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Posted: 7/20/2010 8:49:49 PM EDT
I REALLY need to secure my rifles.  We live in pier and beam house with crawlspace under.  There is a utility room that was added on to house with slab poured.  Utility room is basically mud room/laundry with 1/2 bath attached.  There is not AC or heat in the utility room area.  Attic has been converted into bedroom.  

Without being able to see my floorplan, what do you suggest for adding a gunsafe or metal cabinet?  

There are no dead areas of any size on the bottom floor.  Upstairs there are dead areas in three walls of the bedroom, but the house was built in 1944 and I am unsure of live loads and all of that.

The utility room with poured slab appeals to me as I could anchor a safe or cabinet to the concrete.  But, humidity will really be a problem.  As an added problem, swimming pool chemicals were stored in the outside 1/2 bath for years.  There has been continued corrosion even though I removed the chemicals 2 years ago at move-in.

Right now, all firearms are concealed to varying degrees.  <there are dead spaces, but none large enough for safe>

Besides burglary, my children are old enough to have company over to the house now.  
Any help would be appreciated.
Link Posted: 7/20/2010 9:07:58 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/24/2010 9:28:13 AM EDT by troy808]
for years, I've used Pelican cases locked together with a coated cable (for locking bikes).
the other end of the cable is secured to an eye-bolt through the floor.
the only way that I can see to hack my (meager) setup is either to locate the keys / combo, bolt-cutter, or chainsaw.

it won't stop a determined thief, but the kids will know that I know if it's been tampered with....
..
Link Posted: 7/20/2010 9:13:13 PM EDT
Got a closet somewhere you can commandeer? If so you could put in a hardened/steel door with a deadbolt or two. That would keep the kids out and slow down a smash and grab.
Link Posted: 7/20/2010 9:28:21 PM EDT
I thought about the closet idea downstairs, but mounting a steel door or even a reinforced door would pretty intensive.  I replaced front door that was paned glass with steel clad door.  Whole frame is questionable.  This is an old farmhouse and not to talk trash about the original owners, but it just wasn't built with modern methods.  Without getting all detailed, I just can't see a steel door being worth the trouble if someone could pry it out of the wall.  

The cable lock idea appeals to me.  The maybe I could wall out some of the dead space upstairs with plywood and put eyebolts into the floor joists?  Cable looped  through the actions.........like gun locks you get from the PD.....then they would be concealed too.  Just have to camoflauge the opening......
Link Posted: 7/20/2010 9:38:22 PM EDT
Thought about a stack-on cabinet or two? They are pretty cost effective, especially if you pick them up used. Also with those you can bolt them straight into the wall/floor easily. These would keep the kids out and deter a smash and grab. If you wanted to camouflage them you could build a small simple cabinet around them.
Link Posted: 7/20/2010 10:16:08 PM EDT
I've been toying with the idea of using the 3 foot crawlspace beneath my mobile as a secure area.

It'll require cutting a hole in the floor.

Cut your hole slightly oversized.
Pour a square slab, three or four inches thick, set some bolts or rebar upright in the slab.
Concrete block walls up to the level of the underfloor of the house.
Fill the blocks with cement.  Set bolts or threaded rod into the upper sides of the blocks
frame in your trap door (you might want to wait for this part until the slab settles.)
Heavy duty trap door. w/lock

The joy of this approach is that it doesn't really matter how strong the house is, the safe is self-supporting.  If you want a space too big to fit between joists, make the slab thicker and set the cut floor joists atop the vault walls.

The downside is that you have to cut a hole in the floor and wait (depending on how solid the ground beneath the house is) awhile for it to settle or it'll pull the structure around it down as it compresses the bed.

If you want to get real fancy, insulate the vault and cut a couple of vents in the floor (like a heating vent) to allow heat and etc. to commingle.
Link Posted: 7/21/2010 5:45:06 AM EDT
Originally Posted By TheOTHERmaninblack:
I've been toying with the idea of using the 3 foot crawlspace beneath my mobile as a secure area.

It'll require cutting a hole in the floor.

