Using a walk-in closet as a safe.


April 29, 2007, 10:46 AM
I have been planning on investing a safe from Bass Pro or such for some of my firearms. However, yesterday it occurred to me that I might be able to spend about the same money hardening a walk-in closet and have a much larger "safe" that could be used to store more objects and also provide a "tornado room".

Can anyone provide me with any tips or ideas on how to harden a walk-in closet to make it theft resistant? I was considering just trying to find some metal sheets about 3/8" thick and trying to attach them to the interior walls. Not sure how costly or effective this would be though. Any better ideas?

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Mr White
April 29, 2007, 11:16 AM
Bolting 3/8" plate steel to interior walls won't be easily done. The weight will require shoring up the joists below. Keep in mind that a 4x8 sheet of 3/8 soft plate weighs almost 500 lb. You'll have to get it into the house and maneuver it around too.

And I think you'll find the cost of 4x8 sheets of even 3/8 soft plate to be prohibitively expensive.

Also, I don't know if I'd want to be in a room lined with seveal thousand pounds of plate steel bolted to the walls of residential construction during a tornado.

Then, you'd need a vault door as part of the whole package.

The only better idea I can come up with with is to buy a good safe.

April 29, 2007, 11:33 AM
A friend of mine built a cinder block vault in a corner of his basement with a good steel security door. I cost him 3 times what a large safe costs, but is ten times larger.

April 29, 2007, 11:33 AM
keep in mind that you will also need a door and that 3/8 steel plates are not all that hard to cut through. Give me a oxy-acetylene set up and a few minutes I'll have those right out for you ;) Also you have to take all six sides into account otherwise would be thieves can just go above or below it. Then consider there isn't going to really be any fire protection. And most anything you could fit into an existing residential construction without some serious modification to the entire area of the structure in question isn't going to be very secure. Now in a basement with steel and concreate on all six sides maybe. But not in a walk in closet. Course, the slab in most basements isn't built for that sort of weight resting on it and might crack over time.

To make a good "safe roome"/vault in your home as you describe I'm guessing you could easily buy a very large very good quality safe. Heck to go wit ha half decent vault door alone wil lcost about as much as a really good safe from what I have seen. Course...if you got the money and the time I'd much rather have a vault then a safe lol.

April 29, 2007, 11:47 AM
This question always brings out a lot of naysayers and they have their points.....
But I happen to like the idea. Mine's in a basement and hidden such that you'd have to really think hard to realize it's there. It isn't steel plated or anything but most safes aren't all that secure either if you are going to assume the thief happens to have a torch set in his backpack. I know one thing...nobody's going to carry it away.

wizard of oz
April 29, 2007, 01:05 PM
upstairs or downstairs ?
I was amazed to see a vault constructed - the plates all bolted together but the door was heavy >>1000kg
Floor and ceiling are vulnerable. Worth the effort of breaking into or even tunneling depending what is stored there.
concrete / steel mesh / monitored alarm / camera.
no reason you can't harden the closet and put a safe in as well.
Camoflague/secret room might be easier.

April 29, 2007, 01:19 PM
Remember that your defending against petty thieves who are going to sneak in, grab whatever is valuable, toss around some stuff to make sure they got it all and be out in 20-30 minutes. Robert DeNiro and Kim Bassinger aren't pouring over the blueprints for your house, building homemade thermite torches and special electronic doodads to break into your home. Whoever breaks in will probably have lockpicks, crowbars, and a desperate need to get in and out quickly so they can buy their next fix.

For a cheaper but fairly sturdy "safe" room I'd go wood framing with the studs closer than normal and make the walls 2 sheets of 3/4" plywood with rebar spaced with the studs to discourage smaller power saws. Anyone will be able to get into it eventually, but it'll make noise and take time that they probably don't have.

