Arizona Response Systems, LLC
BUILDING THE SHOP
ARS moved to new facilities in 2001. It is refreshing to have a floorplan made specifically to fit the business. I included a few pictures of the construction and the finished shop for your entertainment.
I opted for frame construction for speed and economy, but went with oversize walls for the greater insulation factor. After all, this IS the desert and 120+ F is not uncommon.
A stucco finish seemed most appropriate for the region. I also considered the additional insulation value.
The Office as our illustrious contractor left it. Salvador Dali had a better sense of perspective than than our contractor. It took days to straighten the walls and fix the cracks in the floor. Yes, I know the tile covered the cracks in the foundation, but it still frustrates me that anyone can be so casual about quality.
Fixing the office was a long and arduous task. I can't install level counters very well if the walls are not straight and the floor not level. It turned out okay.
The work bay. About three times the size of our old facilities.
The work bay after lighting and painting and before installing the concrete and steel vault. I wish at this point I knew the footprint of our equipment, because we ended up having to move the lights a few more times to cover the work areas better.
Steel-reinforced concrete vault installed. Gun safes were getting tedious as it is too easy to scratch finished guns when removing them from the safe, so with a walk-in vault, I can keep more stuff under enhanced security, while at the same time eliminating the risk of "storage dings."
This was the day we moved all the tools from the old shop and the last day of production at the old shop. What a relief. It was such a bother to have to buy new tools that I already had at our other location.
The vault - almost completed. One nice thing that happened was I discovered a number of parts and accessories that I didn't know I had. Selling these parts was one of the things that kept the bills paid during our extended down-time.
While I was proud of the sandblaster I made back in 1991, we had patched the back of it several times from where we had blasted through it. It was time to buy some better equipment. This should make the most tedious part of processing firearms a bit easier.
Ahh - the office is progressing. This was an important day as getting the computer back up got us back in touch with the rest of the world and allowed us to resume mail-order sales. Again - these parts sales paid for most of the building materials. Lesson learned - inventory that isn't moving is an albatross about the neck.
The dreaded moment. Helpers logging their hours. Can you believe they expected to be PAID? My sincere thanks for their flexibility and patience - waiting for those precious parts orders - $25 and $50 at a time so they could be paid. "Hey guys - I sold another stock set - we can splurge at McDonalds today!"
I never would have guessed just how much drywall weighs! Truckload after truckload - three times more than my estimate. Thank goodness for a Lowes and Home Depot about 6 miles away.
Yep - the employees at Home Depot and Lowes would scatter as I pulled up covered head to toe in plaster and paint. "Okay - who's got the forklift? We need another load.
There are two kinds of gunsmiths. Those who crawl around for hours looking for launched springs and pins . . . . and liars. Lesson learned. Caulk every single crack and expansion groove in the floor and walls. The shop gremlins like to steal parts and stash them in cracks.
Almost done. After years of frustration with workbenches that would shake when subjected to my kind of abuse, I built these suckers out solid steel. I planned on bolting them to the floor, but with two grown men needed to budge one, maybe that would be overkill. Hmm . . . Overkill is good! See step-by-step how in the Tools section.
The finished office with bins of rifles waiting to be logged in. What to do when UPS brings a months work in one day?
Primary and secondary work areas with pegboard up. Starting to get the tools sorted by task and hung in an order that could be construed as logical..
The vault. Customer FALs and HKs waiting for builds, other guns waiting on refinish or custom work.
The vault - the secondary purpose of a large walk-in vault was to isolate parts from the dust and grime of the working areas. Also, being a rather visual person, I like to be able to see my parts inventory at a glance. It really sucks to have to buy parts I know I have but cannot find.
Customer handguns awaiting processing.
The vault. FALs and HKs waiting for testfire or return ship. Now its time to get to work. Thank you for your interest.
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