Cut your hole slightly oversized.
Pour a square slab, three or four inches thick, set some bolts or rebar upright in the slab.
Concrete block walls up to the level of the underfloor of the house.
Fill the blocks with cement.  Set bolts or threaded rod into the upper sides of the blocks
frame in your trap door (you might want to wait for this part until the slab settles.)
Heavy duty trap door. w/lock

The joy of this approach is that it doesn't really matter how strong the house is, the safe is self-supporting.  If you want a space too big to fit between joists, make the slab thicker and set the cut floor joists atop the vault walls.

The downside is that you have to cut a hole in the floor and wait (depending on how solid the ground beneath the house is) awhile for it to settle or it'll pull the structure around it down as it compresses the bed.

If you want to get real fancy, insulate the vault and cut a couple of vents in the floor (like a heating vent) to allow heat and etc. to commingle.


If you have a 3 foot crawl space... why cut a hole in the floor ?... maybe use access from the outside.
I'd make it simple, no concrete - square out the hole - use Pelican cases ( or vacuum pack in plastic ), and cover with a piece of plywood... camo with junk.
At Halloween- get some fake spider web ( spray stuff )... everyone is paranoid of spiders  
Link Posted: 7/21/2010 7:15:13 AM EDT
If you have a master walk in closet, replace the door with a solid wooden door, put a deadbolt lock on it.

Inside the closet, do the pelican case/cable thing.

Better than what you have now.

Get a monitored alarm

Make sure your guns are insured.

Relax.


Gun security is a layered approach.

Link Posted: 7/21/2010 8:27:23 AM EDT
Add an extra pier or piers under the area where you want to put the safe.  It's not that difficult to do.  Crawl under and look at the existing piers, then make something similar.  If you don't have the skill or just don't want to crawl around with all the spiders and bugs you could probably find a house leveling service that would do it for you.

The only possible issue is anchoring it.  You can drill holes through the floor and add sections of 2x8 or 2x10 below and perpendicular to the floor joists.  Then use long all thread to bolt the safe down.  You'll need someone to help you do that.  That should be enough to frustrate all but the most determined thieves and would probably keep it in place during a tornado or earthquake unless the entire house is destroyed.

Good luck.
Link Posted: 7/21/2010 8:44:16 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Bitmap:
Add an extra pier or piers under the area where you want to put the safe.  It's not that difficult to do.  Crawl under and look at the existing piers, then make something similar.  If you don't have the skill or just don't want to crawl around with all the spiders and bugs you could probably find a house leveling service that would do it for you.

The only possible issue is anchoring it.  You can drill holes through the floor and add sections of 2x8 or 2x10 below and perpendicular to the floor joists.  Then use long all thread to bolt the safe down.  You'll need someone to help you do that.  That should be enough to frustrate all but the most determined thieves and would probably keep it in place during a tornado or earthquake unless the entire house is destroyed.

Good luck.


This poster nailed it.  Easy, cost effective, and it'll work.  You could literally have the new piers set in an afternoon with less than $100 in materials.  

Get under the house, did a 2'x2' and 12" deep footing for each pier.  Fill with ready mix concrete, place the pier in the center once it starts to firm a bit, and make sure you sink them an inch or two in the wet concrete.  Level them, and let it sit.  In a few hours it will be hard enough to measure and cut your cribbing, usually a short length of 4x4 post.

Digging holes under houses sucks (I've done hundreds) but you'll probably only need two and it shouldn't take that long.  You'll obviously need a short handle shovel (18" usually) but three feet in your crawlspace is about twice what I usually had to work with.
Link Posted: 7/21/2010 8:57:41 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Yaish:
Originally Posted By Bitmap:
Add an extra pier or piers under the area where you want to put the safe.  It's not that difficult to do.  Crawl under and look at the existing piers, then make something similar.  If you don't have the skill or just don't want to crawl around with all the spiders and bugs you could probably find a house leveling service that would do it for you.

