Need creative safe-mounting solution.


May 14, 2005, 01:12 PM
I've got a Sentry Fireproof safe that's roughly the size of a microwave oven to put a couple handguns in that have enormous sentimental value. There are two "dimples" diagnal from each other in the bottom of the safe to drill holes into the safe for two mounting bolts. Problem is, I live in an apartment - ground floor with cement under the floor AND I want my deposit back so I don't want to do anything MAJOR in the way of putting holes in the apartment.

No exposed beams.
No cabinet big enough.
Closet floors are same carpet over concrete.

I have exactly THREE ideas:

1. Find the beam at the edge of one of my closets with the rolling/sliding doors. Drill a hole near the floor beside the beam all the way through the wall and run a coated steel cable through the hole and around the beam and attach that to a bracket bolted to the bottom of my safe.

2. Remove electrical/cable TV outlet covers from walls and look inside to see if I can find a steel beam or something inside to run a cable through.

3. It weighs 80lbs. Don't bolt it to anything, but when I'm plan on being out of town for a while, chain it to the toilet.

Please shoot holes in my aforementioned ideas and offer others.
Creative minds will prevail! :)

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May 14, 2005, 01:26 PM
What floor covering do you have - carpet? If so, I'd pick an out-of-the-way spot (perhaps inside a closet, or in the corner of a room), pull back the carpet and drill two holes for expanding bolts into the concrete floor. Then, put the carpet back, and make two small - SMALL!!! - holes in the carpet through which to insert the bolts into the floor. They'll expand below the carpet, in the concrete, so that this won't stretch the carpet any.

When you move out, simply unscrew the bolts and lift the safe, with the carpet, away from the floor. Then, push the expanding arms of the bolts together so that it's in its original thin state, and push the bolts out through the small carpet holes. A quick brush of the carpet, and you won't even notice the small holes in it. You can fill the holes in the concrete floor with quick-drying cement, or something like that. Your landlord shouldn't ever notice.

May 14, 2005, 02:37 PM
I wouldn't even pull the carpet up..just drill right through it in the closet...when you move and unbolt it the carpet will merge back together enough to pass inspection.

May 14, 2005, 02:50 PM
If you don't bolt it down you might as well leave the door unlocked, they can simply walk out with it, a cable is essentially worthless, bolt cutters will go through a cable like spaghetti, and bolt it to the toilet? A hammer will destroy a toilet in a few seconds, so offer no security at all.

Your best bet is to bolt it to the floor inside a closet.

If you've ever tried to drill through a carpet, drills tend to snag and rip a big chunk out of the carpet, make a small hole first.

Andrew Rothman
May 14, 2005, 03:06 PM
Could you have a metal shop fabricate something like this?

Assuming the safe is a 2-foot cube, get a thick sheet of steel 2' x 4.5'. Have it bent at a right angle.

Place L-shaped metal on floor with vertical portion flat against the wall.

Drill holes through the wall plate that will go into a wall stud. Drill holes through floor plate that will receive bolts from the bottom of the safe.

Put the bolts up through the floor plate. Bolt L to wall, then drop safe onto floor bolts and fasten nuts inside safe. The back of the safe will protect the wall bolts from attack.

Now all you have is a standard drywall repair when you leave -- and that's an expected item when folks move out.

May 14, 2005, 05:01 PM
It would take a lot of finangling to arrange for an out-of-the-way spot in a closet and I don't really feel comfortable with the masonry drilling.

I kinda like that wall bolt idea best so far. I just poked around in Home Depot for a while for some ideas and I did see some strong L-brackets like you drew. Maybe I can use lag bolts or something like that.

I'd like to hear a few more creative ideas before I go for it though.

May 14, 2005, 05:04 PM
I agree with the above EXCEPT the drilling-thru-the-carpet part. depending on the type of carpet this could be a real mess. some carpet types will just wrap up on a drill bit,pull out and unravel, causing highly visible carpet damage. Either take up the carpet and drill as suggested or cut a small "X" with a utility knife and drill thru the center. I like Matt's steel mounting plate idea.

May 14, 2005, 05:13 PM
Drilling concrete is easy.
Couple bucks for a masonry bit and you're in there.
No big deal at all.


Harry Tuttle
May 14, 2005, 10:54 PM
drilling hard cast floor concrete might take a hammer drill

i would build it into a massive coffee table that you assemble in the apartment out of 6x6 lumber

May 14, 2005, 11:23 PM
I like stuff like this. I have so much fun :D

I concur with going into concrete in a closet.