April 29, 2007, 01:22 PM
Look, given enough time, a crook can break into Fort Knox. All any safe can do is make the job of breaking in so time-consuming the bad guy will give up rather than risk getting caught. Big, heavy commercial safes do that quite well and they provide a measure of fire protection too. A walk-in closet can be made into a safe but the fire protection probably won't be there.
A closet can be "hardened" by a number of means, from several layers of plywood to a healthy sheet of steel. I opted for the plywood with wires between the layers that - when broken - set off a very loud and hard to shut off klaxton. It's all tied into my home alarm system so it will work for several days on batteries even if the power goes off. Plywood does burn though, so I don't have fire protection. Still, since the room is on the second floor, even if I had a conventional safe it would likely end up in the basement after a fire, where it would be exposed to higher temperatures for a longer time than the warranty specifies.
My system was relatively inexpensive since I had most of the materials on hand as left-overs from other jobs and I already had a home alarm system.

April 29, 2007, 01:30 PM
I happen to like the idea of a hardened closet. Instead of the steel sheets and all the weight they add, how about installing horizontal steel rods through the studs? Space them close together so that it'll be impossible to sneak in between them. That, and a heavy steel commercial door should keep casual and ill-equipped burglars out.

April 29, 2007, 01:31 PM
Remember that your defending against petty thieves


oxy-acetylene torch? Don't know many home burglars that go around carrying such equipment. I don't even know how many carry chain saws, Dynamite, Sledge hammers, pick axes, etc...

I'd sheer wall the closet and if possible pour light weight cement in between the inside & outside pannels if you're worried. Light weight concrete is strong, not cost prohibitive and light weight. you probably only have to pour up to about 5'. A nice hardened barrier.

A strong door with a Metal door jam is most important.

Unless a burglar is specifically targeting your gun collection and knows the design of your sefe room you're probably OK.

Is the Walk in up stairs or downstairs? This will make a difference in materials you use. When all costs are considered, I'm sure you'll find that even spending a few Thousnd on a large safe is better. It can also be moved if you move and taken with you.

Joe Kent
April 29, 2007, 01:38 PM
Also , one may want to be sure and not leave your own power tools in plain view so as not to provide the thief with an easy means of breaking into your hardened storage.

April 29, 2007, 01:39 PM
If you turn, the walk in closet into a safe, were is your wife going to put her shoes!:neener:

April 29, 2007, 01:39 PM
+1 for the closet idea. I doubt theives would break into a reinforced closet with so much other low hanging fruit available. You'll want a good, tough entry door with deadbolt, though. And rather than getting thick steel, I'd go for 3/4" plywood walls. The only thing is you won't be safe from fire.

Check local papershops/classifieds as you may be able to get the entry door used--cheap.

April 29, 2007, 01:59 PM
Some of this new sheetrock is advertised as giving fire protection. What about using the 3/4" plywood along with some of the newer rock? The lowes flier I'm looking at says "fiberglass enhanced core for greater fire resistance". It's called "densarmor plus" 12.98 a sheet. Not fire proof but may give some fire protection.

April 29, 2007, 02:00 PM
Ok, my question is who are you trying to keep out? Thieves most likely. Unless someone knows what you have, the average thief does not have the tools necessary to break into a well fortified closet. Someone who has unlimited time and no noise concerns, can break into any safe.

I think if you put a metal door on it and reinforce the walls inside. Even if it's just 1/8 steel, even tin, plate with a 1/2 inch ply wood over the top of it. That will stop anyone from breaking through a wall without bringing heavy tools. Add a motion censer alarm to the inside with a very loud alarm and you're safe. This will not stop a fire or a determined thief, but it will stop the average break in. How visible are you with your guns and valuables? Do you flaunt your stuff? Making you a target or do you keep it low key. Secrecy is your best friend.

