8.67

tax                                      13.29

Total                                    172.43

I was able to get some 4x4 pieces and some other boards from my dad too.  I hope to be able to get a little done today before church and then I will take some pictures once I get the top put together.

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Well I got the top done and most of the boards for the rest of it are cut, I had to get em cut so that I could move everything inside last night because we had a storm coming.  Here's what I have done so far, my carriage bolts ended up a liiiittle long since I got them to go through two 2x6's and didn't think about actual board diminsions which are 1.5x5.5 >:( Oh well, they do the job just fine and I don't think the extra length will give me problems.





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