OK, I just bought the gun safe, now what?


August 21, 2004, 09:41 PM
OK, I just bought the gun safe, now what?


I've just bought a Sentry 14-gun safe. I have not yet installed it and have some questions.

First, I am putting it in my basement. I don't have flooding problems, but every spring get an inch or 2 of water when the snow thaws. I am planning on putting the safe on a home-made palatte of pressure treated wood. Any issues I should be aware of? - or any reasons not to do this?

Second, I bought this thing called a "DRI-ROD" to keep the safe interior dry. Has anyone used one of these before? How far away do I have to keep this from the guns? Should I place it near the top / bottom / middle of the safe? (Or does it not matter?)

Third, any pearls of wisdom? I am not planning on bolting this to my foundation (just to the palatte). I will probably add 100 lbs of shot or lead to the safe to reduce it's mobility, but I'd rather not drill holes in my basement.


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Double Naught Spy
August 21, 2004, 09:52 PM
Okay, first if you get water in your basement, you have flooding problems. You might prefer the terminology of "water incursion," but it is flooding, even at 1-2".

Pressure treated wood will absorb moisture. It will get worse with each expsoure. It is possible for capillary action to carry water up to the surface of the wood where the safe is resting. It will then start to break down the paint and eventually rust.

The dry rod works by heat, not much, but it is heat. It creates an air current that helps keep moisture from settling on the guns. As heat rises, you will want this in the lower portion of your safe. As it runs on electricity, there will be a hole in your safe for the electricity. Since you have water that gets in your basement, even if the safe is raised, you want the hole to be higher up than you my ordinarily be inclined to put it. Mine is a good 6" above ground level and my place does not flood. You can use something like a noncombustible putty to help seal the hole around the cord, but don't count on it to be waterproof and don't forget to try to seal the hole on both sides.

A couple of inches distance from your guns should be fine. The rod will be hot to the touch, but should not burn your hand (not that you should be touching it). Since it produces heat, I try not to place wood stocks close to it. I put in a temporary partition of a 1x4" piece of wood between the rod and wooden gun stock. If the heat is going to affect the wood, I want it to affect the cheap piece of lumber. With that in mind, I can't tell that there has been any effect on the lumber after 3 years.

August 21, 2004, 10:07 PM
I'm with DNS, putting it on wood that may be in water is a bad idea.

As for the "now what?" question: Fill it up. :D


Standing Wolf
August 21, 2004, 10:33 PM
Nature abhors an empty gun safe. In fact, gun safes work properly only when jammed full. Go to your favorite gun shop. You know what to do.

August 21, 2004, 10:34 PM
now you get a sump pump installed!

August 21, 2004, 11:19 PM
Get dessicant packs as well and check them regularly. They are cheap extra insurance. If they get "tight" then the dry rod is not working or you have an electrical problem. Get the safe up off the ground as high as reasonable-you may get a little more snow than usual. Why buy 100# of shot or lead, just buy all the ammo you can squeeze in. Definitely seal the hole for the dry rod cord. As to filling your safe, s#*t could hit the fan tomorrow so pretend you're preparing for the worst case scenario and fill that thing up!:D

August 21, 2004, 11:42 PM
Maybe you should consider pouring a concrete pad for a base to raise your safe off the floor.

August 22, 2004, 12:00 AM
"Third, any pearls of wisdom?"

Don't get a C&R. A 14-gun safe isn't nearly big enough.


Blue Line
August 22, 2004, 08:00 AM
Instead of wood use that fake wood product thats used for decks and stuff outside. I forget what its called but its a recycled product of wood and plastic, neighbor built a deck out of it. I have mine on 1/4 inch plastic pipe collars to sit on.

I've had a golden rod in my safe for about 7 yrs now and no problems with the golden rod. I did have the seals in my 1100 dry out and had a nice single shot but new seals made it new. No rust what so ever. I have my golden rod back behind the guns where they lean back makes a nice place to lay it in its cradle.

August 22, 2004, 03:00 PM
Start shopping for a bigger one??:D Seems like that's what happens to me!

August 22, 2004, 03:15 PM
Next move is simple.

"Buy as many guns as you can
While you still can"


August 22, 2004, 03:18 PM
Instead of wood use that fake wood product thats used for decks and stuff outside. I forget what its called but its a recycled product of wood and plastic

around here it is called trex decking, I think there is a few differnt companys making it. but I am not sure I think it is used for decking and not for frameing.
I would make a cement pad that is a few inches larger than the safe with some rebar or steel mesh in it. than bolt the safe to the pad.

get a hydrometer moisture sensor. there is a cheap card type one at cheaper than dirt.