April 29, 2007, 02:03 PM
Like "scanr" said, "Secrecy is your best friend".
The closet idea is great. I wrote in THR a month ago about my last house that I designed/built. When it came time to build my BR closet, I did it by myself in one day so no one else knew about it. I had 5/8" firewall gypsum (sheetrock) on all sides, ceiling and - most importantly - floor. The floor had dble sheets plus a 1/2" plywood top.
When I built the door, I designed it to be hidden. The hinges can't be seen and the door opened by pushing on one side and then letting it pop open. Security was by means of a lever hidden under the carpet (easily accessed) that pushed 3 1/2" steel rods up from the floor into the bottom of the door. The BEST SECURITY is when nobody know that it's there. The lever/pins setup was only in case someone accidently leaned against the door - an almost impossible thing to do.
I had that house for 21 years and to this day, I & the new owners are the only people who know about it. The new owners aren't hunters but thought the idea was a great place for irreplaceable papers, pictures and some valuables.

April 29, 2007, 02:49 PM
Here's what I'm planning...

The door will be hidden, and will be your basic "inner city" steel security door, with a Schlage deadbolt. It's gonna go into a frame made of laminated 2x6s... The walls be 2x6s, probably on a 12" center. Depending on cure time/forumulations/weight, I may pour some sort of "lightened" concrete inside the walls. If not, I'm going to do a layer of drywall, then a layer of liquid nails, embed some chicken wire, more liquid nails, another different direction run of chicken wire, then another layer of drywall. Yeah, someone can get through it. Eventually.

April 29, 2007, 03:06 PM
Anything that is not easy to get into will dissuade the casual thief. An alarm will let them know the cops are on the way and they won't want to be there when the cops actually do show up.

IMO, a closet is not a good choice. A basement corner is probably the best answer. You already have two solid walls, and a floor, so you only need two more walls and a ceiling. You will probably want to break out the floor under the new walls and install some kind of footing to take the weight of the new walls.

The roof can be made pretty secure with a lattice of rebar secured just under the floor joists. A couple of layers of drywall under that for fire resistance.

A good steel door is not the same thing as a real vault door, but it is cheaper and will hold off anything other than a real serious attempt at entrance.

If you can, tie all your basement lights into the alarm system so the lights are off when the intruder alarm trips. Makes it a lot harder to work on stuff in the dark.

April 29, 2007, 03:27 PM
I always thought this was a good illustration to start off with:

I just don't think most thieves, when they see a locked closet, will automatically think "valuables" and shift their efforts to bust it open. They'll probably continue on and check your tables, chests, drawers, and so forth for goodies. A freestanding safe is pretty obvious that valuables are stored inside. Concrete, reinforced this and that might be great if your master bedroom is on the ground floor, but if its upstairs, you're going to need some serious retrofitting to handle all that weight (probably in excess of 1000lbs if you reinforce it on all 6 sides)

And as mentioned, if its built as a storm shelter, it has double the usefulness. Build the storage so firearms and safety/survival supplies are out of the way of normal clothing and shoe storage so it doesn't interfere much with your daily life.

Harry Paget Flashman
April 29, 2007, 03:41 PM
I had a regular sized closet that I extended out ~4'X6' making it about 6'X8'. I made the new walls of 2"X4" about 10" on center and reinforced them with many crisscrossed steel straps. The straps come in varying lengths and are 1" wide with holes every inch or so. I used 8 foot lengths. The straps were for strength and to foil everything but a sawzall. I covered the inside walls with treated " plywood and the outer walls with " untreated plywood. I added book shelves from the ceiling to floor to the outside walls too for, of course, book storage. The majority of construction was done with screws instead of nails. (+1 for the 18V DeWalt!)

I installed a heavy decorative steel door like you'd use for a home's entrance-way. It is the kind that cannot be removed by removing the hinge pins. It has a key lock and a dead bolt and is framed around on the outside with book shelves too so you can't wedge a pry bar in there.

Inside the room I have 2 safes bolted and framed in. However, the handguns and many rifles won't fit in the safes, so are stored in inside shelves and a rack along with ammo.

A determined thief who wants a nice gun collection and has several hours and the proper power tools can probably get in. But I built if to stop the smash and grab, amateur thief looking to sell a Colt Diamondback or Browning Hi-Power for $50 worth of drugs.

I used to store them under the beds but ran out of beds. I am better off now and it gives me peace of mind. It was a fun project too.

