Have you ever had a dream that was so compelling that you just *knew* it was your calling? Four and a half years ago I had a dream- to stand on my own acreage on my 40th birthday. After looking all over the place, we found the “perfect” opportunity- 31 acres of land with a partially completed cabin. It was close enough to the city to drive over on the weekends, but far enough from the city to be private and remote- truly a getaway. On my 40th birthday, I stood on our new property, and felt an immense feeling of satisfaction and connection with the land. Since then, our family has finished the cabin, purchased the 23 acres next door, and spent a lot of time on the property. The problem? Every time I had to come back to the city and my corporate job, I got depressed. I wanted to live in the country- where I could be free of traffic, bad weather, and the “grind”. The country is where I belong I thought. Seems like everything I love to do is tied to the country: shooting sports, mountain biking, dualsport dirtbiking, camping, hiking, and the “small town” experience. So we decided to “sell it all and move to the country”.
As of this writing, I’ve quit my corporate job, sold our house in town, have mostly finished my mountain studio, and am in the process of moving. It’s been busy, but I’m really looking forward to the change of pace/scenery, and the opportunity to devote more attention and time to Ultimate Reloader!
The New Ultimate Reloader Studio
One of the things I’m most excited about as a part of this move is the new “Mountain Studio” I’m building. It will be a self contained climate controlled facility where I can perform gunsmithing, reload ammunition, develop load data, and shoot from- all in the same facility! What’s more, I can film everything I’m working on without having to “wait for the weekend cabin trip”. This is truly a game-changer for Ultimate Reloader. Here are some pictures illustrating the process of building out this new facility.
The first step was picking out the container! I decided to go with a 40′ high-cube (9′ tall rather than the standard 8′) one-trip (basically brand new) container from a local container company.
As you can see from this picture, there were quite a few to pick from! This was actually my second 40′ high-cube (this week I’m up to three total!) and it’s been quite the process getting the container built out. Here’s where I started from, essentially a “blank canvas”:
The first step was site prep, and moving the container to the spot where it would reside (and point to my 100 yard backstop):
…then came the process of building out the interior of the container, and adding the necessary appointments. This process included:
- Adding a 100 amp electrical panel
- Framing the interior
- Wiring the interior with many circuits for lighting, heating, AC, welders, and much more
- Insulating the interior using rigid foam with ventilation and a dehumidifier to avoid condensation
- Sheeting the walls with plywood
- Painting the interior “photo gray-card gray”
- Rebuilding the Ultimate Reloader bench to suit the narrow proportions inside the container
- Adding studio lighting and other fixtures
It’s been quite the process! Here are some shots of the build-out:
Clay Williams (above, assisting with the project) stands in front of the framed out and wired-up interior.
The above photo shows a vital piece of equipment being moved into the container: my Lincoln PowerMig 200 Mig Welder. This welder and my plasma cutter were both used extensively to install the AC window, and the man-door on the side of the container studio.
Above you can see Clay Williams having just shoveled snow from the roof, prior to welding in the man door (one of the blue doors seen in this photo). A beautiful mountain setting to hang out in!
Moving into the Studio
I’m just now in the process of moving gear into the studio, and I’m really excited to start filming productions here (this month!). Here’s a sneak peek at the new bench:
I took the opportunity while rebuilding the bench to make some enhancements, with more to come. I’m hoping to offer an “Ultimate Reloading Bench” hardware kit and plans this year, please stay tuned on that! In the meantime, I’ll be using this bench to film new productions at new facility, which I have quite the backlog of piling up- much content coming!
Goodbye Ultimate Reloader City Studio
Back in 2009 was the last time I made major studio investments (the “city” studio), and it’s been a *great* facility. The video included in this post was the last filmed there, with one more video to be published I filmed prior. Here’s my “last picture” on set before tearing down the facility:
It’s been great, but things are about to get “greater”! Again, thanks to all of you out there for your interest and support in what I’ve published, and a huge thanks to all of the partners that have worked with me over the years to enable these stories.
A final parting thought: If you’ve been itching to get out of the city- do it! It’s been one of the best experiences of my life, and I’m looking forward to many more. There’s no feeling like owning your own rifle/pistol/shotgun ranges, and not needing “reservations” at a campground to experience the outdoors!
Look for more updates soon!