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Posted: 6/24/2003 7:00:30 PM EDT
Ok, I think with my severe addiction to guns, I should just build a concrete vault when I buy my house. I don't think buying a safe would be enough. Plus, a walk-in vault would be cool, as I could display my guns on wooden racks or on the wall, instaed of cramming them in a safe. Now, does anyone have any information or links to some info. about how to build a good walk-in vault. I'm a "do-it-myself" type of guy. If I can, I'd like the locking mechanism to be the only thing I have to buy from a safe company. Here are a few specific things I'm curious about: 1. Is it possible to use steel roofing on a pre-exisisting concrete room that has a wood ceiling? 2. Can you build your own safe door from steel sheets and wood? 3. How about air circulation/dehumidifying? 4. What about concrete blocks filled in w/ cement for the walls? -thanks
Link Posted: 6/24/2003 7:02:46 PM EDT
[Jabba the Hut sinister laugh] Heh heh heh heh...[/Jabba the Hut sinister laugh]
Link Posted: 6/24/2003 7:04:31 PM EDT
There was a great post here sometime ago about this very idea that the poster turned into reality.. I just put an offer in on a home tonight that I chose partially because the layout of the basement lends itself to this idea! As to your questions. 1. Yes 2. Not recommended IMHO...steel all the way. 3. I am puting in a fan and dehumidifier with drain. 4. Blocks is the way I am going for ease of installation.
Link Posted: 6/24/2003 7:15:20 PM EDT
Originally Posted By MP906: Here are a few specific things I'm curious about: 1. Is it possible to use steel roofing on a pre-exisisting concrete room that has a wood ceiling?
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Is this room part of the house sharing a common roof? Please give more detail.
2. Can you build your own safe door from steel sheets and wood?
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I would and have used a solid commercial steel door.
3. How about air circulation/dehumidifying?
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I'm no expert on this but the two that I've built for customers we installed 4-100w light fixtures and provided an electrical source for a dehumidifier.
4. What about concrete blocks filled in w/ cement for the walls?
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Concrete block would be fine as long as it's completely filled with concrete. Otherwise, someone would be able to bust through with a sledge hammer in a very short time. I would also go as far as pinning it to the slab with #4 rebar.
Link Posted: 6/24/2003 7:23:04 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Cougar8045:
Originally Posted By MP906: 4. What about concrete blocks filled in w/ cement for the walls?
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Concrete block would be fine as long as it's completely filled with concrete. Otherwise, someone would be able to bust through with a sledge hammer in a very short time. I would also go as far as pinning it to the slab with #4 rebar.
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I don't mean to rain on anyone's parade, but concrete block, no matter how you dress it up, is still waaay inferior to reinforced poured concrete. If you are going to go through the trouble of filling the blocks with concrete anyway, just pour the whole damned thing. Trust me.
Link Posted: 6/24/2003 7:26:36 PM EDT
Im curious what you guys are going to use for doors and locks?
Link Posted: 6/24/2003 7:31:05 PM EDT
Take Goblins word on this stuff fellas. He actually has a walk in vault. [:D]
Link Posted: 6/24/2003 7:41:24 PM EDT
This is going to be a room in the basement, near my workroom and garage. I may be able to find a house w/ a concrete room, but most of those have a regular wood roof. So, give some dtails Goblin! I'm most curious about the door. Home made or factory built? Lock? Cost? Dare I say, got any pics???[:D]
Link Posted: 6/24/2003 7:49:48 PM EDT
yeah Goblin, lets here all the juicy details. ill be buying a house soon and need to plan ahead.
Link Posted: 6/24/2003 8:08:10 PM EDT
I'm really not finding any info. on this on the web or on the AR15.com search engine. Does anyone have any links?
Link Posted: 6/24/2003 8:19:33 PM EDT
no answers?
Link Posted: 6/24/2003 8:27:04 PM EDT
I have been in one of these. Like safes, they are never big enough. One I saw had a commercial door and frame that cost about the same as a safe (because that is mostly what you pay for with a safe). Had POURED walls and roof. No moisture problem. Put a phone in too - these things hava risk of you getting locked in!! Camoflage the door. Crooks can't get in what they can't find!!