April 29, 2007, 05:33 PM
Hey guys,

Definitely some great ideas in this thread! Like has been stated, I am not trying to keep Ocean's Eleven out of here, just some meth head who may want to steal some guns and electronics for quick cash. Thanks for all the great ideas.

April 29, 2007, 05:51 PM
Hardening the closet walls and ceiling with plywood will be fairly easy. Just need a bunch of plywood, a circular saw, drill, lots of wood screws, and a buddy to hold things in place while you put the screws in.

Finding a solid wood or steel door to replace the closet door will be the biggest challenge. The doors used as home entry/exit doors are usually thicker and have different dimensions that interior closet doors.

April 29, 2007, 05:57 PM
go the whole nine yards

you got a wak-in ATTIC?:D

April 29, 2007, 07:27 PM
I like the idea of adding 2 walls to a corner of the basement......

Couple of questions:

The basement floor is already thick concrete, and I think it's reasonable to expect it to be able to hold 2 small cinderblock walls that go to the ceiling.

Busting concrete to add footers makes this cost (and time) prohibitive for me. Does the existing concrete really need to be reinforced?

Second question, what about cold and moisture in an enclosed concrete room, especially in a basement?


April 29, 2007, 07:45 PM
The basement floor is already thick concrete, and I think it's reasonable to expect it to be able to hold 2 small cinderblock walls that go to the ceiling.

Busting concrete to add footers makes this cost (and time) prohibitive for me. Does the existing concrete really need to be reinforced?
The floor is not designed to take the weight of a concrete wall. I suspect it would sink some over time, probably cracking your slab. The cost of the footings is not going to be that bad, it is just concrete like the walls themselves.

Second question, what about cold and moisture in an enclosed concrete room, especially in a basement?

April 29, 2007, 08:47 PM
I toyed around with the same idea, but after looking into the cost of building vs. buying a safe or two, I decided against it. Another factor is that in some states, such as Kalifornistan, you must purchase an approved gun lock for every firearm you buy. Most of the locks provided by the gun's manufacturer aren't "approved" by the DOJ in Kalifornistan, so you either have to buy an approved lock or show proof that you have an approved safe. Homemade safes aren't on the State's approved list, and the red tape and idea of having the DOJ actually come to my home and approve it are not situations that I want to entertain. Just something to consider if you live in a very restrictive state. BTW, anybody want to buy a big box of gun locks? Cheap?

Peace and God bless, Wolfsong.

April 29, 2007, 11:09 PM
I have a walk-in closet in my MB that has a solid core hardwood door with a keyed deadbolt. Inside is an inexpensive steel gun cabinet with a padlock. Inside that I "store" three practically worthless guns. All the "valuable" firearms are elsewhere in a carefully concealed area, known only to me and my wife. I don't know if thieves would stop with the obvious, but it seems like a good idea to me. Hope it never gets tested though.:)

April 30, 2007, 12:05 AM
When you buy your firearm in PRK, they ask if you have a safe. Just tell them you do. When they ask for name and model number call it a "THR 4/29/7". I have an old model safe and the name given to it when new isn't even in their literature anymore. The gun salesman doesn't care, as long as you tell them you have a safe and sign the paper. You KNOW you have a safe. Nobody will know any different.


April 30, 2007, 12:36 AM
My basement floor is the same thickness and on the same type of base as my garage and my driveway.....

A concrete block wall puts much less load per square foot than any of my vehicles. The only time you'd need added footers is if you were trying to support a load from the dwelling above.

April 30, 2007, 12:49 AM
For those concerned with fire resistance, you can use steel framing instead of wood framing, combined with the previously mentioned fire resistant paperless drywall.

I've read that steel studs are supposed to hold up better than wood studs of the same size in earthquakes, hurricanes, and tornadoes too.

April 30, 2007, 02:10 AM
Learn how to print a xerox-looking receipt. Take it the the gun store with _the_ lock that you own. When you get the boomstick home, tell it that it's safe, and put it in the safe room.

Sir Aardvark
April 30, 2007, 02:17 AM
Here's some stuff to harden a room-

Metal mesh to keep people out:

Bullet-proof panels:

Bullet-proof doors:

All it costs is money....

