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Drilling a hole in a safe for power

Discussion in 'Shooting Gear and Storage' started by OilyPablo, Apr 19, 2013.

  1. OilyPablo

    OilyPablo Well-Known Member

    I got a Liberty Colonial for a great price, but there is no power access hole.

    Say I want to drill a hole for power - how would you proceed?
  2. 1 old 0311-1

    1 old 0311-1 member

    BIG drill, BIG bit, LOTS of time.
  3. OilyPablo

    OilyPablo Well-Known Member

    This I have. I expect the bit will be ruined - well it will need resharpening. I don't need that big of a hole.

    I will line said hole with a nice grommet and run industrial 20A/600V rated wire and terminated inside with an appropriate receptacle, then outside have a dongle with a plug.
  4. X-Rap

    X-Rap Well-Known Member

    I'd probably use a 1/2 bit and run cord through a rubber grommet then attach the plug just to minimize the hole.
    If wiring a plug is a problem then use a good BiMetal hole saw that is larger than the plug and drill in the back or side since it is less noticable and the side and back is thinner.
  5. PlaneJain

    PlaneJain Well-Known Member

    Doesn't it work better to use a small bit, then in steps, work your way up to the size you want?
  6. sota

    sota Well-Known Member

  7. Highland Ranger

    Highland Ranger Well-Known Member

    Wouldn't this compromise the fire rating?
  8. sota

    sota Well-Known Member


    hence why I haven't tried it yet.
  9. Hilljun

    Hilljun Active Member


    These are some good and sensible answers. But my way is way more fun and requires some skill.

    1. Remove the door and lean it against the wall.
    2. Carry the safe out Back ( You may want help with this)
    3. Place the safe on cinder blocks (1 on each corner)
    4. Clear the area
    5. Drill through interior (just till you hit metal)
    6. Select your tool of choice and proceed to Shoot a hole ( careful it lines up with hole from step 5.)
    The next step is the most important and must be followed or udder chaos is sure to unfold!
    7.Skip steps 1. through 6. and go to 8.
    8. Take advice from someone other than me.:neener:But feel free to laugh at the thought of my way.
  10. OilyPablo

    OilyPablo Well-Known Member

    Too thick for that punch plus the "drywall" layers AND again I don't need such a large hole.

    Hilljun - I'll need to buy a .50Cal for that.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2013
  11. Teachu2

    Teachu2 Well-Known Member

    Actually, I suspect you will be extremely disappointed when you drill this - it's 12ga steel, slightly less than 1/8" thick. A Harbor Freight step bit will go through it without issue.

    If you want a neat, clean hole, use a holesaw and start inside. Get as close to the bottom of the back as you can (but above the baseboard of the wall it's going against), and drill through the drywall and metal with the pilot of the holesaw. Stop when the cutter contacts metal, back it out and remove the drywall "plug" from the holesaw. Using the proper size to fit your grommet, enlarge the pilot hole from the outside - a step drill works well here. Install the grommet and wire it up, then use a little RTV to seal the wire entry.

    Vacuum the interior of the safe before you load it up. I have a small shopvac that I use when I'm holesawing the drywall "fire lining", which really cuts down on the mess.
  12. sota

    sota Well-Known Member

    personally I'd want to pass through power and network (put a backup storage drive inside)
  13. Lagarto

    Lagarto Active Member

    It will definitely effect the fire resistance.

    It's a trade off. What's more important fire resistance with all the attendant steam inside the safe or electrical power inside the safe?

    I have an uninsulated safe and an over head sprinkler in the safe area.
  14. PGT

    PGT Well-Known Member

    what do you need power inside for? I've got a Liberty/Centurion and I used a rechargeable desiccant pack and battery powered motion sensing lights from Mr. Beam (available at Amazon). I did this after discussing drilling a hole for power in the safe with my local Liberty dealer (they recommended against it).


    I put one up top set for 30 seconds and one on each side under the divider set for 15 seconds. Constant movement keeps them on and from experience with these elsewhere in the house, the pair of AA batteries last about a year.
  15. Grmlin

    Grmlin Well-Known Member

    Are you sure there isn't a plug (hole cover) on the back bottom left (when facing the back). Both of mine had a small cover I had to remove, then I had to drill through the fireboard.
  16. OilyPablo

    OilyPablo Well-Known Member

    Lighting is no problem.

    I've about 15 good sized desiccant bags in my main safe, but really just don't want the hassle for this one. I want to go the heated route.
  17. A-FIXER

    A-FIXER Well-Known Member

    Go to the hardware store and buy a powercord 16-2 should do 4' long for about 3.50, a cord end plug in standard 2opening type to attach to powercord a 1/4'' drill bit, run unfinished cord through 1/4'' hole then attach cord end on and plug in the heater... less than 5.00 and a very small hole once you run your cord through hole the if you want buy the epoxy metal fill type and let setup.... your hole is resealed and you now have power inside your safe you can always use ext cord to reach your closest outlet on the wall.
  18. DesertFox

    DesertFox Well-Known Member

    This is far easier than you'd think. Drill away.
  19. a1abdj

    a1abdj Well-Known Member

    I do not think that I have ever seen a Liberty that was not predrilled for electricity. The newer ones even have the hole through the gypsum on most models, in the event you want to add their electrical kit.

    This is pretty much the truth. I don't know why people think that this flimsy light weight steel gains magical properties once it's bent into the shape of a safe.

    12 gauge steel is 1/10" thick. 11 gauge steel is 1/8" thick. Any inexpensive drill bit, and a cordless drill, will have a hole in about 5 seconds.

    The only thing you have to be careful with is the interior fabric. A drill bit will snag this, twist it, and make a mess out of your interior. Make sure you drill through the gypsum slowly, and then use a razor/really sharp knife to slit the fabric at the hole.
  20. Magoo

    Magoo Well-Known Member

    I'm glad you said this. I thought this was getting a bit carried away. The shop vac, grommet, and RTV are well and good, but this ain't rocket surgery.

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