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Old July 11, 2012, 03:53 PM   #1
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What's a good shelf liner material for a safe?

I recently re-arranged some of my collection, and I've begun storing some handguns on a shelf in my safe. The shelf is just painted steel, so I put down a layer of that foamy mesh material, like what you would use to line the drawers in a tool chest.

The problem is, the liner absorbs whatever preservative I leave on the outer surfaces of the guns, leaving a mesh pattern on the finish. The pattern disappears when I wipe down the gun again, but I'm not comfortable with it for long-term storage.

The shelf is fairly shallow, and there's not a bunch of clearance above it, so I don't know that I have room for a pistol rack in there. For the time being, I've removed the foam liner and put down a cotton towel, but I'm looking for a permanent solution.

In short, what materials/fabrics would you feel comfortable leaving your pistols on for long periods of time?
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Old July 11, 2012, 03:59 PM   #2
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Firstly you don't want your guns to lay on anything that can absorb moisture. (cotton towel - bad idea) Use closed cell foam (backpacking pads) or rubber welcome mats (really cheap). Or the carpeting the rice car builders use to wrap their boomboxs with. (auto parts store) Anything that leaves grid marks or absorbs the oil off of the gun can be very bad in some applications. I have tools that laid on that cheap shelf liner material and it etched the finish on some of them. It reacts with a lot of oils. I don't think you want to place a gun on that stuff. Ideally you want you want to stand your guns up so the only thing touching them is nice dry air. Hanging them works well if you can attach some rubber/vinyl coated hooks to the door or wall. Keep them oiled and look at all of them once in a while.
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Old July 11, 2012, 04:11 PM   #3
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Most any conventional material you use that provides a cushion can also absorb moisture, unless it has a exterior skin to seal it.
One that comes to mind, which does not absorb moisture is closed cell foam.
A Polychloroprene... or neoprene foam is a rubber based product, resistant to common oils. Typically, a high grade sheet, 1/8"X80"X48" will run about $24.

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Old July 11, 2012, 04:11 PM   #4
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I would try something like this

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Old July 11, 2012, 06:35 PM   #5
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my son bought a rubber matting at wal-mart to put in his toolbox on his truck.its about 3/16 thick and really soft for the most part.I cannot tell ya what part of wal-mart to look for it though.but will add that it made a great top for our pistol things can fall without getting hurt.
life is great but its better when you can own as many guns you wish to own.for me I haven't bought enough yet.
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Old July 11, 2012, 06:52 PM   #6
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Any closed cell -- soft pad will work parts stores, some hardware stores, etc..../ but honestly, if you can figure out how to get some handgun racks into your safe, you'll be a lot happier....

make a couple of stair steps - out of plywood ( but each tread only needs to be about 8" long probably) / cover them with the anti slip mats that you have ...and put the handgun racks in it ( 1 or 2 on each shelf ) some racks hold 4 guns, some 6, some 8 ...depends on how deep the safe is.

Its pretty easy to come up with creative ways to store handguns / without any metal to metal contact...

kind of like this for one idea....
Attachment 82530

Last edited by BigJimP; July 24, 2015 at 06:12 PM.
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Old July 12, 2012, 08:09 AM   #7
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Some people go to Target or Walmart and buy a plate rack or pot top holder.

I use the vinyl-coated gun racks.

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Old July 12, 2012, 08:23 AM   #8
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I use the gun racks in the large safe to store guns; however I have a small safe with several guns which have magazines or speedloaders ready with ammo. I use the the plastic egg crate light diffuser from the building supply stores cut from the 2x4 foot panels to size and placed on the floor of the small safe. Inert and allows air circulation.
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Old July 12, 2012, 08:25 AM   #9
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Thanks for all the suggestions. The shelf is not very deep, and there's not a lot of clearance above it, but I'll take some measurements and see if I can get a rack to fit on it.
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Old July 14, 2012, 01:38 PM   #10
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Also look in to a Goldenrod and a dessicant box. You will be glad you did. Have then in my safe since '06. Seems to work as advertised.
"Ah ah. I know what you're thinkin'. Did he fire 6 shots or only 5? To tell you the truth in all this excitement I've kind of lost track myself. But with this being a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off... you've got to ask yourself a question. Do I feel lucky? WELL DO YA, PUNK?!!!"- Harry Callahan(Dirty Harry)
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Old July 14, 2012, 01:46 PM   #11
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When space started to get tight I bought one of those vinyl coated pistol racks, should've done it years earlier.
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Old July 14, 2012, 09:02 PM   #12
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It's too expensive to consider IMO but I just happened to have a large sheet of plexiglass that I cut to the necessary measurements--works great. I assume glass would as well but again you're talking too much mula when as others have mentioned car/bath rubber mats are to be had as well.
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Old July 15, 2012, 09:50 PM   #13
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What is your take on 1/4'' pine wood?
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Old July 15, 2012, 10:14 PM   #14
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What is your take on 1/4'' pine wood?
Pine has acids in it (tannic acid, I think). It also absorbs and hold moisture. Not good for direct contact with finished metal surfaces.
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Old July 15, 2012, 11:13 PM   #15
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That is what it sounds like here. I have had plenty of stuff long term parked on top of a wooden shelf before in the garage. I have never had anything metal affected by the wood yet...I think. Dang it! Now 'yall' have me concearned.
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Old July 15, 2012, 11:21 PM   #16
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I'm still investigating whether the shelf in the safe is deep enough and has enough clearance above it to install a pistol rack, but in the meantime, I've removed both the shelf liner and the towel, and just have the guns resting directly on the painted metal shelf.

I do have a desiccant pack and a Goldenrod in the safe as well.
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