April 30, 2007, 04:14 AM
When you buy your firearm in PRK, they ask if you have a safe. Just tell them you do. When they ask for name and model number call it a "THR 4/29/7". I have an old model safe and the name given to it when new isn't even in their literature anymore. The gun salesman doesn't care, as long as you tell them you have a safe and sign the paper. You KNOW you have a safe. Nobody will know any different.


That might be a risk that some are willing to take with their guns, but giving false information when purchasing a gun and risking losing my guns because of that is not a risk that I'm willing to take. Once a gun is confiscated for any reason in Kaliforistan, it is a lengthy, expensive battle to get it back, a battle that requires an attorney on your side most of the time. Buy a cheap, approved small safe, and then build the one you want. Now you can truthfully say that you have a safe and your covered. But circumventing the law leaves you open to all kinds of legal hassles. Get a cheap WalMart or Home Depot Sentry safe for a few hundred bucks and store your ammo in it. Better safe than sorry, IMHO.:D

Peace and God bless, Wolfsong.

April 30, 2007, 04:55 AM
What your talking about is the EXACT route I went. I used my the closet of my master bedroom.

My security is two fold.

1st - I removed the door frame and hinged a full length mirror over the door way. When you walk into the room you cannot see any door there. If you "open" the mirror you can see a door. Then you must have the key or remove/break door. Im planning on replacing the door in the near future with a more heavy duty one.

2nd - I added an alarm system. I put a simple alarm system in my house recently. I added a door switch and gave the gun room its own zone. This allows me to leave it armed all the time, regardless if the rest of the house is secure or not. My reason for this was my wife often leaves to run up town and she sometimes gets lazy and does NOT set the alarm when she leaves.....but my gun room is always armed.

I have NO fire protection.....but other then that I feel fairly secure with my method.

This is an old picture, Ive added about 6 or more long guns since then....

April 30, 2007, 11:21 AM

Some closets with a man door can be converted to protect your guns, very well. As they have been on the market for sometime now, at the Home Depo's, and Lowe's, for example, all metal man doors, with locking door knobs and they can be cut to also utilize a dead-bolt. And either using reverse, inside hinges or, outside hinges with locking screw pins, for the hinge rods, that make it "very difficult" for someone to just pop the hinge rods out, as they can only access those locking pins, from within the closet. Unless of course, it's an inside job, that the thieves know what's in there, has locking hinges, and bring the right tools that they can bang those rods out, noisy, but out. That's why if possible at all, go with i/interior/inside, non-exposed, hinges. Takes care of that scenario.

Now, other than a bolted down, 600lb and up, safe, if they really want what they "know" is in that closet, and have the "time" to buzz saw a hole in a wall, etc., and no house alarm, no dog, etc., sure it's contents are going bye-bye, but it does deter an in and out 5 min hit-burglar, as it will take much longer to achieve a noisy procedure to bypass a metal door.

The doors come in various common man-sized door sizes and come with finished paint applied, in common used colors as well.

My strong suggestion is simple, it's all in the keys, who has a set, and knowing where they are, or if missing, strangely, then suddenly returning, could mean they have been cut-copied, and scrutiny is advised, to change the locks quickly.

Nothing is perfect, heavy gun safe is best, both in being fairly fire proof, water proof, and crane or truck needed to lift it and transport it away.

Locked closet, with light-weight steel, or heavy aluminum door is better than wood IMO, and buys time and, is a good enough deterrence for a hit and grab burglary (of opportunity) IMO.

Locked closet with exposed hinges, not with safety lock pins, is easy to pop open, take items, and makes no sound.

Big dog/s a/o a monitored alarm system, along with informed adult neighbors, that if they hear an alarm, to look, take descriptions, car, licence, etc., down and to call you local PD and report Robbery in Progress, House has Guns, will get the PD's attention and reaction sooner than your monitoring stations, avg 3-6 mins to call, and when no answer after 8 rings, or get a busy single, then they call the PD..


