How to best place my gun safe in my pier and beam home.


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flip180
January 12, 2006, 12:37 AM
I have just bought a Winchester gun safe that weighs 575 pounds. I just brought it into the house today from the garage with the help of a couple of friends. I have it currently placed in the corner of my bedroom which is also an outside corner of the foundation of my home. The safe in sitting on bare carpet and I have attempted to lag bolt it down to the floor. The lag bolts appear to be easily stripped out of the wood due to the safe easily rocking on the carpet. I need suggestions about if this in the best place for the safe, how best to secure it to the floor and how to "easily" distribute the weight if need be.

Thanks, Flip

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TexAg
January 12, 2006, 01:34 AM
Weight wise I think you will be OK in the corner of your house, although without seeing the construction of it its hard to say, you might could use a little shorring under the safe. To really securely bolt it down, you might go head and remove the carpet (it'll be ruined anyways with a heavy safe sitting on it for awhile) then run some bolts with washers through the floor and use washers and then nuts on the underside of the floor in the crawl space.

a1abdj
January 12, 2006, 02:53 AM
In 99.9% of homes I've moved a safe into, your 600 pound safe will be fine regardless of where you put it. 600 pounds is a very light load.

If you can access the underside of the floor, then drill holes from inside the safe through the floor. From underneath, push up carriage bolts, and place the nuts on them inside the safe.

If that's not possible, then you'll want to run the lag bolts into a floor joist. You might get one or two to hit at best, but it beats having all of them in 3/4" plywood.

flip180
January 12, 2006, 11:46 AM
The opening to the crawl space is only about twelve feet from where the safe is sitting. Other than being a little squeemish:uhoh: about going under the house, I think it will be relativley easy to secure it with nuts and bolts. I'm not too worried about it sitting on the carpet and don't seem to motivated to move it again to cut a foot print in the carpet for the safe. I have a 55 gallon salt water aquarium in the dinning room for over a year and, My wife and I figured that that weighed over 600 lbs with water, sand and live rock. Other then there being a gap between the back floor board behind the aquarium and the floor due the that floor board being set higher off the floor about 1/4 of an inch, there hasn't been any problems. The gap was put there by whom ever put the floor board in and not the from the weight of the aquarium. I'll take a ride to the store sometime today and see what I can find in the way of hardware to secure it down.

Thanks, Flip.

roo_ster
January 12, 2006, 12:39 PM
The opening to the crawl space is only about twelve feet from where the safe is sitting. Other than being a little squeemish:uhoh: about going under the house, I think it will be relativley easy to secure it with nuts and bolts. I'm not too worried about it sitting on the carpet and don't seem to motivated to move it again to cut a foot print in the carpet for the safe. I have a 55 gallon salt water aquarium in the dinning room for over a year and, My wife and I figured that that weighed over 600 lbs with water, sand and live rock. Other then there being a gap between the back floor board behind the aquarium and the floor due the that floor board being set higher off the floor about 1/4 of an inch, there hasn't been any problems. The gap was put there by whom ever put the floor board in and not the from the weight of the aquarium. I'll take a ride to the store sometime today and see what I can find in the way of hardware to secure it down.

Thanks, Flip.
I live in a pier & beam house & heavy loads are a concern for me.

When I remodeled the bathroom, I ripped it down to the studs & tore out the flooring. I knew a cast iron tub was going back in, as well as a 3.5gal flush toilet, so I reinforced the heck outta the beams. First, I sistered up 2x8s with the existing 2x8s, as there was a little water damage to the originals. I used 3/8" carriage bolts, washers, and nuts in three places for each beam (3 beams). These new beams went from the perimeter foundation to the first pier.

Then, I installed 2x6 beams perpendicular to the 2x8 beams. These were cut 1/8" too big to fit between the 2x8 beams, to aid in holding them in place while screwing them in with deck screws and ensure the whole deal was under tension and to provide more places to screw down the flooring This was done all under the future tub and toilet. Last, 2 sheets of 3/4" plywood over it all to match te existing floor level.

If I could get under the house, I would do something similar for a safe. All the cuts can be done in the garage and the use of self-tapping 3" deck crews & a cordless drill would make it less onerous. I would also double up 2x6 for anchors for the carriage bolts coming down from the safe.

Of course, my dad says I overengineer all that I build. I don't know where he gets that idea.

roo_ster
January 12, 2006, 12:43 PM
I forgot to add, there are somethings that can help:
1. Cheap coveralls. Some can be bought from paint stores. The disposables are good for a day's work. Tape the cuffs colsed with duct tape to gloves & boots.
2. Respirator. A quality respirator rated for dust & fumes with a charcoal filter will keep you from inhaling any nastiness like pesticides.
3. Eye protection.
4. Gloves. If you must have good sense of touch, nitrile gloves are tougher than latex.

