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Posted: 7/13/2002 11:11:46 PM EDT
I recently ordered an Amsec "Teton" series safe, which weighed in at 550lb. When I went to pick it up, it turned out they shipped the wrong one, and I ended up with a sweet deal on an Amsec "Cascade" which is a much nicer home for evil black rifles and, not surprisingly, much heavier, weighing in at 775lb empty. Here's my question. I live in a house that was built in 1939, and has a raised wood floor (i.e. the house sits about 2 feet off the ground with a crawlspace underneath). The floor seems really sturdy, and didn't flex at all (that I can tell) under the load. However, I worry the thing may at some point take a sudden and extremely unfortunate dive through the floor. Has anyone ever heard of this happening? The folks at the safe shop hadn't. Anyone with any insight on this subject, I'd really appreciate it. Thanks, K-
Link Posted: 7/13/2002 11:19:06 PM EDT
I've never heard of it happening but I worry about it happening to me if I get a new safe as I live in an apartment..
Link Posted: 7/13/2002 11:21:35 PM EDT
While I haven't seen one at a home, I have seen one go thru the wooden ramp leading up to the restaurant it was being installed in. Kinda funny watching them dig it out of the broken planks. Anyway, if you have some concerns simply cut some 4x4s & use them as a brace in the crawlspace under the safe. I would suggest using some sort of metal square between the ground & 4x4s to prevent wood rot from moisture. Hope this helps.
Link Posted: 7/13/2002 11:56:41 PM EDT
Somehow the thought of putting more and more and more guns into a safe until it finally goes crashing through the floor brings the word "orgasm" to mind. Only a very few of us will ever realize this dream.
Link Posted: 7/14/2002 12:20:28 AM EDT
A variable that you haven't mentioned is joist spacing. Take a look in the crawlspace and see how how far apart the joists are. While I've never heard of a gun safe going through a floor, I have read and heard first hand accounts of fish tanks doing so or causing significant floor damage from sheer weight. Granted tanks can be much heavier, but you get the idea.
Link Posted: 7/14/2002 1:25:54 AM EDT
Anything heavy will damage a floor even if it doesn't go through it. Water beds, fishtanks, gunsafes, anything with a high ground pressure. The best thing to do would be to reinforce the floor as BobCole mentioned. It's a simple thing to do. I would use a couple concrete piers like Home Depot has for building decks. Use them as bases otherwise, as mentioned, the wood will rot out. Brace the joists with 4x4's or whatever else will work, and you're done. If it looks like you need more beams across that space, then put some in. It's pretty easy with a crawl space, as it doesn't have to look good, just be strong. Ross
Link Posted: 7/14/2002 1:27:05 AM EDT
Build up the floor underneath with supports in the crawl space and shit
Link Posted: 7/14/2002 1:30:59 AM EDT
Ditto on that shit.
Link Posted: 7/14/2002 9:18:53 PM EDT
Ditto on the above,I have an old open faced stemwall house. Crawl under it with a srong hydralic jack,and lift the floor joists just a little and put some concrete blocks under the joists just as you would if you were leveling a house trailer. This will make the area where you put the safe quite strong enough for any safe you would want to install. Bob [8D]
Link Posted: 7/14/2002 9:30:05 PM EDT
Link Posted: 7/14/2002 9:37:16 PM EDT
There are 2 things to consider; surface loading and total load. The surface pressure the safe puts on the floor is minimal if it sits flat and has a solid base. A safe with a 2' x 3' footprint weighing 1000 lbs. puts less than 1.2 PSI on the floor. So your load density is no problem at all. As for total load, it's highly unlikely that even 1000 lbs. will make any difference even for a flimsy floor. The floor can support more weight closer to the walls. From your description, I'd say that your floor joists are part of your pier & beam foundation. They're probably 2 x 6's or better. Unless you have severe termite damage, no gun safe of any size is going to pose a problem. [b]BUT[/b] BobCole pointed out the real concern. When you move it into the room -- probably on a 2-wheel hand truck -- all that weight is concentrated in two very small areas. It's a good idea to lay pieces of plywood down to 1) distribute the weight and 2) protect the floor. 5/8" or thicker should work. [b]AND[/b] most safe door can be removed when they're open. That means you can move it in 2 pieces which is much easier. If you still have concerns, let me know where you live and I'll be happy to take that big ol' heavy thing off your hands. [:)]
Link Posted: 7/14/2002 9:41:00 PM EDT
Oops. Gotta clarify. When I mentioned putting plywood down, I just mean while you're rolling it into place. You don't need once you set it in its permanent home. Also, you should strongly consider anchoring it to the floor once it's in place. Most safes have holes in the bottom and come with lag bolts for that purpose. It sucks to drill a hole in your floor, but it also sucks to have the safe tip forward when you open the door. Good luck and have fun!
Link Posted: 7/14/2002 9:41:16 PM EDT
I'm not worried about my safe as such, but I am a bit concerned when several fat gun nuts stand immediately in front of it to admire its contents...
Link Posted: 7/14/2002 10:09:31 PM EDT
Originally Posted By BlammO: There are 2 things to consider; surface loading and total load. The surface pressure the safe puts on the floor is minimal if it sits flat and has a solid base. A safe with a 2' x 3' footprint weighing 1000 lbs. puts less than 1.2 PSI on the floor. So your load density is no problem at all. As for total load, it's highly unlikely that even 1000 lbs. will make any difference even for a flimsy floor.
