Workshop Aids On A Budget

These shop-made helpers are easily made, often with materials on hand.

by Dick Maheu

I have known a lot of gunsmiths in my time, and the vast majority of them did not have a pocket full of greenbacks to throw away. Ingenuity and frugality were common attributes with most of them and they make do where they could, without compromising the quality of their work. I have had this mindset from day one of taking my first gun apart. It makes good sense to save your money for the tools and equipment you can’t make and to make those that you can.

The wood products I have made and display in this article were all made with scrap lumber and hardware I already had on hand. I have always had my hand in woodworking of some sort, building sheds, additions, furniture, etc. I always have on hand scrap pieces of wood for gunsmithing projects. You may not have scrap wood hanging around your shop or house but can make any of these aids with very little outlay on your part. Lowe’s, Home Depot, or any of the other discount lumber outfits always seem to have some economy lumber, seconds, or project scraps at little cost. Ferret out these places or yard sales before starting your projects. Most of these aids were made since moving back to my native Maine in 2002. It seems like every time I have moved over the years, I have had to leave some things behind for lack of space. If all these measurements get a little confusing, the accompanying pictures of the aids are pretty self-explanatory.

Read more in the January 2016 issue.

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