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Mike O'Leary
03-26-2018, 12:51 PM
I recently completed a project in my home and thought it might be of interest to the tribe.


I have an unfinished room in my basement where I keep my gun safes, ammunition and accessories. I decided to build a wall to hide and protect the safes and ammunition.


The main idea was to protect everything from someone trying to get to my safes. I wanted a wall that would have a lot of strength.


The wall was built with 2x4 construction but I spaced them 8 on center rather than the standard 16 on center. Instead of using standard drywall I used 5/8 thick clear birch veneer plywood. Once painted the birch veneer plywood looks just like a typical drywall interior wall except it is much stronger and very tough to get through.


I didnt want to use a standard hollow core interior door so I used a steel door in a steel jamb.
I picked out a 2 panel style that closely matches my current interior doors. The door is 22 gauge steel and is prehung in an 18 gauge steel jamb. The jamb separates and wraps around the studs. When finished and trimmed it looks like a standard interior door jamb.


I added a keyed lever lock and a single cylinder deadbolt. The bolts on the locks go directly into the steel frame and further increase security.


This should definitely slow down the bad guys and is paired with an alarm system and cameras.
I live a good neighborhood in a new development but it is a rural area. The police response is not very quick. I definitely feel better now about the safety of my gun collection when I am traveling or just out for the day.

barnetmill
03-26-2018, 02:22 PM
When possible I prefer reinforced concrete. Concrete blocks with rebar, even as small as #3 running vertically in each cell and horizontally every other course. You can weld the rebar together as you lay it. Then you pour it. The slab needs to be able to support the wt.
What you have built will stop most thieves as is. I have a poured concrete vault that s;do serves as a tornado shelter.
What is easier is to have high quality safes and anchor them so that they can not be carted away. When filled the safe should weight 500 lbs and use bolts to anchor down to the basement floor. Talk to someone in construction and they can show you the best way to do that. I would place the safe on a small reinforced concrete pad with j bolts and they will not readily be able to get it out of your basement.
Do not leave any tools out that might be used for breaking in to your safes. Things like a skill saw and carborundum blades for example are a no no.

Paper Shredder
03-26-2018, 06:50 PM
I would have opted for covert over pure strength. A good bookshelf or hidden door with all the same fortifications... keeps them from seeing the heavy duty lock.

Im in the middle of building in a bookshelf in my master where my walk in closet is... my wife has hers on her side, which she does not keep any valuables in, but it looks like we have one closet. My master has the surveillance monitoring system all housed with my gun safe. I used a metal exterior door with exterior lock so my wife can lock herself in.... not a complete safe room, but more invisible.


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barnetmill
03-26-2018, 10:02 PM
A locksmith did tell me that concealment is important since any lock given time and equipment can be breached.

Winchester67
03-27-2018, 01:30 AM
Well done! Time is on your side with most break ins. They want to get in and out in a hurry....any vault can be breached given enough time. But the junkies that break into your place will have to be content with electronics and such they find outside the vault area. Easy to replace for you.

Eldora
03-27-2018, 05:49 AM
Nice job Mike! My setup is very similar.

Winged Hussar
03-27-2018, 09:30 AM
I would have opted for covert over pure strength. A good bookshelf or hidden door with all the same fortifications... keeps them from seeing the heavy duty lock.

Im in the middle of building in a bookshelf in my master where my walk in closet is... my wife has hers on her side, which she does not keep any valuables in, but it looks like we have one closet. My master has the surveillance monitoring system all housed with my gun safe. I used a metal exterior door with exterior lock so my wife can lock herself in.... not a complete safe room, but more invisible.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

They can't get into what they don't know is there. Otherwise, everything can be taken.

chad newton
03-27-2018, 11:32 AM
You can get just vault doors as well. Like safe doors with a frame.

Forklift
03-27-2018, 12:48 PM
Nice job, I like that idea.

LawDog
03-27-2018, 02:10 PM
Excellent work. I think that is a great balance of security and efficiency. I also think it is reasonably covert as it is. A safe door screams to the world that valuables are inside. That room--even with the deadbolt--might just hold a water heater and a boiler. It would likely leave a burglar without sufficient indication of a payoff to justify exerting the energy needed to break in to that room. It's also the kind of work that one man working alone, with normal tools, can accomplish. That's an excellent model to use.

Greg Nichols
03-27-2018, 02:16 PM
Looks just like the room I have for keeping my........ nevermind

barnetmill
03-27-2018, 03:00 PM
My local gun dealer that also runs a pawn shop had a mason build a steel concrete block reinforced building for the gun part of the business. The windows are tall reinforced slits. The Jewry and other most valuable things go into a second hand jewelers safe that is of much higher quality relative to breaking into than a typical gun safe. The narrow slit windows are to prevent someone from from ramming the boom of a tow truck through the building to cart the safe off. He is in hurricane flood zone and in theory the business might be sitting in an evacuated area that would be devoid of people making it a good target for looters. He is located between gulf breeze and Navarre, FL. Navarre is about where the military air fields start like Hurlburt and Eglin.

CB3
03-27-2018, 07:16 PM
To further slow a motivated burglar with time, put 1/2” rebar horizontally through the studs at two heights, about 12” and 30” off the floor. Try to get a single length as long as the stud wall. Even if he rips Sheetrock and saws studs, he will have a problem that takes much more time and makes more noise. Minimal expense and building time.

As as long as the safe is both lag bolted to wall studs and to a concrete floor, the safe will not move. A sign on the front similar to: “Black Powder—No Torch or Sparks” can’t hurt.

steve_k
03-27-2018, 08:07 PM
Very nice, could make that a reloading room too.

I recently found a spot in my walls where I think there is an open area inside. There is a good spot for me to cut in to that isn’t too noticeable for me to explore and patch up should it be a dead end. If it turns out to be something good, I will investigate making it a safe room and secret storage area.