IF, this closet has the phone jack in it, and since landlords/ maintenance folks do come into apts do take steps to "hide in plain site". They may have to fix phones or other stuff,so cut the bottom out of Rubbermaid tote, and set over it. re-enforce insides with some boards,and stack another one on top. Looks innocent , will not attract attention.

Been known to add a circuit breaker box so if a BG comes in using a metal detector...well naturally this will set one off...Same reason I put a Safe like yours for a person in the living room closet, that closet backed up to kitchen, all that plumbing, wiring, stoves, dishwashers...gonna set one off too. ;)

That old "carboard" box just had "yearbooks and romance novels" in it - well that is what the masking tape label said...

May 14, 2005, 11:27 PM
At 80 pounds you're likely ok just shoving it under the bed if there's room. Thieves are lazy or they'd have jobs like us. They won't want to bother with anything that weighs 80 pounds. Too much like work.
Plan 'B' would be to bolt it into the wall studs using one way screws. One way screws are screws that can't be unscrewed. The screw head only allows it to be screwed in. Any place that sells security stuff will carry them. They're used to screw window bars on. If and when you move, you use a reciprocating saw to cut them.

May 14, 2005, 11:32 PM
I think preacherman had the best idea. A 1 inch slit in the carpet will open enough to drill a hole in the floor below. Use a sharp carpet blade and it will disappear when you remove the safe.

May 15, 2005, 12:53 AM
A couple of blue "tapcon" screws can be screwed directly into the concrete after drilling the holes. Very clean and simple. They should come out also with a good drill/driver.

May 15, 2005, 01:14 AM
Need creative safe-mounting solution.

Bolt it to the ceiling with the door facing up. Is that creative enough? :neener:

Zach S
May 15, 2005, 01:46 AM
I like Preacherman's idea. If you're nervous about putting holes in the carpet, Matt has an excellant idea.

The only problem would be finding someone to bend the plate. A break press with a wide enough punch and enough tonnage to bend a 2ft wide peice of 10 gauge isnt something you normally find in independant fabrication shops, however you could probably buy two plates half the size and have them welded together. If you buy at a scrapyard, this may be your only option anyway.

As for the steel, I'd reccomend 12 gauge (.105" thick) at least.

May 15, 2005, 02:01 AM
Interesting ideas. The ceiling? :rolleyes:

I'm intrigued by the one-way screws but I gotta move out someday. :confused:

SM's disguise ideas are helpful too to discourage a crook from trying. Too big for rubbermaid, but the box of romance novels is an excellent idea. False bottom - slide it down over the safe. Clever.

I gotta wonder about the management-entering-for-maintenance-thing too as SM mentioned. Not so much hiding it - as the REST of my "hobby" room clearly shows that I'm a gun-lover, but they're bound to ask how it's attached and I don't think "bolted to the concrete" is an acceptable answer. However, as people have mentioned before, drywall spackle jobs are a common occurance and shouldn't cause more than a frown from the apartment manager - if that.

I'm leaning toward the L-bracket idea, but I DID see some pretty mondo cables in Home Depot. These things were about 5/8th" in diameter and coated with heavy plastic. That and I saw giant $25.00 Masterlock padlocks stronger than my safe, so I'm still pondering the L-bracket/Cable/Padlock option.

But then, if my beams happen to be the same distance apart (or close) as the holes in the bottom of my safe, I could just use the L-brackets and let the safe conceal the bolts into the wall beams.

What bolts don't shear? The safe holes will be 7/16ths.

Zach S
May 15, 2005, 02:21 AM
I happen to know that 2 Mr. Gasket brand, grade 5, 1/4"(?) bolts wont break when bolted to a complete 302/C4 (450 lbs for the engine, maybe 125 for the trans) with the engine swinging around almost five feet off the ground while I'm cussing like a sailor...

Whenever I buy bolts, I normally get grade 8, no matter what I'm doing.

Too Many Choices!?
May 15, 2005, 04:21 PM
Put the safe in/under your bed ;) ! Matress gets bolted or hooked to the safes cover and lifted either by pulley system(hidden of course) or a push button(for the rich or tinkerers). The safe's frame would also be bolted to the floor,so try and move that :neener: ! Just think about how many guns, valubles and rifles u could fit in just a queen-size bed/safe :) ...

