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Old March 22, 2013, 07:40 AM   #1
Pope94/IA
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Homemade Gun Safe (In Progress)

New school project for me.. I am building a gun safe since our current gun safe is overflowing! Im sure some of you have the same problem. Haha. I have no intentions of this being 100% theft/fire proof as im not a gun safe engineer. I love building things and it just so happens that im pretty talented at it. Not trying to brag or anything.

I have plans drawn up already and next step is getting materials and starting it. Ive been fooling around with some scrap metal at school for a security system. Don't ask how im doing it. That's a secret

Ill be posting pictures and updates as I progress on it.

First step.

Build steel frame using 2" x 1/8" angle iron. Ill have metal tomorrow and pictures posted monday or tuesday on whatever I accomplish.
Frame will simply be a box. ( W-H-D : 32 1/2" x 22" x 60" )

Specifications:

Outside Dimensions: ( 32 1/2" x 22" x 60" )
Inside dimensions: 31" x 20 1/2" x 58 1/2"
Compartments: Two 13" sides for guns and a 5" +/- in the center for pull out drawers.
Wall thickness: 3/4" +/- walls. Materials in order: (1/8" flat steel - 1/8" air gap - 1/2" sheet rock + thickness for liner)
Lock: Keypad security with rotating handle to lock and unlock deadbolts.
Capacity: Roughly 20 rifles/shotguns + tons of space for handguns and ammo.
Finish: The steel will be sandblasted and painted either flat or gloss black. Just to prevent rust in long term since sheet rock does hold moisture. I will be putting walnut on the outside of it so I can get a little more detailed in the outside look. I will be using a router and dremel tool to cut out a design of some sort on the door. The wood kind of defeats the purpose of the attempt on fire proofing it but hopefully our house doesn't burn down anytime soon...

Hopefully I can get some pictures posted up once I get it started and then add more as I go.

If you guys have any ideas for me as I go, feel free to chime in.
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Old March 26, 2013, 10:54 PM   #2
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Here is what I have done so far.

The frame is basically built like rectangle box. Made sure everything was square and the door fit in perfectly. I left a little room all around it for movement. The side opposite of the hinges I angled in so it would open smoothly.

there is a lip around the door frame that the door actually sits on.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 1gunsafe.jpg (53.9 KB, 572 views)
File Type: jpg 12gunsafe.jpg (51.6 KB, 458 views)
File Type: jpg 13gunsafe.jpg (42.9 KB, 472 views)
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Old March 26, 2013, 10:55 PM   #3
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Then of course the hinges that I ran through the steel lathe.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 14gunsafe.jpg (61.7 KB, 481 views)
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Old March 27, 2013, 01:47 PM   #4
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Good work !!

Excellent and I'll be looking forward to more of your pictures as you progress.

Be Safe !!!
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Old March 31, 2013, 08:17 PM   #5
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That is pretty cool. Working with metal has always been something I've been interested in. As the son of a carpenter, if it can't be made with wood then it shouldnt be made (hah a little exaggeration).

Really looking forward to seeing more progress.
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Old March 31, 2013, 08:24 PM   #6
balderclev
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Don't forget the fire safe options. Most fire safes are made with just an inch of sheet rock. Lining your safe with this will make you feel much more comfortable.
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Old March 31, 2013, 08:39 PM   #7
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Cool. Looking forward to following your progress.
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Old April 1, 2013, 08:51 PM   #8
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balderclev,

That was my plan, putting the sheet rock on the inside.


Here are some more pictures. I haven't accomplished too much more. Past few days have basically been thinking days.

I have tacked on the hinges just to get an idea. Two of the pictures shows the hinges (door opened and closed) and then the other two pictures show the pins that lock and unlock the safe. The whole locking system is not complete yet... Making minor adjustments as I go.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 15gunsafe.jpg (63.5 KB, 385 views)
File Type: jpg 16gunsafe.jpg (60.0 KB, 332 views)
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Old April 1, 2013, 08:52 PM   #9
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The pins.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 17gunsafe.jpg (61.0 KB, 307 views)
File Type: jpg 18gunsafe.jpg (58.6 KB, 310 views)
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Old April 1, 2013, 08:57 PM   #10
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Sorry for the continuous posts. I am going to overlap the flat iron on the door over top of the outside edges to seal it up. My dad was telling me the seal on our current gunsafe is a special gosh darnit material that expands when its heated to provide a better seal. Considering this is a gun/firearms forum and the majority of you own gunsafes, would by chance any of you guys know what that material is called or where I can find it.
I imagine a little research online would help me but ill start here with the research.
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Old April 2, 2013, 08:25 AM   #11
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Look into intumescent paint. We used it on exposed steel beams that needed to be fireproofed. It expands multiple times its thickness when exposed to heat and can be painted over in whatever color you want. Here's a link to one mfgr but there are others.

