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Posted: 10/22/2002 4:52:55 PM EDT
Here's what I'm thinking. Those inexpensive gun safes don't seem like they are worth the money. But those heavy duty gun safes are pretty high dollar. So what I was thinking about was building a closet in one of my spare rooms, lining it with some thin steel, and putting a steel door on it. Thus making my own gun safe. I figured that this would be much more inconspicous than an actual gun safe, and I could probably build it myself pretty cheap. Anyone else think this is a viable option? Anyone else done this themselves?
Link Posted: 10/22/2002 5:02:24 PM EDT
I did the safe room thing....larger capacity for less money..
Link Posted: 10/22/2002 5:06:59 PM EDT
Here's an article I came across: [url]http://www.gunsandammomag.com/dynamic.asp?intSectionID=198&intArticleID=1100[/url] The door itself is pricey, but you could probably come up with something cheaper and nearly as secure.
Link Posted: 10/22/2002 5:15:06 PM EDT
I had thought about doing the same thing. I decided against building for a couple of reasons. The cost would still be high. The hinges, lock, bolts, locking mechanism, paint and supplies all add up. Sheets of steel aren't cheap either. Factor in all the welding and grinding. If you consider your time to be worth anything, your looking at some major bucks. The fit of the door is another factor. Depending on the size of the door, it will be bowed. Plates of steel bow on all thickness that you would use for a door, especially when you start welding on it. Most safe doors have reinforcing steps. You want the door to have an air-tight fit, which brings me to my next point. Fire rating. Sure you could stuff your safe full of drywall and get some doorseal, but is it enough? You'd never know until you popped open the safe after a fire. Most good safes come with guarantees and fire ratings. Most good safes come with guarantees about breakins, also. They're expensive, but the piece of mind they provide is priceless.
Link Posted: 10/22/2002 5:51:51 PM EDT
I have been thinking about turning a spare bedroom into a walk-in vault for a couple of years. Every house is different, but the room I have in mind would work pretty well. It's on the second story, so windows are not a security problem. Two layers of lathe and plaster on the one wall that would be the obvious choice for a burgler to cut through. If you do a web search on "vault door" you will find that several companies make doors that would almost "drop in". They run from $1000.00 to $2500.00, so it's not cheap, but it would be a one time expense, as opposed to buying a safe and then needing a second one. It would not be a fireproof room, but it would be secure.
Link Posted: 10/22/2002 6:18:28 PM EDT
Try Sam's Club. The have great deals on full size safes.
Link Posted: 10/22/2002 6:25:27 PM EDT
I picked up a vault door and frame from a hospital where my wife worked--it was the door to their old narcotics vault. The FRAME alone weighs close to 300 pounds and the door easily tops 800 pounds (4 strong guys couldn't lift it, they had tilt it and get a dolly under it). The face of the combo dial is about 5" in diameter. It is in storage now, and I am seriously debating on keeping it until I build a house where it can be used, or just getting rid of it for what I have into it. AFARR
Link Posted: 10/22/2002 6:35:59 PM EDT
To bad you don't live here in OKLAHOMA I would tell you buy one of these [url]www.bearsafes.com[/url]
Link Posted: 10/22/2002 6:40:22 PM EDT
A vault room is a viable option, but there are keys to choosing the room and decisions you need to make about security. The best vault rooms are portions of basements or for homes in states without basements, 1st floor rooms make a good choice. The reason you choose a 1st floor or basement room is fire safety. Whatever means you decide to use to make the room fire resistant, falling 8 feet from a second story is just not a good thing. The best scenario is constructing a vault room during the construction of your home. This allows you to use 8", 10" or 12" concrete block for the walls, reinforced with rebar and poured solid. The best choice for the ceiling is having a professional pour the ceiling 6" to 10" thick with rebar. Why poured solid and reinforced you ask? Look at a 10 x 10 room with concrete block walls and a super duper vault door. The quickest route into the room is a sledge hammer or concrete saw through the block. Pouring the walls solid and reinforcing with rebar makes them less vulerable to attack, requires more time and effort, enough that most common theives, even real pros will choose easier prey. Secondly the concrete provides good fire resistance, you basically want to isolate the interior of this room from heat and flame in case of fire. The one detail I have not looked into is how you block airconditioning vents in case of fire, I'm sure a workable solution could be developed, but it didn't apply to my personal vault room so I didn't worry about solving the problem. For the maximum security on the door you want a steel door jam with steel binding clips set into the concrete block. Before the door opening header is placed, the door jam itself is poured solid with concrete. The next step down in security would be a 2x4 or 2x6 framed room with steel plating or rebar placed in transverse holes in the studs so a potential burgler still has to contend with the noise/light (saw or torch) of cutting through steel to get his body into the room. This design can provide good security, but requires more effort to ensure fire resistance. Professional quality ceramics like those used in modern fire proof safes are expensive, but provide the best protection. The commercial fire blocking solution is 2 layers of 5/8" drywall layed such that no two seams overlap and all seams mudded in as the wall is constructed. This will slow a fire down, but is by no means fire proof. To go with this a sprinkler system could be used, just ensure that your firearms are inside some sort of cabinet and that the cabinet is elevated from the floor for flooding. The next step down would be converting a standard interior room with standard studded walls and drywall. For a "vault door" in this case you could just as well use a steel entry type door as the level of protection in the walls is much less than whatever door you choose. My personal solution is a gun/reloading room. Approximately 10x10 concrete block walls, poured and reinforced. Poured and reinforced ceiling. Interior is studded and insulated. Drywall finishing. Firearms are stored in a non-fireproof safe that is elevated off the floor. I have not yet installed a sprinkler system, but have given it thought. Room is independently airconditioned (wall unit) with steel antitheft bars on the outside. I consider my investment moderately protected and will design an even more secure room if we ever relocate. Ryan
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