The only possible issue is anchoring it.  You can drill holes through the floor and add sections of 2x8 or 2x10 below and perpendicular to the floor joists.  Then use long all thread to bolt the safe down.  You'll need someone to help you do that.  That should be enough to frustrate all but the most determined thieves and would probably keep it in place during a tornado or earthquake unless the entire house is destroyed.

Good luck.


This poster nailed it.  Easy, cost effective, and it'll work.  You could literally have the new piers set in an afternoon with less than $100 in materials.  

Get under the house, did a 2'x2' and 12" deep footing for each pier.  Fill with ready mix concrete, place the pier in the center once it starts to firm a bit, and make sure you sink them an inch or two in the wet concrete.  Level them, and let it sit.  In a few hours it will be hard enough to measure and cut your cribbing, usually a short length of 4x4 post.

Digging holes under houses sucks (I've done hundreds) but you'll probably only need two and it shouldn't take that long.  You'll obviously need a short handle shovel (18" usually) but three feet in your crawlspace is about twice what I usually had to work with.



Gun safes are not as heavy as people think.  Fat people put a much greater strain on flooring than a 16 gun safe with a dozen firearms in it.

I wouldn't bother with digging footings etc.  A piece of hardwood on the ground, a jack stand, another piece of hardwood supporting the joist under the safe.
Link Posted: 7/21/2010 9:21:13 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Bubbatheredneck:

Gun safes are not as heavy as people think.  Fat people put a much greater strain on flooring than a 16 gun safe with a dozen firearms in it.

I wouldn't bother with digging footings etc.  A piece of hardwood on the ground, a jack stand, another piece of hardwood supporting the joist under the safe.



Bath tubs for that matter weigh a LOT more than most safes.  A large cast iron tub weighs several hundred pounds all by itself.  Throw in another few hundred pounds of water and Rosie O and her girlfriend taking a bath together, and you're over half a ton easily.
Link Posted: 7/21/2010 9:40:10 AM EDT
where ever you decide, try and put it in a temp controled area, or have one hell of a dehumidifier{s}.

I had a safe in my shed, bolted through the floor and walls, had a golden rod and desicant packs inside and my guns still got rust on them pretty regular like; winters seemed to be the worst, they'd get cold at night, then warm up in the afternoon and sweat.
Link Posted: 7/21/2010 10:40:01 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/21/2010 11:17:45 AM EDT by troy808]
Originally Posted By TheOTHERmaninblack:
I've been toying with the idea of using the 3 foot crawlspace beneath my mobile as a secure area.

It'll require cutting a hole in the floor.

Cut your hole slightly oversized.
Pour a square slab, three or four inches thick, set some bolts or rebar upright in the slab.
Concrete block walls up to the level of the underfloor of the house.
Fill the blocks with cement.  
Set bolts or threaded rod into the upper sides of the blocks
frame in your trap door (you might want to wait for this part until the slab settles.)
Heavy duty trap door. w/lock

The joy of this approach is that it doesn't really matter how strong the house is, the safe is self-supporting.  If you want a space too big to fit between joists, make the slab thicker and set the cut floor joists atop the vault walls.

The downside is that you have to cut a hole in the floor and wait (depending on how solid the ground beneath the house is) awhile for it to settle or it'll pull the structure around it down as it compresses the bed.

If you want to get real fancy, insulate the vault and cut a couple of vents in the floor (like a heating vent) to allow heat and etc. to commingle.


how 'bout digging / building one under the house?
if prisoners can tunnel, can't be that hard, right?

also, possibly in the event of a fire, maybe the contents could be spared?
Link Posted: 7/21/2010 10:40:47 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/21/2010 10:52:07 AM EDT by troy808]
Originally Posted By Yaish:
Bath tubs for that matter weigh a LOT more than most safes.  A large cast iron tub weighs several hundred pounds all by itself.  Throw in another few hundred pounds of water and Rosie O and her girlfriend taking a bath together, and you're over half a ton easily.

doesn't Rosie O have to grease the sides of the tub to get in?


