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Big Caliber
July 6, 2009, 09:45 PM
Very soon, (hopefully), I will possess a new, reasonably large gun safe. I plan to bolt it down to a concrete floor. Should I be thinking of putting some sort of something :confused: between the floor and safe to help prevent rust from forming on the bottom of the safe? I live in the SW corner of the Mojave desert and while it doesn't rain much, it can get somewhat humid in August. Thanks for any and all comments.

guns and more
July 6, 2009, 10:34 PM
It's a good idea. Allow some air circulation. Look for rubber squares and put one under each corner. Something that won't absorb moisture. (no carpet)

cloudcroft
July 7, 2009, 12:39 AM
Yes, put something down there (like that plastic "sill sealer" they use in house construction, which will compress down to almost nothing)...or maybe even put several coats of quality moisture-resistant/anti-rust (like "Rustoleum" for metal?) or epoxy paint on the safe bottom, too -- but try to avoid leaving any space a large crowbar can get into or else someone can lever your safe up from the bolt anchors. That's one reason a safe door should fit nicely with very little space to wedge a prybar into.

And put it in a corner so a criminal would have to PULL on it to try to tip it over (rather than PUSH on it)...avoid putting a safe in the middle of a wall where they can get leverage to knock it over/rip it out of the anchor bolts. If you MUST install it in the middle of a wall, bolting it to the floor AND wall helps prevent tipping it over. And if you put the safe in a corner where the door opens AWAY from the adjacent wall (instead of towards it), it makes it harder to use a prybar to get at the door since the hinge side is what they have access to, not the opening (active locking bolts) side.

So keep the "spacer" under the safe as thin as possible...or just "Rustoleum"/epoxy-paint the safe's bottom surface it and leave it at that.

Or maybe you can treat the concrete itself with some sort of waterproof paint/sealer (as is used in basements walls to prevent water inflitration) in the area you are going to mount your safe.

-- John D.

Adirondack
July 7, 2009, 05:12 AM
I used aluminum plates to level out my safe on my garage floor and also to provide cathodic protection. Iron / steel is a more noble metal than aluminum so with the two in contact with each other, the aluminum will corrode first (i.e., the safe will rob free electrons from the aluminum instead of losing them to the concrete floor.)

Idunno
July 15, 2009, 01:55 AM
Adirondack said:
I used aluminum plates to level out my safe on my garage floor and also to provide cathodic protection. Iron / steel is a more noble metal than aluminum so with the two in contact with each other, the aluminum will corrode first (i.e., the safe will rob free electrons from the aluminum instead of losing them to the concrete floor.)

Here's my question:
If there is no source of electricity in the safe then would there be a potential for stray current? If there's no stray current traveling from the safe to the ground then do you need to worry about cathodic protection? It's a safe, not a subway train drawing DC power from a third rail and losing stray return current to the ground, weakening the rails. Even if there was current moving towards the ground, wouldn't the steel bolts used to bolt it to the cement floor serve as the anode?

Adirondack
July 19, 2009, 06:25 PM
Idunno said:
If there is no source of electricity in the safe then would there be a potential for stray current? If there's no stray current traveling from the safe to the ground then do you need to worry about cathodic protection? It's a safe, not a subway train drawing DC power from a third rail and losing stray return current to the ground, weakening the rails. Even if there was current moving towards the ground, wouldn't the steel bolts used to bolt it to the cement floor serve as the anode?

I'm no expert on the subject for sure but a circuit is created and galvanic corrosion occurs when you have two dissimilar metals present and an electrolyte to complete the circuit. So even though the safe doesn't have a power source, the fact that it is made of steel (iron) which is a relatively active metal and likely will be in the presence of water and possibly salt too there is a very good chance it will lose electrons to the environment which will cause it to rust. Of course a good protective layer (paint in this case) is the first level of defense against rust but in my case I had to "walk" my safe into place on my concrete floor so it is likely that some of the paint is missing on the bottom of the safe. Since I live in Northern NY and during the winter my garage floor is usually covered with water from melting snow with road salt present in the slushy mix, the corrosive environment is present for rust to occur. I can't paint the bottom of my safe, nor do i think putting it on a non-conducting surface would help since I can have over an inch of water on the floor at times; I decided to go with the galvanic cathodic protection approach. What I figure is if the paint on the bottom of the safe has been scrapped off during the move, by putting it on aluminum plates I force the safe to be the cathode since aluminum is more active than iron. So what should happen when the safe is exposed to the salt water is my aluminum plate shims should corrode as a sacrificial anode and transfer electrons to the safe and environment preventing the safe from rusting. Over time I will need to clean and/or replace the aluminum plates but hopefully the safe will remain rust free.

cloudcroft
July 19, 2009, 09:20 PM
Water comes into the area where your safe will be/is located? I would find another place to put it.

After all, a place where water accumulates oaccasionally is not only an unsuitable place to put anything -- let alone a safe -- and if there is ever serious rain, it could be more than just "water covering the floor."

Were it MY safe, I'd choose another location.

-- John D.

Big Caliber
July 20, 2009, 12:15 AM
You never had a water pipe leak unexpectedly? A roof leak? I don't have a luxury of locations to choose from. Hey, stuff happens. Anyway, I'm going with the manufacturer's idea of getting a scrap piece of vinyl flooring and trimming it to size. Thankyou all for your thoughts:).

a1abdj
July 20, 2009, 09:02 AM
We like to use stall mat when available. It comes in 1/2" or 3/4" thicknesses, and is rubber. They sell it at most of your farm supply stores.

Because it is solid, it gives you a good base. It is easy to bolt through, and keeps the safe high enough off the floor that a broken pipe shouldn't be a problem.

If you can locate any, I would use it over vinyl flooring.

Big Caliber
July 20, 2009, 07:01 PM
Hmmm, That's a good idea too. There are lotsa horse properties out here so I'll bet there's got to be some sort of ranch type suppliers out here. Thanks.:)

oneounceload
July 20, 2009, 09:17 PM
Those stall mats usually come in 4x6 pieces. See if your farm store has some "rough cut" pieces - they're not quite factory seconds, they're just not cut absolutely crisp on the edges and are usually sold for a little less.

IF you're concerned about flooding, you could always put it on a base of 4x4's and plywood, with the safe bolted through the back into the wall studs, especially if it is in a corner.