TexAg
January 12, 2006, 03:00 PM
The opening to the crawl space is only about twelve feet from where the safe is sitting. Other than being a little squeemish:uhoh: about going under the house, I think it will be relativley easy to secure it with nuts and bolts. I'm not too worried about it sitting on the carpet and don't seem to motivated to move it again to cut a foot print in the carpet for the safe. I have a 55 gallon salt water aquarium in the dinning room for over a year and, My wife and I figured that that weighed over 600 lbs with water, sand and live rock. Other then there being a gap between the back floor board behind the aquarium and the floor due the that floor board being set higher off the floor about 1/4 of an inch, there hasn't been any problems. The gap was put there by whom ever put the floor board in and not the from the weight of the aquarium. I'll take a ride to the store sometime today and see what I can find in the way of hardware to secure it down.

Thanks, Flip.
Not much to be squeamish about flip, I crawl under houses for a living. Of course I have heard of some guys meeting some live animals down there, but I have yet to see that myself. I have seen a few dead ones though! Rats mostly, but they are nice and dried out, not too nasty. If you have heard things under your house then you need to get pest control out there anyways, but I like to open the door to the crawl space and shine a light around under it a bit to let anything down there know that I am coming in and now is there chance for a safe escape. I generally wear coveralls a mask and gloves, and a hat is nice too. Do watch out for Brown Recluses, don't crawl through any standing water (that needs to be remedied if there is any!) and don't crawl over any wires (they could be hot and you're SOL under a house getting electrocuted). Have fun :D

Kharn
January 12, 2006, 03:50 PM
Take your .22 pistol down there if you're not sure what you're going to find. :uhoh:

Kharn

flip180
January 12, 2006, 04:20 PM
Take your .22 pistol down there if you're not sure what you're going to find. :uhoh:

Kharn

I really intertained that idea to. Most if the cables I've seen down there while glancing through the crawl space access were for the cable TV.

Flip.

45crittergitter
January 18, 2006, 10:22 PM
I put a 4x4 across under a couple of floor joists and a cheap house jack under that. The 4x4 was directly under and parallel to the safe door, with the back of the safe against a wall that was on the perimeter footing, which is where the ends of the joists are supported. I also put down a plywood square a bit bigger than the safe between the safe and the carpet, making sure that the safe was centered over two joists. Finally, I screwed the lag bolts down from inside the safe, through the plywood, carpet and floor, and into some 2x4's I placed under the floor that spanned numerous floorboards. An added benefit is that you can adjust the jack at any time to level the safe.

Double Naught Spy
January 18, 2006, 10:50 PM
While 575 isn't that much, I would err on the side of being overly supportive. Be it bricks, blocks, boards, or a house jack, extra support under the safe won't hurt. It doesn't even have to be tight, but just be there is there is a sag or settle issue.

Actually, the best thing you can do is to get under the house and actually see how well things are supported BEFORE putting in the safe and see what condition the wood is in. I once saw the result of a large TV/Stereo entertainment center try to fall through the floor at the wall. There was no reason that should have happened had everything been okay. As it turned out, the wall the entertainment center was against was a wall for the shower area of the bathroom. Unbeknownst to anyone, there was leakage from the shower resulting the rotting of a 2x6 beam and when the beam let go, the entertainment center sunk down about 4" as the floor tried to collapse.

In crawling under houses, it can be easy to spot the bathrooms and kitchen areas even when you don't see pipes and that is because the wood will be water stained. There is almost always some leakage somewhere at some time.

The other thing is that not all home are piered the same and if it is an older home, the piering may be creative. I have been under homes where gravity was the primary force keeping a beam on a stack of bricks. The only problem was that through normal house movements such as clay shrink and swell, the stack of bricks managed to topple over somewhere along the way. They were no longer supporting the beam.

We have a weekend house. While getting it ready for winter, I crawled under it for the first time. It was an old farm house that no doubt would never have passed an inspection in the city. The builder apparently used stacked natural rocks (limestone, sort of tabular) as center supports. While there is evidence that more supports were in use than are there now, I could not imagine where the rocks would have gone...until I realized that it is quite likely the front sideway is actually paved by tabular limestone blocks. Some moron previous owner decided the rocks were not needed under the house and put them to use as a sidewalk!

Moral of the stories for gun safes? While the safe may not be huge or super heavy, it would be in your best interest to take a look under the house and see just what condition everything is in. Things may be fine. Things may be fine but you would be happier with some additional support after you check out things. Or, your intended location may have some issues that need to be address or maybe you need to seek another location. After seeing the entertainment center trying to fall through the floor, I think I would avoid putting the safe against a wall that had a bathroom or kitchen on the other side.

Besides, once in a while you find some cool stuff under houses...and it is in your best interest to wear a repirator.

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