Link Posted: 6/24/2003 8:37:28 PM EDT
I've been in one of these houses built in the 1950's. The 16 x 16 vault was poured into the center of the basement, and all the rooms downstairs were arrayed off this. The entrance was a 2 1/2' wide concrete passageway with the door at right angles to the end. No way to jimmy open the entrance door or allow more than one guy to work on the door. Now that was a vault. It is a rental house now, and I've attended a few parties with different crowds in there. The door now is locked open, and I saw a bunch of computer boxes and laundry soap and clothes hampers in there now. Man, I wish I had a setup like that.
Link Posted: 6/24/2003 8:46:14 PM EDT
On American shooter a couple years ago they had a company that made vault kits. You made them out of your standard size closet. Thekits included metal, door and all the things needed minus sheetrock, mud,tape and paint. When you were done you had a single vault door on one side and the closet was the walk in. I will look and see if I can track the company down for ya. As far as making one, a stndalone room in the basement, I cant help ya. CH
Link Posted: 6/24/2003 8:50:05 PM EDT
Buy a vault door, many companies that make good gunsafes have them. All it is is a regular gunsafe door with a heavy frame rather than the safe. I would use heavy steel panels (.75 inch thick ones like the ones used on roadways temporarily to cover up large holes. They come in what appear to be something like 12'x7' panels), weld together a 'box'. Build wooden walls around that, and fill the area between with concrete (like done with foundations) It would be stronger than cinder-block, and cheaper as you just buy the cement mix. Bolt/weld the door to the steel and/or concrete. Cut one small hole (.5" dia ?) for electrical. Another hole or two for ventilation (I'd prefer closer to cieling). I would suggest doing furniture-wise: use shelves along the sides, first one is 18" off the floor, others 12" until you have a good rifle length between the top shelf and cieling. Make that top shelf your rifle-rack and add those seperators and rim there. You know, like one long cabinet. use one side of the safe for mid'length rifles (IE: AK's, HK's, AR's), another side of the safe would be with less shelving, but for longer rifles (IE: .50's, and hunting rifles), and one side of the safe would be part short-length (IE: bullpups and SBR's), and pistol racks (These could be like shelves). The door side could have the door on one side, and the rest could be cabinets with reloading supplies and ammo. (I'd suggest keeping parts and mags along the shelves next to their designated weapons). Hope these ideas helped. POST PICS WHEN YOUR DONE!
Link Posted: 6/24/2003 8:51:29 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Wobblin-Goblin: I don't mean to rain on anyone's parade, but concrete block, no matter how you dress it up, is still waaay inferior to reinforced poured concrete. If you are going to go through the trouble of filling the blocks with concrete anyway, just pour the whole damned thing. Trust me.
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I agree. But concrete walls are hard to pour within an existing building.
Link Posted: 6/24/2003 8:54:14 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Cougar8045:
Originally Posted By Wobblin-Goblin: I don't mean to rain on anyone's parade, but concrete block, no matter how you dress it up, is still waaay inferior to reinforced poured concrete. If you are going to go through the trouble of filling the blocks with concrete anyway, just pour the whole damned thing. Trust me.
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I agree. But concrete walls are hard to pour within an existing building.
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Not hard, but time-staking. If you do it in a basement, leave 7 inches or so between said wall and a cieling. Run the line from the mixer outside through a window. Just dont forget to put something on top when your done [:)]
Link Posted: 6/25/2003 2:31:09 AM EDT
Fellas, I don't have time right now (have to go to work and pour some concrete), but later on today I will post some details and try to find the pics. I fabricated my own steel door and frame at a friend's metal shop. Anything commercial has the potential for BGs to have seen it before and I wanted something novel.