(eta) thanx for the image......burned my retinas
Link Posted: 7/21/2010 12:08:40 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/21/2010 12:09:48 PM EDT by Cacinok]
Originally Posted By Yaish:
Originally Posted By Bitmap:
Add an extra pier or piers under the area where you want to put the safe.  It's not that difficult to do.  Crawl under and look at the existing piers, then make something similar.  If you don't have the skill or just don't want to crawl around with all the spiders and bugs you could probably find a house leveling service that would do it for you.

The only possible issue is anchoring it.  You can drill holes through the floor and add sections of 2x8 or 2x10 below and perpendicular to the floor joists.  Then use long all thread to bolt the safe down.  You'll need someone to help you do that.  That should be enough to frustrate all but the most determined thieves and would probably keep it in place during a tornado or earthquake unless the entire house is destroyed.

Good luck.


This poster nailed it.  Easy, cost effective, and it'll work.  You could literally have the new piers set in an afternoon with less than $100 in materials.  

Get under the house, did a 2'x2' and 12" deep footing for each pier.  Fill with ready mix concrete, place the pier in the center once it starts to firm a bit, and make sure you sink them an inch or two in the wet concrete.  Level them, and let it sit.  In a few hours it will be hard enough to measure and cut your cribbing, usually a short length of 4x4 post.

Digging holes under houses sucks (I've done hundreds) but you'll probably only need two and it shouldn't take that long.  You'll obviously need a short handle shovel (18" usually) but three feet in your crawlspace is about twice what I usually had to work with.


personally, i'd go the easy route and use cinder blocks as you're support versus the concrete and 4x4.  get two of the solid 2-3" thick cinder blocks as the base and stack your normal cinder blocks on top (perpendicular to the solid blocks).  on top you use two wedges of wood - start them from opposite sides and drive toward each other until the pier is now supporting the joists.  this is how mobile homes are setup.  i have an old farm house that was moved onto our property back in the 40's and this is how it was setup as well.  i'd put the pier under the central supporting joist or use a short length of 4x4 to span two joists.  

i'm not sure how most safes attach, but if you bolt it into a wall stud this would keep it from tipping over and allowing people to really torque on the door.
Link Posted: 7/21/2010 12:30:16 PM EDT
Unless you are talking about a Stackon metal cabinet "safe" even a cheap Liberty or Centurion "20 gun" safe is going to be heavy enough to where one man isn't going to run off with it (they can, however, cut into it with an ax).



I have a Patriot Safe "Collectors" 2-hr fire model (https://www.patriotsafe.com/quotCollectorquot-39-gun-safe-2-hour-fire-1880-2010-LEO-Special-_p_8.html) which is supposed to be a 39-gun safe (they never are).  It weighs alot (over 1500 lbs) but that is spread out over the footprint (someone can figure the PSI).



It took 4 men and myself to slide it into place (first floor lower level on a slab) and it ain't moving again.
Link Posted: 7/21/2010 1:29:38 PM EDT
Originally Posted By troy808:
Originally Posted By TheOTHERmaninblack:
I've been toying with the idea of using the 3 foot crawlspace beneath my mobile as a secure area.

It'll require cutting a hole in the floor.

Cut your hole slightly oversized.
Pour a square slab, three or four inches thick, set some bolts or rebar upright in the slab.
Concrete block walls up to the level of the underfloor of the house.
Fill the blocks with cement.  
Set bolts or threaded rod into the upper sides of the blocks
frame in your trap door (you might want to wait for this part until the slab settles.)
Heavy duty trap door. w/lock

The joy of this approach is that it doesn't really matter how strong the house is, the safe is self-supporting.  If you want a space too big to fit between joists, make the slab thicker and set the cut floor joists atop the vault walls.

The downside is that you have to cut a hole in the floor and wait (depending on how solid the ground beneath the house is) awhile for it to settle or it'll pull the structure around it down as it compresses the bed.

If you want to get real fancy, insulate the vault and cut a couple of vents in the floor (like a heating vent) to allow heat and etc. to commingle.


how 'bout digging / building one under the house?
if prisoners can tunnel, can't be that hard, right?

also, possibly in the event of a fire, maybe the contents could be spared?