April 30, 2007, 11:25 AM
This is a great idea. I just closed on my house and I might have to consider talking the girl into letting me do this.

April 30, 2007, 05:00 PM
You could plaster (with chickenwire) the walls and cieling.

My house was built in 1960 and the interior walls and the cieling are plaster (hard & grey like cement) over chickenwire over 18" wide tongue & grooved drywall run horizontal.

You can break through it but it will take HOURS and it eats up sawzall blades by the dozens. I know I took down an interior wall to enlarge a bedroom - it was a 3 day job and the cieling forgetaboutit! I left it popcorn looking and all.

I bet if you do both sides of the wall and have lots of nails pounded into the 2x4s it would slow down any thieves.

Also, use thicker wire. Next to this would be poured concrete but that would get very expensive plus you really need to know how to build the wall to hold the wet cement weight.

April 30, 2007, 06:56 PM
I have an obsolete darkroom that I want to put my gunsafe in (I have to remove the sink first) and disquise the door. My plan is to build a false wall over the wall that has the darkroom door on it. If I use paneling the molding that goes over the seams will disguise the door edges and I will put coat hangers on it so it just looks like a wall with coats on it.

I have a few problems though, there is an attic fan (the type that cools the whole house) on the ceiling and a door on the wall perpendicular to the darkroom door. This gives me only a few inches to build the false wall. I know it could be done but my carpentry fu is weak.

Maybe there is a way to disquise your door in addition to reenforcing it. Also an inexpensive safe would be yet another layer to breech. Here is a link that has folding or rollup walls, plus swinging bookcases to hide doors. It would not do in my case but maybe someone else here could use them, they seem like an awesome idea!

April 30, 2007, 06:59 PM
OMG!!! I had not read the entire thread when I posted my reply, a mirror over the door would be perfect!!! It would diguise the door and I could enhance the illusion further by hanging stuff on the wall!!!!

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!! People don't even know there is a room there anyway, a mirror door would be great!!!!!

April 13, 2008, 07:20 AM
A few cheap possibilities for fire protection. Some modular home companies line the inside of the "chimny box" with cement board for some fire protection. Of course there is a steel liner, usually a round double walled 6pipe, that acually is the chimny inside the "box". The point is the cement board, commonly know as Dura-rock, adds some burn through protection. It is also much harder to cut through than plywood and much cheaper (3'x5'
1/2" sheet for about $5, it is basically fiberglass reinforced cement). You could line the interior of the closet with duro-rock and cement seal/glass tape the seams just like installing it for a tile floor underlayment. As for the door, a big box store, fire rated steel covered, foam core door ($150-$200) meant for use between the house and an attached garage has a certain burn through rating, maybe 1-2 hours? With good hinges, and 3 dead bolts this would keep the average crook out and provide enough fire protection untill the fire department gets it put out.

April 13, 2008, 08:29 AM
Remember, once they are inside your house, they have access to all the tools YOU own. They don't have to carry their own. I'm sure most people have torches, saws, sledges, etc., in their garage.

April 13, 2008, 09:25 AM
One thing you might consider is turning your closet into a safe/tornado shelter by bolting steel to the studs is this:

Unless you somehow reinforce the studs and anchor the room a few feet in the ground, you aren't going to be adding a whole lot of protection in case of a tornado.

April 13, 2008, 07:42 PM
Don't know if anyone has mentioned this but... If you plan on putting/building a safe upstairs, always keep the firemen trying to save your home when it's burning in mind. They don't want to be under it when the floor burns through. This is mentioned in the owners manual of a small fire safe I own. I positioned it over what is a rear corner in the next room down, less likely to be a fireman under it and then I'll warn them provided I haven't burnt up in the fire myself:eek:

April 13, 2008, 08:58 PM
I see a lot of houses right after the fire. Just had one today in fact. Things to consider. Stay away from all duct work, this includes cold air returns. Todays job, had the floor burned out completely right over the main cold air returns. Stay away from anything electrical. Make sure you consider any wire above, below, or in the adjacent walls to be a threat. This may be very hard to do with existing construction. Any power in the vault needs to be piped in. Then keep it as low as possible. Height is THE MAIN ENEMY in every fire job I've been on. Now here is the catch 22. Water. Todays job also had a flooded basement. This is very common. The fire dept pulls your meter, therby stopping your sump pump, and then they pump enough water in to fill a lake. Some jobs I've been on have had water 6'+ deep. Most are less than a foot. So some type of waterproofing needs to be considered too. Now you have to factor in all the structural needs, and whatnot, and a safe doesn't look like such a bad idea.