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This is what exactly what they told me when I bought my safe. I disagreed then and I sure do now. I live in a house built in the 1930's also. The crack above the shoe molding in the picture below wasn't there when I put the safe in and it keeps getting bigger and bigger. It's about a quarter of an inch right now, so I know the floor has sank at least that much. [img]http://www.ar15.com/members/albums/sr15%2Ffloor%2Ejpg[/img]
Link Posted: 7/14/2002 10:18:17 PM EDT
I think the cheapest and easiest solution is to have the house moved and then to have a concrete foundation poured. Put the house on the foundation and you problem is solved. [:D]
Link Posted: 7/14/2002 11:00:54 PM EDT
Another option. Nail a 2X12 across the floor joists directly under the safe. Get 2 solid concrete foundation blocks or deck piers from the building center, one for each side of the new support system. Move them around until you get them level both ways and lined up directly across and under the 2X12. Get 2 steel shorty screw floor jacks, place the jacks on the concrete blocks and and directly under the 2X12 and screw until you feel the jack take the load and stop. Check the floor and the ceiling occasionally to see how everything is working out.
Link Posted: 7/18/2002 8:35:51 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/18/2002 8:36:10 PM EDT by schapman43]
I've always worried about my downstairs aquiring all my firearms with a loud crash [:0]
Link Posted: 7/19/2002 5:47:14 AM EDT
If you go and reinforce the floor like these guys are telling you to, you will void the fire protection of that safe. It is heavy, so that in the event of a fire, the safe will fall thru the floor and away from the flames. The water that the fire departmane sprays will also collect in this same low place further cooling your safe & the precious contents. Now go install that big beauty. Glad I could help. [;D]
Link Posted: 7/19/2002 5:58:37 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Gun-fan: If you go and reinforce the floor like these guys are telling you to, you will void the fire protection of that safe. It is heavy, so that in the event of a fire, the safe will fall thru the floor and away from the flames. The water that the fire departmane sprays will also collect in this same low place further cooling your safe & the precious contents. Now go install that big beauty. Glad I could help. [;D]
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WTF? So, if I live in a house built on a slab, my safe has nowhere to go in the event of a fire and they won't honor the fire protection claim? Please cite the source for this. I have a lawyer who needs to be fed.
Link Posted: 7/19/2002 6:37:15 AM EDT
Originally Posted By FatMan: WTF? So, if I live in a house built on a slab, my safe has nowhere to go in the event of a fire and they won't honor the fire protection claim? Please cite the source for this. I have a lawyer who needs to be fed.
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Don't tell me you bought a slab on house without taking this into account?
Link Posted: 7/19/2002 6:41:28 AM EDT
If it was up to me, I would rip up the flooring in the area, and pour concrete into a slab that reaches down 2 feet. That way, your floor doesn't break, and you can mount the equipment into the new slab to secure your safe SECURELY. I think that if you did it this way, nobody's walking away with your safe without a wrecker truck.
Link Posted: 7/19/2002 6:55:37 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Gun-fan:
Originally Posted By FatMan: WTF? So, if I live in a house built on a slab, my safe has nowhere to go in the event of a fire and they won't honor the fire protection claim? Please cite the source for this. I have a lawyer who needs to be fed.
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Don't tell me you bought a slab on house without taking this into account?
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NOW you tell me! [:P]
Link Posted: 7/19/2002 7:08:03 AM EDT
Originally Posted By FatMan: NOW you tell me! [:P]
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I really heard a guy tell a potential customer that shit at a gun show once. I thought it was funny as hell & was just waiting for the time to use it as humor. At least a slab won't sink with the weight of your safe...
Link Posted: 7/19/2002 7:18:38 AM EDT
I am a Civil Engineer. I occasionally do structural inspections on houses. I would recommend finding a Structural Engineer or an Architect to inspect it. Even a "knowledgeable" builder could help, because he would have access to load tables and know how to read them. I say knowledgeable because it seems that some fellows watch a do-it-yourself show on PBS, find a good deal on a hammer and saw and they are instant experts on home construction. The floor will suppport more weight near the exterior walls and other load-bearing walls, not necessarily all walls. If you have a concern, definitely have it checked out before moving it into the house. That comment about the concentrated load on the hand-trucks is very true. That's probably around 200 psi. Whereas the safe sitting on the floor is (assuming 2'x2') 1.35 psi.
Link Posted: 7/19/2002 7:41:33 AM EDT
just a sidenote: two thanksgivings ago, a friend's house burned to the ground. his first floor safe actually did end up in the basemant despite the firemen directing water on the corner of the house where the safe was located. a day after the fire, the safe was hoisted from the still smoking, ash and water filled basement. the door had to be cut open, but all the firearms were saved from damage.
Link Posted: 7/19/2002 10:09:09 AM EDT
Originally Posted By CAMPYBOB: just a sidenote: two thanksgivings ago, a friend's house burned to the ground. his first floor safe actually did end up in the basemant despite the firemen directing water on the corner of the house where the safe was located. a day after the fire, the safe was hoisted from the still smoking, ash and water filled basement. the door had to be cut open, but all the firearms were saved from damage.
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Saved from damage, what about all the water damage?? :(
Link Posted: 7/19/2002 12:09:29 PM EDT
Simple enough. Nail or screw some 2X8 pressure treated wood across the floor joists under the safe. Put some matching pieces on the slab directly beneath. Measure a couple of pieces of 4X4 pressure treated about 1/8" longer than needed to fit between the 2X8s and smack them into place. Toe nail them if necessary. Done.
Link Posted: 7/19/2002 12:36:48 PM EDT
Long long long (70's) time ago went to service a security system at a place where the bad guys couldn't open the safe so they pushed it down the stairs to break it open. It destroyed the stairs and the local PD caught the bad guys as they couldn't get down to escape!!!!
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