I was thinking ease of access, temp/humidity control, and lack of actual digging.  If the vault shares heating with the house, the hot-cold-hot cycle is mitigated and you don't have the condensation problems.  And I'd much rather go into the gun room, move a throw rug, and reach down than crawl in through the outside and back out with my precious across my elbows.  Did enough low crawling with weapons in basic, thank you very much
Link Posted: 7/21/2010 1:42:40 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/24/2010 9:30:07 AM EDT by troy808]
Originally Posted By TheOTHERmaninblack:
Originally Posted By troy808:
Originally Posted By TheOTHERmaninblack:
I've been toying with the idea of using the 3 foot crawlspace beneath my mobile as a secure area.

It'll require cutting a hole in the floor.

Cut your hole slightly oversized.
Pour a square slab, three or four inches thick, set some bolts or rebar upright in the slab.
Concrete block walls up to the level of the underfloor of the house.
Fill the blocks with cement.  
Set bolts or threaded rod into the upper sides of the blocks
frame in your trap door (you might want to wait for this part until the slab settles.)
Heavy duty trap door. w/lock

The joy of this approach is that it doesn't really matter how strong the house is, the safe is self-supporting.  If you want a space too big to fit between joists, make the slab thicker and set the cut floor joists atop the vault walls.

The downside is that you have to cut a hole in the floor and wait (depending on how solid the ground beneath the house is) awhile for it to settle or it'll pull the structure around it down as it compresses the bed.

If you want to get real fancy, insulate the vault and cut a couple of vents in the floor (like a heating vent) to allow heat and etc. to commingle.


how 'bout digging / building one under the house?
if prisoners can tunnel, can't be that hard, right?

also, possibly in the event of a fire, maybe the contents could be spared?


I was thinking ease of access, temp/humidity control, and lack of actual digging.  If the vault shares heating with the house, the hot-cold-hot cycle is mitigated and you don't have the condensation problems.  And I'd much rather go into the gun room, move a throw rug, and reach down than crawl in through the outside and back out with my precious across my elbows.  Did enough low crawling with weapons in basic, thank you very much


actually, it's a good idea, and done correctly, could be a nice addition. have the secret button hidden within the statue
but for my situation, I'd rather not go thru the floor.
initially, I was thinking out loud, I edited my post.....
just reinforcing some of my ideas

Link Posted: 7/21/2010 1:42:52 PM EDT
Whats a "pier and beam" house? I've heard of post and beam, but not pier and beam. Whats a pier besides something you stand on all day fishing and  getting drunk and getting more sunburned by the minute?
Link Posted: 7/21/2010 3:11:31 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Yaish:
Originally Posted By Bitmap:
Add an extra pier or piers under the area where you want to put the safe.  It's not that difficult to do.  Crawl under and look at the existing piers, then make something similar.  If you don't have the skill or just don't want to crawl around with all the spiders and bugs you could probably find a house leveling service that would do it for you.

The only possible issue is anchoring it.  You can drill holes through the floor and add sections of 2x8 or 2x10 below and perpendicular to the floor joists.  Then use long all thread to bolt the safe down.  You'll need someone to help you do that.  That should be enough to frustrate all but the most determined thieves and would probably keep it in place during a tornado or earthquake unless the entire house is destroyed.

Good luck.


This poster nailed it.  Easy, cost effective, and it'll work.  You could literally have the new piers set in an afternoon with less than $100 in materials.  

Get under the house, did a 2'x2' and 12" deep footing for each pier.  Fill with ready mix concrete, place the pier in the center once it starts to firm a bit, and make sure you sink them an inch or two in the wet concrete.  Level them, and let it sit.  In a few hours it will be hard enough to measure and cut your cribbing, usually a short length of 4x4 post.

Digging holes under houses sucks (I've done hundreds) but you'll probably only need two and it shouldn't take that long.  You'll obviously need a short handle shovel (18" usually) but three feet in your crawlspace is about twice what I usually had to work with.