August 23, 2004, 09:06 AM
thanks for the ideas gents - i suppose cement is a better option.

does it matter which variety? i'm fixing up my garage from winter damage with sand topping mix. would this be sufficient (along with some mesh).

good idea on the dessicant packs, i hadn't thought of that.

thanks again!

August 23, 2004, 09:57 AM
Remember that concrete sucks-up the moisture like a sponge.

Putting the safe on in elevated pad, in light of your present situation, is a good idea. But I would fashion an additional polymeric moisture barrier on top of the pad and then set the safe on top of that.

If'n it was me, I'd fix the root problem of water ingress so that I had a completely dry basement at all times.



August 23, 2004, 10:51 AM
Even a "dry" basement is still a very humid environment.

This may be a dumb suggestion, but if you're looking for a fairly cheap way to get the safe up off the floor, how about a layer of cinder blocks under the safe, enough to keep it above water, and a sheet of plywood (or some other substance, like maybe hardi-plank) between the blocks and the safe?

August 23, 2004, 01:07 PM
Bricks work well. Most basements that I go in to have every appliance, especially water heaters and washer/dryers up on bricks.

I run a dehumidifier in my basement and have no problems with humidity.

August 23, 2004, 01:18 PM
Anything that raises the safe up makes it (at least slightly) less secure.

If you want to prevent wood, bricks, whatever, from wicking moisture up into the safe, you can put a sheet of acrylic or Lexan on top of the blocks, immediately under the safe.

Hmmm . . . a wet basement is not a good place for a safe. And I really wouldn't like one of those electric heaters in a wet location. I'd go with several cans of silica gel. When the indicators turn pink, you heat them in the oven to dry them out, then they go back in the safe.

Here's a thought . . . quite often pallets of merchandise come sealed up in great big plastic bags of heavy polyethylene. You might consider putting one of these down first, with the mouth of the bag up, and placing the base of the safe inside the bag. Pull the mouth of the bag up, and the safe will remain dry unless your basement gets REALLY flooded.

August 23, 2004, 02:34 PM
depending on the size of your safe, you can get a dandy poly tray that they make to set washing machines in. usually about 3ft square, 2-3 inch lip on it. building supply stores (home depot, etc) have them.

August 23, 2004, 10:35 PM

A couple of thoughts. First let me say that the basement is where I put my Browning safe, because it's a biggun, and the basement is the only place we could have the burial vault crane lower it into. I didn't feel like getting the upstairs floors reinforced to take the weight.

First, HankB said it and I'll elaborate. The most insecure parts of a safe are away from the door. If the thief can tip or turn a safe, he has a better chance of acquiring ill-gotten booty. A raised platform that is less than solid (i.e. less than concrete slab) improves his chances. How easy would it be to knock out a brick or two from underneath the safe?

I would suggest 1) a basement pump, and 2) a dehumidifier. The dehumidifier will considerably decrease the amount of work your Golden Rod and/or dessicant will have to do. It will also make the basement much more comfortable for you to stay down there and fondle your treasures. (The guns that is).

Finally, consider changing your prohibition against drilling in the basement. Bolting the safe in considerably increases the security of a small safe like a 14 gun unit.

Hope this helps. Enjoy filling it up. When you pour the concrete slab, consider making it extra large so it can accomodate the second safe you'll be putting next to the first.;)

August 24, 2004, 09:16 PM
thanks for all the pointers. my membership in thr has paid for itself again :)

i live in northern ma. my house is a colonial and the basement is 1/2 finished and 1/2 is my garage. the finished half has a small room with my oil burner and tank, and hot water heater. fwiw, i have hot water heat. the foundation never goes more than 5 ft below ground level on one side and is level with the ground on the other (garage) side.

the only time water ever gets in my basement is when the snow melts in april and there is a *very* heavy rain. i don't think i need a sump pump, no other houses in the neighborhood have them. i suspect there may be a small leak where the waste water pipe goes out of the foundation. the small room where the safe is placed is always warm because of the burner.

i recently bought a room de-humidifier for the basement. i think i'll pour a cement slab w/ rebar and bolt the safe to it. i'll also get some humidty-meters - or whatever they are called.

i'm looking forward to fondling my treasures - hopefully i won't go blind-

August 24, 2004, 11:36 PM
I hate to tell you this, but everyone elses advice so far has been wrong wrong wrong R O N G wrong.

you cant just dump your guns into that safe. it needs to be broken in first. this may take years. if you try and stuff her full right away she'll just shrink and you wont be able to fit all your guns in it.

its kind of like your stomach. you cant go from 150 to 200 pounds overnight, can you? you gotta work at it.
now i know what you're thinking: what am i going to do only putting one gun in my safe until she loosens up and can handle the rest of them?

the answer is simple: send me the rest of your guns. no one will think to look for them up here with me.

p.s. you may as well send the ammo you have with the guns, so it doesnt get lost.


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