Link Posted: 6/25/2003 3:44:39 AM EDT
Constrction [img]http://www.imagestation.com/picture/sraid43/pceafa1c5165e2df5c605d7b0f726d307/fce645de.jpg[/img] [img]http://www.imagestation.com/picture/sraid43/p8a1104bf9084ffcac4d16a15480f875e/fce64022.jpg[/img] [img]http://www.imagestation.com/picture/sraid43/p589b121994d1e031a383247019e7d3fb/fce63b3f.jpg[/img] [img]http://www.imagestation.com/picture/sraid43/pf2d09160a7bf745d098f3947dd06ffcb/fce63f14.jpg[/img] [img]http://www.imagestation.com/picture/sraid45/pc3fa5ee5f8e86ebbd8c5ce8e9a807d48/fcd5bb3a.jpg[/img] How it came out [img]http://www.imagestation.com/picture/sraid43/pb87de65abdf174e508f95210c0e55ca8/fce63585.jpg[/img] [img]http://www.imagestation.com/picture/sraid43/p3d698f3f7774c34885cdf7f3512617ee/fce63d81.jpg[/img] [img]http://www.imagestation.com/picture/sraid45/p8784a9d156709dcbc95b944abd48395d/fcd5bb42.jpg[/img] [img]http://www.imagestation.com/picture/sraid45/p79760cfaa9d04266dc811a8eccb353a1/fcd5bb40.jpg[/img] The roof was done by putting pliwood over the hole, forming up with 2 by 6 around the edge, and pouring crete.
Link Posted: 6/25/2003 3:51:13 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/25/2003 3:53:21 AM EDT by SperlingPE]
New Construction: 1. pour concrete spread footing for walls 2. pour 10" thick or thicker concrete walls w/ reinf. in each face each way. 8" walls are hard to reinforce in each face. 3. pour a minimum of 4 3/4" thick concrete ceiling with reinforcing. the ceiling shoul dbe tied into the walls. 4. leave block out in walls for running ductwork into vault. if ducts run into vault fire sealing around ducts would be a good idea. 5. if in basement and one wall is retaining soil, consider insulating and drywall on the inside. 6. local climate will dictate what to do for conditioning the space. if built in existing home and pouring concrete not an option. 1. pour spread footing for cmu walls and concrete ceiling. 2. 8" block walls with reinforcing, grout full tie into existing basement wall if applicable 3. pour 4 3/4" thick minimum concrete ceiling. 4. see above for other info 8" fully grouted walls, 10" concrete walls, and 4 3/4" concrete ceilings will get you a minimum 1 hour fire rating those are some great looking pictures.....I hope to have a room included in my next house
Link Posted: 6/25/2003 3:58:33 AM EDT
Wow. Hidden in plain sight... [waynesworld]WE'RE NOT WORTHY!!! WE'RE NOT WORTHY!!! WE'RE NOT WORTHY!!![/WAYNESWORLD]
Link Posted: 6/25/2003 9:23:19 AM EDT
Very nice pics truthsniper. I will most likely be adding this to an unfinished part of a basement with one or two walls already conctrete and possibly holding back soil on the other side. I also want it to be about two to three times as big as the one pictured, to double as a storm shelter and gun room. Truthsniper, what door is that and what is the big black door over it? What did it cost to do your project? To anyone, is it necessary to reinforce normal concrete basement walls or are they typically good enough? Keep the ideas coming!
Link Posted: 6/25/2003 9:44:00 AM EDT
Originally Posted By MP906: Truthsniper, what door is that and what is the big black door over it? What did it cost to do your project?
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the small door is a 3/16" steel plate over a 1" box channel frame with double dead bolts the large black door is pegboard to disgise the opening. Tricky, tricky.... :) total cost bout $2thou - 2,500. I think the problem you'll have is in the new poured walls being poured on 4" slab floor typically, you want a good 10-12" deep and wide footer under a poured crete wall. be a shame to pour the walls, only to have your 4" slab buckle under it. you may want to bust out the 4" slab, dig out a trench, pour a footer, and then re-pour your walls heres another thought... excavate out NEXT TO the exterior of your foundation, pour a three-wall using your existing foundation as the fourth wall, cap it with crete, seal it with tar, then bury it, to look like it does now. course you'd haveta cut an entrance from inside your basement but if ya put something like an upright freezer in front of the opening (which of course would have some sort of vault door) then you'd lose NO basement space and perps would never know you got a vault atall keep in mind -I ain't no crete guy you need to talk to someone who knos what theyre talkin bout
Link Posted: 6/25/2003 9:51:46 AM EDT
fwiw, mp906 - my next one gonna be 3x as big too. :)
Link Posted: 6/25/2003 10:07:01 AM EDT
Thanks for the info. Yours looks prefect for guns, but I want to put all kinds of food, water, a fold-out bed, etc. for an ultimate SHTF shelter. Ergo, mine needs to be quite large. I like the "add-on" basement room idea. Now, time to give up some more details[:D] Where did you buy the supplies for the door and frame? I like the idea of making my own door.