April 13, 2008, 10:55 PM
Before I bought a 2nd safe there was a time when some had to be left out. I kept the ones that would be hard to replace in the safe and just added a deadbolt to my walk in closet. I knew it would only slow down a real thief briefly but my main concern was to keep them away from any friends of my kids who may be visiting.

April 13, 2008, 11:12 PM
For forced entry hardening a light version is to put Kevlar matte (like fiberglass cloth) between the drywall and whatever you are using to harden the room with. Use a light spray adhesive to attach it to the wall before hanging any other material for hardening. This works kind of like trying to drill through thick carpet in that it binds up on whatever tools are being used to cut into it. does not help with fire prevention but is just a pain to get through when is is sandwiched between other materials. This is one of the ideas I have been toying wiht for some time.

April 13, 2008, 11:28 PM
A home safe will only slow someone down. Anybody with a masonry blade, circular saw and time can break into it.

But I can't imagine reinforcing a closet to slow them down as much as a safe.

If you're worried, then buy the safe.

April 13, 2008, 11:30 PM
I like the closet idea, and it should work fine.

However, you need to think outside the box if you've got the ability to start from the ground up. I'll just say that in the plans for my next and final house, the basement footprint may not match the first floor footprint.

April 13, 2008, 11:38 PM
My house had interior walls that were plaster (think hard as concrete cement) over chicken wire on top of what looked like drywall except it was tongue & groved, 18 inches wide and run hosizontally. I'd never seen anything like it before - it was built in 1960.

When my B-I-L and I decided to widen a bedroom and make the wife a walk-in closet tearing that wall down took a couple days - the plaster was hard as concrete and the chicken wire (thick wire) kept screwing up the sawzall.

Build that with some thick plywood inside and horizontal 2x4 braces bwtween the studs and you will slow them down.

April 14, 2008, 12:14 AM
I thinking I am going to add to my house plan when we move in a few years. I am going to add a room in the basement of 12" thick reinforced concrete(All 6 sides) Pay the extra upfront spread it out over 30 years. That way I can get the footers and all done from the get go. Then I will add a Graffunder vault door to it. Get threw that with a sawsall.

I am set to inherit close to 35 guns (If not more) some of which are old, in musem quality condition and almost priceless. These will not go in the Gander Mtn Special Safe I have now.

April 14, 2008, 12:36 AM
Another $0.02 -

There are hinges with mating bumps and holes (for lack of a precise term) that prevent the hinge plates from separating even if the hinge pin is driven out. These require the door to be opened, then the hinge pins act normally.

Combined with multiple deadbolts on the knob side, they make for a very difficult to force door...

April 14, 2008, 01:20 AM
For forced entry hardening a light version is to put Kevlar matte (like fiberglass cloth) between the drywall and whatever you are using to harden the room with. Use a light spray adhesive to attach it to the wall before hanging any other material for hardening. This works kind of like trying to drill through thick carpet in that it binds up on whatever tools are being used to cut into it. does not help with fire prevention but is just a pain to get through when is is sandwiched between other materials. This is one of the ideas I have been toying wiht for some time.

Guys, like I said LAST YEAR, the cheap way is to use a couple of layers of the small chicken wire, and a liberal application of Liquid Nails between layers of drywall. Do 3 layers if you feel really paranoid. It'll take as long, if not longer, to peel as a "regular" home safe.

Frame it heavy. Fill or grind the screws on the outside. Vermiculite concrete poured is a good thing, and I may still do that.

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