Help bolting down a gun safe


October 7, 2007, 03:15 PM
I am attaching a safe to the floor with the two 'bolts' supplied by the safe manufacturer. They're basically huge 'wood' screws with hex heads.

My problem is twofold:

1) The safe sits on new carpet in a corner with baseboards and SWMBO insists that the carpet will not be lifted, and therefore...

2) The carpet that I can see through the two half-inch diameter holes in the floor of the safe wants to wrap around my drill bit and I don't want to unravel the carpet.


1) Should I melt/burn the carpet through those holes and hope to 'cauterize' the 'wound' so that it won't unravel, much like melting together the frayed end of a nylon rope?

2) Ask you guys...

Thanks in advance,


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October 7, 2007, 03:26 PM
You would have been wise to have located the 16" spaced 2"x10" floor joists under the floor, and lined up the safe holes with them.
Then used the supplied Lag-Screws to screw directly into them.
They won't hold much if just screwed into the plywood flooring.

You will need to get bolts, Lg. fender washers, and NyLock nuts and bolt it down if you just go through the plywood flooring.

The carpet can be burned through and melted as you suggested, or just cut out holes for the drill clearance with a sharp knife.

October 7, 2007, 03:31 PM
I guess the main question here would be:

1. Are you ever planning on moving from this location or at least moving that safe from that location in the future?

If not then the burning technique would work.

I would think that since your using Lagbolts supplied by the manufacturer why predrill? Just sinkem' in the floor with the driver and be done with it. This would eliminate the two burned holes in your carpet if and when you decide to move it later on.

Besides - after that safe sits there for a year or two and you do decide to move it. There is going to be one hell of an indentation from the weight. I have seen wonderful things done with icecubes but I think this would be a bit out of that parameter.

October 7, 2007, 05:31 PM
A 1/8" to 1/4 pilot hole should do the trick, doubt that will hurt the carpet much, didn't mine at all.

October 7, 2007, 06:02 PM
so what sits under the carpet? Concrete? Wood? Makes a huge difference in how you secure it.

October 7, 2007, 06:08 PM
JimmyG: Sir; use a razor and cut an X in the carpet at hold down points.
use masking tape to hold back X ; more of a cram thing.

October 7, 2007, 11:03 PM
If you're going into Cement go to Lowes or Home Depot and find the "Cement Ancor" bolts, use at least 6", I drilled 7" and used 8" ancors and some liquid nails, squirt liquid nail down the holes or epoxy could be used too, beat cement ancors in and then let dry for several hours, then use washers and lock nuts, use red lock tight... she won't go anywere, but you'll have about 2" or more of bolt hanging out that will oneday have to be ground off... I rent so it'll just have to come out of my damage deposit ;)

The carpet didn't give me much trouble, when I drilled I did get a bit of it tangled up, but I just rode it out... Next time I buy a RSC or Safe, it's going to weigh over a TON so I won't worry about anyone moveing a 660lb safe

October 7, 2007, 11:25 PM

The guys have covered it pretty well. The advice about X cuts & locating the floor joists is spot on. Whether or not the carpet ravels badly is more a function of its weave than anything else. We always take the better safe than sorry route. If it's on concrete, you can get a basic gasket punch set & use it. It punches a circle & if you use it properly will cut all the carpet threads & limit the ravel to the circle. Presuming you don't then use a drill bit larger than the circle you cut. You wouldn't do that, right?

There are concrete anchors that allow the hold-down bolts to be removed. If there's a Fastenal store near you, I'd suggest consulting them concerning the concrete anchor system.

Oh, I do this sorta thing for a living.


October 8, 2007, 01:59 AM
I donít bolt my safe down. Full of firearms, it weighs several hundred pounds. I pity the fool that tries to move it before emptying it.

October 8, 2007, 02:23 AM
I donít bolt my safe down. Full of firearms, it weighs several hundred pounds. I pity the fool that tries to move it before emptying it.

