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Posted: 3/12/2006 3:22:29 PM EDT
Wife and I moved in to our first home a few months ago.

I staked my claim to a room in the basement for my gunroom.

Problem is, this damn house doesn't have any closet space, so this room is covered in clothes.

I can have my gun room when I build a closet for my wife.

Well... the closet is mostly done. One wall borders the gun room, and I'm stuck for a moment.

I want to add a little security to the room, without breaking the bank.

I'm thinking heavy duty expanded metal is the economical way to go.

Has anyone gone this route?

How do you secure it to the studs? Staples? What kind?

Thanks
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 4:42:02 AM EDT
Bump for the morning crew
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 4:46:53 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/13/2006 4:56:41 AM EDT by gaspain]
Ehhh....expanded metal. Pfft. No way thats gonna stop me from breaking in.

I suggest 6" concrete w/rebar or cinder blocks with rebar and filled w/ concrete. The door is the hard part. Ive seen one example of a gun room on this board that found a door from an old bank.

edit: here is a new vault door on ebay for $1500
cgi.ebay.com/Vault-Door-Custom-Vault-Doors-Home-Business_W0QQitemZ3871140989QQcategoryZ11906QQssPageNa­meZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 5:15:17 AM EDT
dont forget about the concrete slabing ceiling and floor too.
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 5:20:27 AM EDT
Expanded metal? You mean like sheets of steel plate?
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 5:30:24 AM EDT
Any effort you can make to slow down a burg would help. Expanded metal isn't all that cheap and it could be a pain to work with (cutting/welding). I would lay up a block wall and pour the cores solid concrete.You could then form a ceiling and mix/pour bag concrete from a acess hole above? This would make a great "Safe" room for storms or severe weather. One thing I would suggest is to not use an outswing Vault door if your your gonna use it for a safe room. If debris fall down in front of the door you would be trapped inside. Inswing better for Safe rooms............Good luck
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 5:35:41 AM EDT
There was a very informative thread on fortifying rooms a little while back. There was some good info on a type of steel mesh screen that seemed pretty economical.
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 6:33:51 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Admiral_Crunch:
There was a very informative thread on fortifying rooms a little while back. There was some good info on a type of steel mesh screen that seemed pretty economical.



Right, that was the route I was going to take.
Anyone determined enough will get into any safe you can make.
I am really only concerned about the "common" burgler who won't take the
time to work to get into a room that is more difficult than other targets.

The steel mesh screen that you mentioned is the "expanded steel" I was talking about.

Link Posted: 3/13/2006 6:41:57 AM EDT
Go Stealth.
I have a friend that used a spare bedroom as a gun room. The door to the room was at the end of a hall with 2 other doors right and left. He built a book case that swings inward as to not leave movement traks on the floor out side the entrance. The book case is VERY natural there. The following summer they resided the house and he took the window out and sided over hte opening. Unless you are really looking you dont miss the extra 14 feet missing from the back of the house.

Dont know if stealth will work but it my be an option.
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 6:45:07 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Cape_hunter:
Go Stealth.



+1 there. Reinforcing the room is good, but it's a lot harder to break into a room you don't even know is there. That's the route I plan on taking when I finally have the extra cash to finish out my basement. Who's going to notice that a closet-sized space seems to be missing?
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 6:48:57 AM EDT
If you were to acquire some heavier gauge expanded metal, perhaps 1/4" or 1/8" could do I suppose, I think it'd work just fine for your needs. As far as attaching it to the walls, I've got some square washers that are like 1.5x1.5" with a 3/8's hole. I'd use those on 3" lag bolts ever 12"? to attach it the the wall studs. Then get a steel door, beef up the studs around it, screw it down good, and you should be set. If someone wanted in bad enough, they'd find a way, but it'd be a bitch of a time. No smash and grab action.


Link Posted: 3/13/2006 6:49:44 AM EDT

+1 on the hiden room...