http://www.shieldindustries.com/fireguarde84preview.htm

Here's another product and I think this is what we used

http://www.albi.com/cladtf.html

Last edited by 2ndsojourn; April 2, 2013 at 08:47 AM.
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Old April 2, 2013, 06:32 PM   #12
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Thanks for the recommendation. I dont know how well it would do for sealing the door up when its not heated. Yeah, it would expand and seal it when its heated but what about when its not heated. I would still like to have it sealed up.
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Old April 2, 2013, 08:40 PM   #13
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Homemade Gun Safe (In Progress)

I know that vacuum oven in eat treat plants use a rope like material that's seems to be slightly shiny to deal doors to the ovens.
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Old April 2, 2013, 10:37 PM   #14
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Pope, I thought you wanted something to seal up the door in a fire condition. Like Stukaman said, for everyday seal up, just use a weatherstrip material made of a braided fiberglass or asbestos rope-like product.
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Old April 3, 2013, 07:43 AM   #15
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I am wanting a seal for a fire condition but also an everyday seal. Like a strip about a 1/16" thick that goes all the way around the door that will expand when heated. Plus provide the a seal when not heated.

You get what im trying to ask for? It would be easier if I just knew the name or something similar to it because I am bad at explaining things

Thanks for the help though.
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Old April 4, 2013, 08:33 PM   #16
4V50 Gary
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Pope - I hope you share your plans with member a1abdj. He's a locksmith and works with safes. He can give you some insights into making a good box.
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Old April 5, 2013, 07:43 AM   #17
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Okay I will send him a pm and see what he has to say. Thanks!
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Old April 5, 2013, 08:15 AM   #18
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This is the material used to seal safe doors in case of a fire. It's just cut in strips and attached around the opening of the safe.

http://www.ngflinc.com/brochures-video/palusol/
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Old April 6, 2013, 10:02 AM   #19
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Thanks fas1,

I sent them an email asking for prices. I am curious if Ill have to order a full sheet of it or just get in strips. Since im just making one gun safe, it wouldn't be worth buying a whole sheet of it.
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Old April 6, 2013, 11:18 AM   #20
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How about concrete filled? There are fibers you can add that improve the strength; that and tossing in copper, ball bearings and other pieces of metal would make increase its cut resistance (since they'll dull the blade and require change of blades).
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Old April 6, 2013, 07:24 PM   #21
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For somebody who has never done this before, I think you're doing a great job. If you have any specific questions, I'd be happy to offer my input. Otherwise, the best way to learn is to try it and see how it works.
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Old April 7, 2013, 01:08 AM   #22
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Door and hardware specialty companies sell strips of intumescent weather strip with adhesive on 1 side, approximately 3/8 inch wide and 1/16 thick. Should be available locally anywhere. Not sure what the cost is because I haven't worked with it for many years and never had to purchase it, just installed it.

Also on the fire proofing get intumescent fire caulk for the edges of the drywall. It will seal the gaps and increase the fire resistive property of the safe. If you can't find it at home depot look up your local Hilti sales rep. Or check at drywall supply companies for construction.
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Old April 7, 2013, 12:09 PM   #23
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Gary,

That would be a good idea but for me it would be too much of a hassle working with concrete.


a1abdj,

I actually would like some input on the door handle. I will post pictures Monday of the handle but I am trying to figure out way to attach the handle to the locking mechanism without having the weld it together. After I get the sheet metal on there, it will be almost impossible to get inside there and weld it. Plus if something had broke in the future I would like to be able to take apart the door.

I was thinking of making a hexagon sleeve or even a square sleeve that the handle would slide into. Im going to play around with a software I have so I can explain that a little better.
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Old April 7, 2013, 12:29 PM   #24
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Something like this. The model on the left would be inside the door with the sleeve on it. Then the handle would slide through a whole in the sheet metal and then through the sleeve. Then bolted on in the back. I dont know if that would work or not.
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Old April 7, 2013, 12:45 PM   #25
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Quite an interesting project. Hope you keep posting pictures as it progresses. Nice work!
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