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Posted: 2/22/2016 8:47:19 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/22/2016 8:56:37 PM EDT by ThrustMyStoma]
Picking up this Diebold Security Container built in 1965. I needed an affordable, secure container for a small space. I'd like to weld an additional 1/2 inch or so plate around the outside, along with a layer or 2 of 5/8" firecode drywall attached on the outside with constructive adhesive or something. I'd also like to weld a flange around the edge of each drawer to cover the gap between the drawer and the frame, to resist prying attacks.
Also, what's the best way to protect the drawer fronts and the lock? How can I prevent again the lock simply being drilled out?
What steel should I go with? I'd like something that's pretty resistant to cutting and grinding. Is an AR rated steel the answer? I'd be cutting it myself to size though, unless I can order the steel online in the sizes I need. If I need to order to the steel, what's a reputable online retailer?
As for mounting. I'd like to mount it through the safe, a solid concrete block about 4" high, and then into a concrete foundation. I don't believe the Diebold container has holes in the bottom, so I'd need a bit recommendation to drill that as well. I'm figuring in the cost of a Harbor freight rotary hammer.
I have a budget of about 700 for the steel, Hardly Freight rotary hammer, and the concrete/metal bits, mounting concrete expoxy, etc.
Thanks for any advice.

Flanges on the drawer body overlapping the drawer/body gap:

Link Posted: 2/22/2016 11:43:01 PM EDT
Not trying to be harsh, but in all honesty, it seems like you're probably going to do a lot of extra work for very little reward.  Just a couple of the things I thought of right off the bat..

a.) If you add steel flanges welded onto the face of the door, it's probably going to ADD EXTRA prying ability due to the extra lip to get a prybar under. It will also allow prying forward with flanges attached.
b.) realize that adding drywall to the outside doesn't act the same as adding drywall to the inside.  As it is heated, the moisture just evaporates into the fire. Being that the moisture is not trapped inside the safe, it doesn't do much to keep it cool. Really the drywall should be inside or under the added plate. Granted it will slightly insulate the safe from flame impingement/heat radiation.
c.) steel plate is pretty expensive.  AR steel is very expensive... way too cost prohibitive for the safe.  If you are that worried that you want an AR steel surround, you need to chock up a bunch more money on a real safe.
d.) are you welding this yourself? Asking because you don't sound very familiar with your steels.  And a steel box is only as durable as it's welds.  Also, it's hard to tell what the thickness is of the steel wall and drawer fronts of the cabinet.  It needs to be pretty thick for a solid weld, and without warping.
e,) To mount the cabinet, I would build a 2x4 form on the floor with studs going down into the existing floor/foundation and pour concrete in it to make a platform. Then anchor into the platform.

I would really spend the $700 on a different used safe instead of trying to makeshift a safe.  Maybe even safe a few more bucks to add to it.  But you should be able to find a nice used safe that sized on CL for that price if you look around.
Link Posted: 2/22/2016 11:54:48 PM EDT
That little file cabinet is already designed to keep bad guys out.  That's why the government uses them.  Notice the weight tag on the bottom?  That little filing cabinet already weighs more than a gun safe four times its size.  The lock is well protected as well.  More so than your typical gun safe.

Link Posted: 2/23/2016 11:52:33 AM EDT

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Originally Posted By a1abdj:

That little file cabinet is already designed to keep bad guys out.  That's why the government uses them.  Notice the weight tag on the bottom?  That little filing cabinet already weighs more than a gun safe four times its size.  The lock is well protected as well.  More so than your typical gun safe.

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Yup. I'd find a way to mount it to the floor/wall and then add your fireproofing to the outside.

Link Posted: 2/23/2016 4:00:12 PM EDT
Thanks for the advice. Would foam board act as a better insulator?
Link Posted: 2/23/2016 7:32:19 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/23/2016 7:33:36 PM EDT by mitsuman47]
I'm betting the foam would melt rather quickly. Look up 2,3, and 4 hour wall systems. That'll keep you busy for a while. I'm looking into rockwool insulation for around my safe, but haven't come to any conclusions as to it's effectiveness.

Hell, depending on where you mount the thing you could pour high temp concrete around it... Edit: covered in insulation,  covered in unobtainium.

Link Posted: 2/24/2016 10:18:01 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/24/2016 10:28:45 AM EDT by abrace]
Many 'hard steels' are sold in non hardened form for welding/machining, then once the project is complete it is sent out to be properly heat treated and will NOT reach its proper hardness until after that happens.

Welding already hardened steel is difficult at best. In addition to the alloy itself, heat treating the metal is what helps to give it the desired hardness properties. Welding it changes those properties. Often the area where the weld is becomes excessively hard and brittle and it cracks at the weld and fails. This often happens shortly after welding.

If I were in your shoes and wanted to do what you want to do, I would just go with 1/2" or 3/4" mild steel and weld it on...That is going to add a bit of a barrier to entry for your purposes.

Another option is to go with some thick stainless steel, it is harder than mild steel and a LITTLE more resistant to drilling. It is a lot more resistant to oxy fuel cutting if that is of interest. If you decide to go with stainless steel, your choice of filler metal is critical when welding stainless to mild steel...you want 309L filler metal in general. Welding stainless to stainless would use 308L. This is assuming the stainless you get is austenitic (which most are).

Also, I want to agree with the above poster. This is a difficult weld job especially without wrecking the underlying cabinet. Welding 1/2" with full penetration is not for the faint of heart and outside the reasonable capabilities of the 110V mig welders most hobbyist welders have. If I were to do this I would do it with a stick welder, not mig, using 5/32 7018 stick electrodes after properly prepping and beveling the joints. It would take a solid 130-160A of DC current. For a mig welder with solid wire, you are probably looking at .035 wire or bigger and 200+ amps of power. This is a serious weld.

If you just want to 'tack' it on, or not get complete penetration, that is a different story...but since your desire is to increase security that will not be enough to get the job done.

Link Posted: 2/26/2016 9:14:15 AM EDT
Nice looking unit. I would use it as is, just mount it to the floor. Also, quit smoking, the more you spend on cigarettes the less you can spend on guns, just saying, been there.
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