Link Posted: 6/25/2003 12:51:16 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/25/2003 1:00:54 PM EDT by Andreuha]
OH. If you want a large area: just make it as a seperate building. Rent an excavator! Build a reinforced concrete bunker. By bunker, I mean building the entire thing with thick reinforced(lots of rebar, rent rebar machine too) concrete. Use steel sheets for shaping the outside of walls (and extra protection!), as well as laying a sheet of steel for when you pour concrete for the ceiling, and add a sheet on top of that. You can make a passage between your basesment and that as the entrance. It should be easy as youll have an excevator to dig it all out. You could run ventilation through that passage. Keep it entirely underground, and top it all off with the dirt you dig out. Heck, you can use it to make a berm if you have a big enough yard (for shootin' [;)]) edit: try [url]http://www.libertysafes.com/Safe_Vault%20Door.lasso[/url] and [url]http://www.libertysafes.com/accessory.lasso?type=dehumidifier[/url] Also this looks nice. Probably better places to buy online though [url]http://www.securitybase.com/safes/Overture/Vault/index.html?source=overture[/url]
Link Posted: 6/25/2003 1:35:47 PM EDT
That sounds great for my retirement/dream house, but for now I need to keep it simple. My job(state police) is going to require that I move around quite a bit, every 3-5 or so. Therefore, I think I've narrowed it down to buying or making a nice steel door with several heavy bolt locks that I can take with me when I move. For the room, It will be easiest to use cinder block to add a room to an existing basement. I'm most likely looking at adding 2 walls to a concrete basement corner. Then adding a steel ceiling and maybe reinforcing the floor. So, how exactly do you make a wall w/ cinder blocks? Where can you find steel doors locally? Not vault doors necessarily. Also, where can one find steel sheeting for walls and ceiling? Thanks, this is interesting.
Link Posted: 6/25/2003 2:08:00 PM EDT
Knew a guy who did this. All CBS block construction including interior walls. Rebared the roof/attic access. No exterior windows. Hung a safe door. Also served as a hurricane room.
Link Posted: 6/25/2003 2:23:52 PM EDT
OK, just finished work for the day, let me eat supper and I'll post some details. Truthsnipper (sic) more or less nailed it. Good work.
Link Posted: 6/25/2003 2:33:18 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Andreuha: OH. If you want a large area: just make it as a seperate building. Rent an excavator! Build a reinforced concrete bunker. By bunker, I mean building the entire thing with thick reinforced(lots of rebar, rent rebar machine too) concrete. Use steel sheets for shaping the outside of walls (and extra protection!), as well as laying a sheet of steel for when you pour concrete for the ceiling, and add a sheet on top of that. You can make a passage between your basesment and that as the entrance. It should be easy as youll have an excevator to dig it all out. You could run ventilation through that passage. Keep it entirely underground, and top it all off with the dirt you dig out. Heck, you can use it to make a berm if you have a big enough yard (for shootin' [;)]) edit: try [url]http://www.libertysafes.com/Safe_Vault%20Door.lasso[/url] and [url]http://www.libertysafes.com/accessory.lasso?type=dehumidifier[/url] Also this looks nice. Probably better places to buy online though [url]http://www.securitybase.com/safes/Overture/Vault/index.html?source=overture[/url]
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I know a guy that did something like that. He ran a pool company, and when he bought a new house he build a bunker/one car garage/poolhouse when he installed an inground pool. He even tied the bunker part into his den and had a semi hidden door in the back of a closet that led to the stairs of the bunker (it was 15' x 25' or so) that was under the garage/poolhouse. I didnt know about it until he was selling his house and I was helping him in moving into a new custom built house (I would think he has a bunker in it too, but he wouldnt admit to it).