May 15, 2005, 04:39 PM
I remember reading about someone in a similar situation. They ended up taking a cardboad hot water heater box, putting the safe in the corner of a utility room, and then covering the safe with the box. It won't keep you safe from getting moved, but it might keep it from getting noticed.

May 16, 2005, 06:44 AM
The only thing you'll accomplish by bolting it down, is to make it easier for the crooks to pry it open...Which can be done with a Big Screwdriver in about 10 seconds. Put the safe where they can grab it, and hide the guns somewhere else!

May 16, 2005, 05:24 PM
You must be thinking of their basic model fire box with the little key lock on it. The one I have is a SAFE with a big dial on the front of it and locking bars that lock two sides of the door.

May 16, 2005, 09:04 PM
This is as creative as I get.

Lay the safe on it's back inside a closet on the floor, with the bottom facing the wall. Line up the two dimples with studs in the wall (providing the dimples are on 16" centers) and predrill two wall studs and bolt in place. If the dimples are not on 16" centers, or if the wall studs aren't then you'll have to drill an extra hole in the bottom. A stud finder will help you locate the studs.

Of course you'd have to enter the combo upside down, but that would be your chance to be creative :neener: .

I have a Stack On safe bolted into a bedroom closet. It sits on a shelf with two lag bolts throught the back and two more through one side. I have a home made 4 gun pegboard in it, with room above for a small shelf. It works great.

May 16, 2005, 09:15 PM
That's pretty clever. Of course I wouldn't be able to use the little sliding shelf or key hooks inside, but definately not a bad idea.

May 17, 2005, 12:06 AM
That is the World's Ugliest Dresser - a young lady said to me.

I corrected her -"Nope- I own the World's Ugliest Dresser. You have the second Ugliest one"

Yeah, "that" ugly. I found it at a Flea market type place, sitting outside, too ugly to be shown inside with the other furniture. Lady - hesitated, but gave the man the $7 he wanted for it, he even assisted putting it my truck.

She has a walk in closet in her Apt. She tossed a blanket over it - didn't want the neighbors to see this thing. And this was after I/ we had cleaned it up and did some "repairs".

Oh the top drawer works, the bottom three are secured shut, might as well there are no drawers anyway, I removed them. Behind the false front of the 3 bottom drawers is a Safe, much like the one we are trying to disguise, bolted to the dresser. This dresser is heavy! Still dresser itself is bolted to the closet floor thru the carpet to concrete.

Just looks like she has her Grandparents old dresser in her closet, top drawer has some old romance novels, pencils, pens, crayons...junk- why even her name is scrawled with crayon " from when she was a little granddaughter" [ yes I had her scrawl her name with crayon for the weirdest look too]

Now you gotta know where to release the anyone else " guess sitting out in the shed the weather got to it and the drawers are stuck".

She has nice furniture and is quite a decorator, no real room for this "sentimental" pc , but in the closet. *ahem*

Even tho Ugly - Dresser has character. Now that $1.50 blanket she bought at the flea market - green with white flowers- to cover this dresser , according to her is supposed have some antique -ish meaning - now that thing is Ugly.

What do I know - I'm a guy. :p

May 17, 2005, 10:24 AM
Buy a 55 Gallon drum and lug it to where you want the safe. Fill it with cement and let it dry. Bolt the safe to your new cement column. If anyone decides to steal it they are gonna have to get real creative.

Downside is when it is time to move y ou are going to have to get creative too :neener:

Mongo the Mutterer
May 17, 2005, 11:08 AM
I concur with the concrete floor idea.

Cut the x in the carpet, use a hammer drill, blow out the holes and run in tapcons.

They won't hold forever but since the safe is 80 lbs a BG will have a hell of a time pulling it up.

When you leave, glue the carpet to the hole. Don't drill through the carpet, it will spin up your drill bit. Rent a good hammerdrill if you don't have one. Bosch Bulldog or Makita Bullpup.

Mongo the Mutterer
May 17, 2005, 11:09 AM
Just became a member with that last post ... SHAZAM

May 17, 2005, 06:50 PM
do you have a furnace? it wouldnt be hard to disguise that safe by wrapping tin around it and running a few dummy pipes and wires that lead to nothing from it, like it was junked and someone just hasnt tossed it yet...then bolting it nearby to a solid structure.

part of a recliner that isnt going to recline,you can build the recliner around the safe and re upholster it yourself......if they cant see or find it, they cant open it.

just some ideas.

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