Jump to content
SASS Wire Forum

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Charlie MacNeil, SASS #48580

How can I make a hull trimmer?

Recommended Posts

Howdy. I've been watching Bottom Dealin' Mike's videos about reloading without a press and I've got a hankering to do some of that old-timey stuff myself. I shoot smoky loads, mainly using either Pyrodex or Goex, and I've got a box full of hulls with burnt crimps which I do believe would make perfect candidates for his loading methods once the crimp is cut off of 'em. I like to make off-the-wall tools and stuff for myself instead of buyin' 'em, but I'm having some issues figuring out how to make a hull trimmer. I can't quite get my little pea brain to come up with the answer. Does any one of you fine folks have some pictures of a hull trimmer that you've made, and would you be open to sharing them with a pard?

 

Thanks in advance, folks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would try to find a piece of tubing that the hull will fit snugly in, then cut it to the length you want, Then using a dowel to support the inside of the hull use an Xacto knife or razor blade to trim the hull. should be fairly easy to make

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ya know, the first thought I had when I watched those videos was, I would cut my finger off if I had to trim a lot of shells with the razor blade or eXacto knife (and none of my shells would ever be the same length).

But, if I got a short length of PVC pipe with an ID about the same as the OD of a 12g shell - cut it to the length that I would want my shells and then insert the shell thru the pipe (seating against the rim) - I would have consistent length shells, but how to trim?

Then it hit me - the gunsmiths best friend - my Dremel tool.

With the cutoff wheel attached, I could simply let the head of the screw that holds the cutoff wheel to the Dremel shaft ride along the outer diameter of the PVC pipe while the cutoff trimmed the shell.

Viola - nice clean STRAIGHT cuts - same length shells and no band aids on my fingers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Brownell's or Midway sold one that was like the old-timey paper cutter, sort of a guillotine device. You could set it to the desired length, then the knife blade swung down and cut off the end of the hull. Here's a picture.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You might want to take a look at the Brimstone Gazette April 2008 issue.

 

The second article is "Reloading Blackpowder Shotshells with Antique Tooling – No 1" by Red Sun SASS#635

 

There is a photo of a Ideal Trimmer.

 

This is the first of a four part article starting with March. Then April, May and June.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1 inch Sgh 40 Gray PVC is the right size inside for 12ga.

The plastic shell will go in, the brass will not.

Cut the PVC to the length you want your shell...slide the shell in and cut it off with a razor-knife.

 

BH

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's my home made trimmer:

trimmer

--Dawg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's my home made trimmer:

trimmer

--Dawg

Very nice Dawg. I have one from Ballistic Products that works great. That one of yours looks like it is very efficient and well made. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very slick, PD. I did manage to put something together this afternon that works pretty good, but it's butt-ugly and pretty clunky. I like PD's better. I'll have to look into whipping up something like that.

 

I sandwiched a piece of flat bar and some washers between to pieces of 2x4 to form a slot. One of the 2x4 blocks has a 13/16" hole through it, the other has a 5/8" hole. A piece of dowel goes through the small hole and into the hull. The open end of the hull goes through the bigger hole and butts up against the other piece of 2x4. I bought a razor knife from Home Depot and the blade is just the right length to reach into the slot between the two pieces of lumber. Hold the blade against the wood and the hull, turn the hull and it comes out 2 1/2" long.

 

But I still need to build something a little more streamlined. Thanks, gents!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used a few scraps of old plywood to make a jig for my bandsaw, ... then I fitted a fine tooth blade.

 

.......... works great, but you gotta keep yer mind on the job ...... :o

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When making up some home brewed slug loads, I had a need to trim the crimps off of a few shotshells and bought a few items you've seen posted here. All I could produce was chewed off hulls and bad results so I knew that I could come up with something better myself. I had a small bench top drill press that drilled (or could be made to drill a close to 90 degree hole), perfect I was well on my way. Next I bought one of these http://www.ballisticproducts.com/Hull-Vise-complete-w_12-20ga-blocks/productinfo/VISE/ so that I could squarely hang on to a 12 gauge hull and present it perpendicular to the drill chuck. Then I went to the Dremel accessory shop and picked up one of these http://www.dremel.com/en-us/Accessories/Pages/ProductDetail.aspx?pid=546 of course with the appropriate mandrel to be able to chuck it up in the drill press. WARNING!! A word of Caution. (and yes, I learned the hard way, Ouch) Without anything in the chuck, pop the power to the press just to check the presses rotation. Then when installing the cutting blade, make sure that the teeth are mounted in BACKWARDS! You know like on a hack saw when you go back and forth, there is only one direction that you are actually doing any cutting. You do not want to mount the teeth in that aggressive fashion, but rather backwards as mentioned in the unaggressive mode. If in the aggressive mode the saw blade will bite into the plastic and rip it into shreds. It will also try to catch a piece of your finger(s) and rip them to shreds. It will also pitch the whole unit across the shop into the farthest corner and break it. If your drill press is not bolted down it will be on the floor and still running with your blood on it.

 

After you are sure that you have everything set up safely and correctly, clamp a shell in the shell vise and place it on the press table next to the saw blade. Now adjust the table height until you have the desired shell length that you are looking for. Fire up the press and slowly bring the shell to the blade (running at a slow speed). After it has cut through the hull work your way around the hull until complete. When cutting, the shell will only want to go one way so don't argue with it and go the direction it wants to cut. The shells will come out perfect and completely uniform no matter how many you do. Smithy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ballistic Products makes a nice one, reasonably priced.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm cheap, though, folks. I like to make stuff when I can. I've got scrap lumber, and chunks of dowel, that sort of thing, by the truckload, so I'm building things as I figure them out. Makes me feel more self-sufficient, or something like that. And that saw blade Smithy suggested is a scary lookin' little critter...

 

But thanks for the suggestions. Anybody else got any idears?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.