This is exactly what I had to do and it worked out great. Using piers, a few layers of 5/8 plywood under and over the existing flooring and 2x8's as extra joists, I reinforced the floor under an existing closet. My house was built in 1931 and that closet area will probably be around long after the house is gone!
Link Posted: 7/21/2010 3:11:40 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/21/2010 3:12:09 PM EDT by TheOTHERmaninblack]
Originally Posted By Kibby:
Whats a "pier and beam" house? I've heard of post and beam, but not pier and beam. Whats a pier besides something you stand on all day fishing and  getting drunk and getting more sunburned by the minute?

Think stilt house.
Link Posted: 7/21/2010 4:04:11 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Kibby:
Whats a "pier and beam" house? I've heard of post and beam, but not pier and beam. Whats a pier besides something you stand on all day fishing and  getting drunk and getting more sunburned by the minute?


A pier is a little concrete pyramid with nailing straps built into it.  You sink the pier into a footer (if you want to do it right) or could even just set it on the ground.  Put a block on top that goes to the beams above to support the weight.

Link Posted: 7/21/2010 4:15:03 PM EDT
Originally Posted By TheOTHERmaninblack:
Originally Posted By Kibby:
Whats a "pier and beam" house? I've heard of post and beam, but not pier and beam. Whats a pier besides something you stand on all day fishing and  getting drunk and getting more sunburned by the minute?

Think stilt house.


Ahh! The light is ON. So you mean a house that would be like for flood areas and stuff? Like a house on stilts that all the houses in flood-prone areas should be on?
Link Posted: 7/21/2010 7:33:49 PM EDT



Originally Posted By Kibby:



Originally Posted By TheOTHERmaninblack:


Originally Posted By Kibby:

Whats a "pier and beam" house? I've heard of post and beam, but not pier and beam. Whats a pier besides something you stand on all day fishing and  getting drunk and getting more sunburned by the minute?


Think stilt house.




Ahh! The light is ON. So you mean a house that would be like for flood areas and stuff? Like a house on stilts that all the houses in flood-prone areas should be on?


Or just built into the side of a hill.



I live in a 'stilt house' for that exact reason.



 
Link Posted: 7/21/2010 8:49:38 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Kibby:
Originally Posted By TheOTHERmaninblack:
Originally Posted By Kibby:
Whats a "pier and beam" house? I've heard of post and beam, but not pier and beam. Whats a pier besides something you stand on all day fishing and  getting drunk and getting more sunburned by the minute?

Think stilt house.


Ahh! The light is ON. So you mean a house that would be like for flood areas and stuff? Like a house on stilts that all the houses in flood-prone areas should be on?


Naw, nothing that extreme.  It's just a cheaper way to build a house than a poured slab.

A house on a raised foundation is only supported by the edges, and whatever stem walls might have been laid.  All that span from one side of the other still needs to be supported, and that's where the piers come in.  They're basically immobile concrete jack stands that support the floor beams, that are in turn supporting the floor joists.

You'll generally get anywhere from 18 to 36 inches of clearance, not enough for flood abatement.

Link Posted: 7/21/2010 10:28:37 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Yaish:
Originally Posted By Kibby:
Originally Posted By TheOTHERmaninblack:
Originally Posted By Kibby:
Whats a "pier and beam" house? I've heard of post and beam, but not pier and beam. Whats a pier besides something you stand on all day fishing and  getting drunk and getting more sunburned by the minute?

Think stilt house.


Ahh! The light is ON. So you mean a house that would be like for flood areas and stuff? Like a house on stilts that all the houses in flood-prone areas should be on?


Naw, nothing that extreme.  It's just a cheaper way to build a house than a poured slab.

A house on a raised foundation is only supported by the edges, and whatever stem walls might have been laid.  All that span from one side of the other still needs to be supported, and that's where the piers come in.  They're basically immobile concrete jack stands that support the floor beams, that are in turn supporting the floor joists.

You'll generally get anywhere from 18 to 36 inches of clearance, not enough for flood abatement.



I think that would depend on the flood.  Local codes in the floody areas of Cheyenne call for the floors to be 36" above grade.

Also, while the stilts are short, they're still stilt houses  Hell, about every mobile home out there is on piers (stacked block, the simplest form), whether poured or just set.
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