Link Posted: 6/25/2003 2:35:13 PM EDT
What is CBS block? Is that the stuff Lowes sells for about $1.00 a block? 12"8"x16". I'm most curious as to how you reinforce this block w/ rebar and concrete and how you would attach the walls to existing concrete walls. I saw Lowes had "steel" exterior doors for $195, but they seemed a bit flimsy for this purpose. But, I'm not going to drop $2,000 on a vault door. I'm thinkinh around $300-500 for the door, or do it myself for around that much. Oh, and do you need a steel door frame? [:D]
Link Posted: 6/25/2003 2:42:33 PM EDT
Oh, and what kind of sheet metal are we talking about? What guage thickness? Lowes on;y had small sheets, maybe 4'x4' at the biggest, and 16 guage at the thickest. [:D]
Link Posted: 6/26/2003 1:52:13 AM EDT
Sorry about the delay. Last night, I had trouble using the site. Details of the Goblin "woodshed:" [b]Inside dimensions[/b]: 6'4" x 3'6" with 6' of headroom. There is a recessed shelf for ammo inside as well. It is approx. 10" deep and 14" high (about 4'10" off the floor). This keeps ammo up high and out of the way. I also have steel shelving that I made to hold some ammo. [b]Construction:[/b] I built it in an existing basement (house is 51 years old). Drilled into floor and basement walls, inserted #4 rebar to tie the new vault walls into existing concrete. Set up 6' forms with custom made door frame inside. Poured concrete walls the hard way, with a shovel. Took forms down, put 5/8" plywood over top of walls, layed plastic over it and then poured the 5" cap. Braced under the plywood b/f pouring. All new concrete has #4 rebar in a 1' grid. [b]Miscellaneous[/b]: It is wired (conduit through new concrete wall) and have a small heater, lights, and dehumidifier inside. Made my own rifle rack. If I did it again, I'd make it much bigger, but in this case, under an existing house, the size was doable and appropriate. I probably spent all of $300 on the whole project. No kidding.
Link Posted: 6/26/2003 3:57:39 AM EDT
A word of warning to those wanting to use their secret gun vault as a storm shelter. If your house colapses on top of your vault you will be dead. No one will know your there and you wont be found untill the state sells your property and the new owner starts the cleanup process.
Link Posted: 6/26/2003 6:13:01 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Pangea: A word of warning to those wanting to use their secret gun vault as a storm shelter. If your house colapses on top of your vault you will be dead. No one will know your there and you wont be found untill the state sells your property and the new owner starts the cleanup process.
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Correct. But in my concept vault, I would have a second entrance from a little shed in the back yard, which should it collapse, shouldnt be too difficult to remove its debris. Anyways, I can allways blast my way out [;)]
Link Posted: 6/26/2003 6:52:12 AM EDT
Did this in my first house. Took over a walk in closet and lined it with expanded metal on an angle iron frame. I bolted it together, but you could easily weld it. Placed a metal roller door (The kind you see in mall jewelry shops and such) INSIDE the closet, attached to the angle iron frame. Regular closet door (with lock) was still in place, and camoflaged the roller door. Bottom angle piece bolted to floor. Took up very little on the interior space, didn't have to worry about condensation and such, and it was a LOT cheaper.
Link Posted: 6/26/2003 9:45:06 AM EDT
I think pouring a solid concrete wall is best. Using cinder blocks and filling with cement does work, but still a chance of getting pockets where the cement did not fill. You should also be able to use a concrete ceiling instead of a metal plate. For the door, a Fort Knox (inside swing) is what I recommnend.
Link Posted: 6/26/2003 9:57:17 AM EDT
Wobblin. What did you do for the door? I'm thinking of making my own or buying a commercial steel security door. Vault doors are waaay to expensive.
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