Hull & Wad Hoppers: Another Reloading Project

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Project by HillbillyShooter posted 08-17-2013 12:35 AM 4640 views 4 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Last summer I posted the “shell catcher tote” constructed from my “bucket list” of “someday projects” I dreamed up while reloading shotgun shells. (C.f., ) This post shows two more related projects I built to replace cardboard boxes which are commercially available to dispense shells and wads during the reloading process.

These two boxes are identical in design but different in size. The one on the left is larger and capable of holding 250-300 hulls. Though the one on the right being smaller, still holds a similar quantity of wads. Both boxes are constructed from 3/8” Baltic birch (bb) with ½” bb bottoms. The process started out with rough cutting the parts out and then trimming them to size using router templates that I developed as the construction progressed. Separate templates were made to trim each part to the same identical size, a template to round over certain edges, a couple of other templates to cut 45 degree joints, still another template for dadoes, templates for rounding over the outsides and extending past edges without rounding off the adjoining edge. It was amazing all the templates I ended up building.

Why all this work to build templates for just one set of boxes? Well, first, this was the only way I could come up with to construct the various complex angles, dados and general construction challenges this project presented. The second reason was my idea to build several other sets as gifts for friends, other officers and members of the board of directors who helped me during the last two year while I served as president of our area rod and gun club. As you can see, I’ve gotten three sets completed. However, these were done during the developmental process and hopefully the next sets will go much faster.

As always, comments (good, bad, critical or whatever) are very much appreciated. Thanks for looking.

P.S. Reflecting on this post, I made the mistake of forgetting I was posting on a woodworking forum and not a guns and ammo forum. It would probably have been more interesting and a better approach to describe this project as a double box connected by a ramp with limiting gate. Also, a few constructions details should have been included to explain that all exterior corners were 45 degree miters and rounded over after the glue up was dry, and all interior joints are either routed dados or plow cuts. All joints were initially fitted using Scotch-Blue Painter’s Tape and then glued using the same tape to hold the hopper together until I could pin nail each corner. The finish is Min Wax Quick Drying Satin Polyurethane. The dimensions on the large hopper are 13” high x 14” deep x 8-3/8” wide; and the dimensions on the smaller hopper are 11” high x 12-1/2” deep x 7-1/2” wide.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

12 comments so far

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

14414 posts in 2196 days

#1 posted 08-17-2013 12:41 AM

Those are sweet hoppers. Your buddies at the club will love them. You may have started a business!!
You can really crank them out with the dedicated fixtures!!
Nice going, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

#2 posted 08-17-2013 02:17 AM

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View Kevin's profile


539 posts in 1390 days

#3 posted 08-17-2013 05:02 AM

Very nice, they look great on the reloading bench.

-- Measure twice, cut once, then rout a whole bunch

View Blackie_'s profile


4270 posts in 1603 days

#4 posted 08-17-2013 12:50 PM

Nice looking hoppers John.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

View Roger's profile


17851 posts in 1894 days

#5 posted 08-18-2013 12:06 PM

Oh yea, John. Those wood hoppers look so much better.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe.

View bluekingfisher's profile


1197 posts in 2070 days

#6 posted 08-19-2013 08:55 AM

John – the hoppers will serve both you and your mates well, I’m sure they will be much used and appreciated by the guys at the club.

As with most new designs, the planning can often take the lions share of the time and no doubt you have questioned why spend so much time on it. At least you now have the templates, so any future projects will be built in zip time.

Hope you are well


-- No one plans to fail, they just, just fail to plan

View kiefer's profile


4224 posts in 1757 days

#7 posted 08-19-2013 01:29 PM

Like your approach on this .
Makes it easy to produce more gifts when the time comes and it will.
Nice set up for reloading and more time for hunting .

-- Kiefer 松

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5546 posts in 1383 days

#8 posted 08-19-2013 03:42 PM

Thanks to everyone for taking the time to look, comment and favorite this project. I sincerely appreciate it!

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View Knothead62's profile


2428 posts in 2052 days

#9 posted 08-19-2013 05:59 PM

Nice, all the way around. Good planning, building and finish work. I have often thought of something like that. Now I have some plans to follow, if I may. BTW, thanks for the dimensions.

View luv2learn's profile


2184 posts in 1393 days

#10 posted 08-19-2013 08:19 PM

Hey John, it is good to see that you are back in the shop and knocking out some projects on your bucket list. Having said that, you had better be careful these hoppers don’t lead you into a cottage industry LOL!!

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View scrollingmom's profile


1012 posts in 1554 days

#11 posted 08-20-2013 02:44 PM

I really like this box. I was thinking of making one for my husband, he too also uses boxes.

-- Kelly, Allen,KS

View gwolfe1977's profile


228 posts in 901 days

#12 posted 09-28-2013 03:30 PM

Nice work! I have a couple of these made from plywood and painted with latex. Not nearly as nice as yours though. I may have to rethink and rebuild. Very Nice

-- Gary,Nebraska

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