Refridgerator dolly, $12 per day rental from Home Depot. It takes 2 men to move mine with a dolly, but I still bolt it down.

October 8, 2007, 04:28 AM
big-ass lag bolts and washers. Next?

October 8, 2007, 04:25 PM
I did it the easy way. I hired a professional locksmith. He came with all of the necessary tools, moved the safe to exactly where I wanted it, drilled 4 holes and screwed it down. Then cleaned up the mess. It took about 1/2 hour. $84.00 and worth every penny. No muss - no fuss.

October 8, 2007, 04:35 PM
I chose to forget the holes in the bottom of my Browning and located the 2X6 studs in the outside wall where the safe is located, matched up the holes I drilled in the back wall near the top and sunk two 5/8" wood lags six inches long through two large steel washers and reefed them down snug. My theory is that a pair of gorillas could grab the top of the safe and pulling out and away from the wall could possibly damage or loosen the bolts in the bottom floor of the safe but by anchoring the top to the wall behind it they would never be able to rock it at all and not knowing how it was fastened down would have to either break into it or give up.:neener:

Bily Lovec
October 8, 2007, 04:48 PM
decent sized safe w/guns cant be moved with a small dolly...
plus the sacks of lead shot in bottom doesnt help much...

besides, thieves are lazy by definition :eek:

October 8, 2007, 05:48 PM
Thanks all for your considerable consideration of my conundrum. I knew this collective would have several viable answers. Halfacop, the beauty of yours lies in its simplicity, i.e. let the screw pierce the carpet weave. We were able to deduce the location of the joists below the 3/4" plywood floor and the 1" subfloor. A hammer got the tip started and a ratchet and the skin of three knuckles got it finished.

Sam Adams
October 8, 2007, 06:47 PM
plus the sacks of lead shot in bottom doesnt help much...

I knew a guy who had over 50 guns in 2 giant safes in his basement. He said that anyone who could lift the safes, the couple dozen guns, the ammo and the 400 pounds of lead shot in each was very deserving of the booty. Each of them had to weigh well over 1,500 pounds each, and they weren't going anywhere.

Oh, and the alarm system, large and generally pissed off dogs and the 8 lag bolts (1/2" diameter) in the bottom and back of each safe were just a bonus.

Bily Lovec
October 8, 2007, 09:12 PM
he was serious :-)

October 8, 2007, 10:24 PM
cut x in carpet and then push through 3/4 pvc pipe that is a few inches long, run the bolt through the PVC - so it works to keep the bolt threads from grabbing the carpet threads.

be safe, BSR

October 9, 2007, 09:45 PM
When I had my safe delivered (about 1800lbs empty) the dealer insisted on bolting it down to the concrete floor. It was installed in a corner of my heated and cooled garage workshop. He used four large concrete anchors.

His rational was that if some of the oil field roughnecks wanted it they would pick it up and throw it in the back of a truck and go. He said the police in Tyler Tx at one time found a safe far heavier in the middle of a street one morning where it fell off of a truck after being stolen, therefore mine is bolted down and fitted tight into a corner.

October 11, 2007, 06:34 PM
On a conventional wood floor that you can access from the underside, nail a couple of 2x4s spanning several floorboards underneath, so that the lag bolts can pass through the floor and anchor into the 2x4s. I always place my safe on a square of plywood on top of the carpet, with the wood being 2-3" larger than the safe all around. This helps tremendously with moving the safe, as it isn't buried in the carpet - you can just slide it off the board onto another one. Also, you can then easily (in my experience) drill through the wood, carpet, and floor.

October 11, 2007, 08:52 PM
Lag screws have a rather small resistance to being pulled out.
Pry the safe upwards and the lags come free.

On concrete use drop in or shield style anchors.
On wooden floors use at least 1/4 inch steel straps and 1/2 inc carriage bolts.
Nuts inside the safe.

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