I was at a friend's place and he did something like that in his basement. Sectioned part of it off and painted it to look like one of the walls of the basement. Not much of a room, more of a long hiden cloest... but he keeps all his high price items there. He's able to walk into it... has some shelves, it was kind of nice. He used the bookcase idea as mentioned above as a door.


~nb
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 7:07:39 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Admiral_Crunch:

Originally Posted By Cape_hunter:
Go Stealth.



+1 there. Reinforcing the room is good, but it's a lot harder to break into a room you don't even know is there. That's the route I plan on taking when I finally have the extra cash to finish out my basement. Who's going to notice that a closet-sized space seems to be missing?



I know a guy that bought a house. He found out about the hidden room when one of the neighbors asks him a few months after he moves in, "hey, do you use the hidden room anyways?"...he was pretty supprised to say the least. He had to re-arrange the furniture in his den to open the door to the new room he found! lol.

If you build one, dont tell your neighbors- duh
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 7:25:29 AM EDT

Originally Posted By gaspain:
If you build one, dont tell your neighbors- duh



+1


Or ARFCOM
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 7:36:42 AM EDT
Could you just put a gun safe in the room and use the rest of it for reloading-storage? No sense in fortifying an area larger than necessary. A good safe would probably be cost effective vs doing the whole room. Lot easier to. Plus if/when you move you can take it with you.
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 7:37:51 AM EDT
From 21 years experiance of breaking into buildings/structures/rooms... tearing through expanded sheet metal (it's actually expanded meatl lathing), can be a real PITA, but it can be done.

If you're going to take that route, use metal studs to construct the frame and tack weld the lathing to the studs. Use fire resistant sheet rock for the interior and exterior walls.
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 7:40:25 AM EDT

Originally Posted By callgood:
Could you just put a gun safe in the room and use the rest of it for reloading-storage? No sense in fortifying an area larger than necessary. A good safe would probably be cost effective vs doing the whole room. Lot easier to. Plus if/when you move you can take it with you.



There comes a time, when safes just aren't big enough....
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 7:46:31 AM EDT
Here is the tread from last month. It is quite informative:

www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=1&f=5&t=437987
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 2:42:31 PM EDT
Just got back from the steel yard.

And like a dumbass, I went there straight from work, in my tennis shoes.
And we got 4 inches of rain last night.
My feet were marinating in oil/antifreeze saturated water all the way home.
I'll have to chisel the mud off of them in the morning.

I called around, and prices ranged from $54 - $80 per sheet.

I got 6 sheets of what they call "3/4 flat". guy said it was 9-gauge.
The sheets measure 4x10 feet.

I was a bit disappointed at first, because I thought I could hang them exactly
where the drywall would go, without having to do much cutting.

Then I realized that I could lay them on their side to come up with 8' tall by 10' wide sections.

Nope. Of course it isn't that easy. I checked after I got them in the house,
and the walls are only 7' tall.
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 9:22:51 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/13/2006 9:27:41 PM EDT by heathen]
Expanded metal is part of what I used when I redid my closet. I needed something cheap but more secure and all the metal was scrap I got from work. I ripped out everything but the studs and replaced the drywall with 3/4 or 5/8 plywood. Between the studs I set steel rods going vertical and horizontal and the expaned metal between the studs and interior plywood.

On the outside between the studs and plywood is scrap sheet metal. The door I had to buy which is solid wood, lined with more expanded metal and then 3/4 plywood. For locks I used a standard entrance Lock and 4, keyed alike dead bolts. The dead bolts each have a steel plate behind them and also home built strike plates. The door is held in with 4 X 6s all the way around and supported by the rest of the wall. With paneling and trim around it, it looks like a standard closet except for the locks.

It's not perfect but will slow someone down and cause them to make noise. My closet is soon to be rebuilt to hold a safe that's on order. My only cost was the solid door, locks and hinges. Everything else I made or scrap from work that I was given.

