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View Full Version : Tips for home-made gun safe?


pocat
December 15, 2001, 11:17 PM
I've recently been considering building my own gun safe. I work as a welder, so I have access to the equipment as well as getting the material at a discount rate.

I've never considered buying one due to the cost, but as my collection has grown over the past several years, I'd like to fabricate one to fit my needs and also save money. Although I'm not familiar with the different designs for safes, I plan on checking out some at the shops to get ideas. I hope to build something unique, so I'm not ruling out any ideas like a hidden wall safe or something along those lines.

I currently have 5 long guns and 5 handguns, along with about 2000 rounds of ammo (not counting .22's). I expect that count to grow over the years.

I haven't even tried to estimate the dimensions yet, but I'm looking for suggestions and ideas for the construction. If affordable, I'd like to make it fireproof (resistant) but I need details on the materials needed. Metal thickness, mounting, hinge and locking specs would help a lot.

Please submit any ideas and suggestions.
Thanks in advance.

saands
December 17, 2001, 12:01 AM
Before you start, I'd recommend that you consider how you are going to lock it. I've toyed with the idea over the years and have never gotten around to doing it. Remember that with security, failure is always as easy as defeating the weakest link.

As for fireproof ... your best bet is probably going to be purchasing one already done. As I understand it, the fireproofing materials are sacrificial ... that is, you only get protected once ... it isn't that there is enough steel or whatever to just be fire proof ... I would seriously consider storing the ammo (at least the large quantities) somewhere else.

While you are looking for ideas, don't forget that in order to get a patent on something, you have to disclose enough details that someone "skilled in the art" could duplicate your product ... if you see something cool but can't figure out how they did it, then

http://patft.uspto.gov/netahtml/search-bool.html

is for you.

Whatever you choose to do, good luck,
Saands

nashgill
December 17, 2001, 10:18 PM
I believe in one of my Browning catalogs they have a safe door. Basically it is designed to mount in a standard sized door frame but is similar to the door on many full sized safes complete with locking mechanism. Not sure how much this runs but may be of some help if you can weld some support for a closet-room or make some sort of safe with it. Anyway, just an idea.

Bowser
December 18, 2001, 03:33 AM
There's no need to keep ammo in a dedicated gun safe. Those ammo cans are fine. I used to stroe ammo in my safe, a 6 footer, but it was just wasting space.

The vault doors I have seen run over $2000, so for most of us a regular safe is the way to go.

As for making your own, I say go for it, but I wouldn't know how to match locks from a safe company.

Bowser.

JA
December 20, 2001, 05:09 PM
Check locksmiths/safe dealers in your area. Old safes and safe doors are traded in all the time. You can get the ones that look like crap but work fine really cheap.
The major cost of a safe is the door/hinges/lock as the rest of the safe is just a sheet metal box.

don't shoot it's me
December 20, 2001, 07:32 PM
I dug a hole in the yard, threw in my guns, then tossed in some really big spiders....nobody has bothered them in years....of course, I live 700 miles from the nearest town and 500 miles from the nearest road...

straightShot
December 20, 2001, 10:46 PM
Check locksmiths/safe dealers in your area. Old safes and safe doors are traded in all the time. You can get the ones that look like crap but work fine really cheap.

Just remember that there are fire safes as well as burglar safes. Know what you might want to bring home. Unauthorized entry into fire safes is a lot quicker than burglar safes.

If you bring a big, heavy, old safe home that some company used for many years and decided to give away, perhaps they didn't want to pay disposal fees because of asbestos lining and such, and you'll end up with a very heavy, undesirable piece of garage furniture...

straightShot

Good Guy
December 20, 2001, 11:10 PM
If you bring a big, heavy, old safe home that some company used for many years and decided to give away, perhaps they didn't want to pay disposal fees because of asbestos lining and such, and you'll end up with a very heavy, undesirable piece of garage furniture...

Perhaps that's why I saw a large, old safe (sans door) sitting out in the middle of the Nevada desert. Either that or it accidentally fell off the back of some mining truck and they figured to hell with trying to load it up again.

HKP7PSP
December 25, 2001, 05:53 PM
If you have a basement, do what my friend did. He took 220 concrete blocks and walled in a corner. The easier thing is to then put a steel door on it with a deadbolt and maybe fill the door with concrete. What he did was bought a $2,000 vault door and also filled in the blocks with concrete and rebar. It was a major project, but now he now has a 150 square foot walk in safe.

Kharn
December 26, 2001, 09:32 AM
The problem with building a vault in your basement: What the heck do you do for a roof to the vault? If the crook decides he is going to try to get in, cutting up your living room floor with a chainsaw is a lot easier than using a sledgehammer on the concrete block. Its not his house, what does he care if he caves in your living room?

Kharn