If I had a basement, I'd use block for the walls, cover them with paneling and buy a safe door. I'd then build a bookcase on wheels to hide the safe door and that could be moved to access the room.
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 9:27:12 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Q3131A:
Here is the tread from last month. It is quite informative:

www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=1&f=5&t=437987


I'll be updating that thread with quotes this week, hopefully.
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 9:30:35 PM EDT
Go stealth - burglers can break into anything.
Except what they can't find.
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 9:31:13 PM EDT
Let me say this: Expanded metal sandwiched between two sheets of plywood (or between plywood and drywall) is a HUGE pain in the ass to get through.

The easiest way to cut it yourself is to get a $20 angle grinder from Harbor Freight (or a good DeWalt one from Lowe's) and use the flat cutoff blades. It's like a hot knife through butter. I prefer using my plasma cutter, but that's a bit more investment.
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 11:05:19 PM EDT

Originally Posted By BlammO:
Let me say this: Expanded metal sandwiched between two sheets of plywood (or between plywood and drywall) is a HUGE pain in the ass to get through.

The easiest way to cut it yourself is to get a $20 angle grinder from Harbor Freight (or a good DeWalt one from Lowe's) and use the flat cutoff blades. It's like a hot knife through butter. I prefer using my plasma cutter, but that's a bit more investment.



That's what I used to cut metal and as you said, it makes short work of it. I save all the used Metabo cuttoff blades and have collected several dozen of them. If wore down enough (5 inches), they work in the angle grinders. The expanded metal wears them out fast I've found.
Link Posted: 3/14/2006 3:25:11 AM EDT
I've got an oxy-acetylene torch. So cutting it isn't a problem.
I was trying to decide if I should to a messy cut with the torch,
or a clean cut with a jig-saw or Sawzall.
Since nobody will ever see it, I'll probably just torch it.

Link Posted: 3/14/2006 3:40:33 AM EDT

Originally Posted By The_Reaper:
I've got an oxy-acetylene torch. So cutting it isn't a problem.
I was trying to decide if I should to a messy cut with the torch,
or a clean cut with a jig-saw or Sawzall.
Since nobody will ever see it, I'll probably just torch it.




excellent excuse to get a plasma cutter
Link Posted: 3/14/2006 7:12:30 AM EDT
Y'know, even a plain old circular saw with a $5 metal cutting blade will zip through and cut cleanly. But you won't own a new plasma cutter afterward.
Link Posted: 3/14/2006 6:38:28 PM EDT

Originally Posted By BlammO:
Y'know, even a plain old circular saw with a $5 metal cutting blade will zip through and cut cleanly. But you won't own a new plasma cutter afterward.



Metal cutting blade, huh?

Can you get those at Home Depot?

Are they labeled "metal cutting blade"?
Link Posted: 3/14/2006 6:50:11 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/14/2006 6:52:53 PM EDT by scotty1911]
yes the are labeled metal cutting blades.

and if you want to make then even harder to get thru put up some concrete tile backer board then screw the mesh to the studs thru that from the inside. the tile backer board will eat up metal cutting blades and masonry blades will get eaten up by the steel mesh.

you could even go a step further and put on a layer of tile mastic ( thin set ) and them put on another layer of the backer board, that way you have a one piece concrete layer with heay steel mesh in it about 1.25 inches thick. it would take a long time even with a sledge hammer get thru.

eta if you do this for a safe room good luck on getting a cell signal ( faraday cage ) inside of it so you might want to run a dedicated protected phone line inside or get a remote mount cell ant that works with you cell phone and mount it out side the room
Link Posted: 3/14/2006 8:03:35 PM EDT
Tell them you want to see the Lathing that a power plant uses.

You will have a choice of 1/8, 1/4/1/2 all stainless. put it behind the sheet rock. Yes you can get a blade a Home Depot to cut it. If you make all the out lets near the room 10 amp you will slow them down.
Short of putting in steel walls that is all you can ask for.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 4:07:20 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 7:01:21 PM EDT
Just get a good safe, if that is too small get a bigger safe, or two safes.
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