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Advice for securing a safe on a carpeted floor

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by ShooterMcGavin, Jul 1, 2009.

  1. ShooterMcGavin

    ShooterMcGavin Member

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    I want to bolt my new safe into my closet. This is a carpeted floor, over ply-wood. The walls are drywall. I plan on cutting the base-board moulding pieces. I'm not sure what to do with: the carpet, the bolts into the ply-wood floor, and even bolts into the wall.

    I have heard the recommendation to cut small holes where the bolts will go through the carpet, to prevent the carpet from simply unravelling. However... Since the holes in the bottom of the safe probably won't line up with the floor joists, I am thinking of cutting a square piece of carpet out that matches the size of the safe's bottom. Then, bolting a ~3/4" thick ply-wood base to the floor. Then, bolting the safe into that. Thoughts? Am I over-engineering this?

    There are no holes up on the sides of the safe to bolt into a wall. I could drill holes in the side of the safe to line up with studs. Should I do that?

    Any other ideas or advice?
     
  2. memphisjim

    memphisjim Senior Member

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    have so many guns in it it cant be lifted
     
  3. ShooterMcGavin

    ShooterMcGavin Member

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    I'd rather not rely on that, and I currently don't have any money to be buying more guns. This is not a huge safe. The floor is about 21" wide by 17" deep. It probably only weighs 100lbs unloaded.
     
  4. ChaoSS

    ChaoSS Senior Member

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    Since you refer to the joists, I would assume that there is no concrete to bolt into, which would be your ideal solution.

    What's under these joists? Is it another floor? If so, can you put the safe down in the basement? Or is this a house that only has concrete footings and doesn't have a full foundation? If this is the case, can you cut through the subflooring and pour yourself a small block of concrete which you can bolt into?

    The reason I ask is that I have taken out safes that are mounted like that while remodeling, and it will come out with only a crowbar. I would probably rather rely on hiding my valuables rather than advertise their location in something that can be taken so easily. It's your choice though.

    If you are determined to do it this way, the answer is no, you are actually under engineering it.My suggestion would be to cut out the subflooring in a square, or rectangle, depending on the size of the safe and where the bolts are, cutting directly on the top of the joists, down the center. Nail the subflooring that is left back to the joists from the side. Install blocks between the joists, running perpendicular to them, spaced appropriately to accept the bolts. Secure these to the joists as solidly as you can. They make angle brackets, I'd toenail them and use the brackets. Then put subflooring back in, you might want to use something thicker, depending on how thick the stuff you have in there is. Hell, take two pieces and glue them together if you want. Attach this piece to both the joists and the blocks. Now put your bolts through the subflooring and the blocks.

    Honestly, though, concrete is your best bet. Put your safe on ground floor, and if there is no concrete under that, put some in.
     
  5. ShooterMcGavin

    ShooterMcGavin Member

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    Under the floor of the safe is the living room. I can't do any concrete work. I'd prefer not to dig into the floor, but just maybe some day. I appreciate the good advice.

    I'm sure that concrete would be best, but... I want the safe near my bedroom. I do my gun cleaning upstairs and I like to have easy access to my guns. Mostly, I don't want the safe down 2 floors in the basement (the only concrete floor) because of concerns with moisture and rust.

    Maybe I should have discussed my goals and exactly what level of security I am after. I want to prevent the safe from being taken by a non-professional theif who spends 20 minutes, assuming they have some basic handtools. The closet does not allow a large pry bar to be used effectively, but a long pry bar could be used to pry the safe off the floor. If they are determined, I know anything can be stolen.
     
  6. peyton

    peyton Member

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    I second what Chaoss said, the only way to anchor to 2x8 is run crossmembers. I faced a similiar problem when I went to hang a pot rack over the island in our kitchen. Bad thing was we had the house built and could of done this AS the house was getting built instead of afterwards.
     
  7. D Boone

    D Boone Member

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    Have your local metal shop cut you 1/4" plate with a hole pattern to match the bottom of your safe. Buy some 11" x 1/2" grade 5 bolts and bolt plate from bottom of joists to safe. Put some big washers on the safe side so the bolts won't pull through. Cut out carpet under safe and crack it down tight.
     
  8. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    Figure out your best position for the safe. Determine where every wall and floor joist is and secure to as many as you can. Since it is in a closet, you might also want to frame around it to "enclose" it even more.
     
  9. harmonic

    harmonic member

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    An unsecured gun safe is nothing more than an expensive gun case. A motivated thief simply uses a dolly to remove the entire collection.

    The typical home gun safe cannot stop a determined thief. If he has even as basic tools as a circular saw and masonry blades, he'll cut through the side.

    Secrecy is your best weapon. Don't let people know you have guns, since the vast majority of guns are stolen by friends and acquaintences of gun owners.

    That said, in your case, I think your best bet would be to secure the safe in a closet. You could use lag bolts to secure the back (or side) of the safe to the wall studs. That would prevent someone from merely using a dolly to take the whole safe.
     
  10. CoRoMo

    CoRoMo Senior Member

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    Depending on the safe walls, this could be very easy, or not so much.
    I would not hesitate to do this. I'd use large washers, and 5/16shank 3" lags or longer. I like pre-drilling the studs with a 1/4" bit because it makes those lags hold tighter than heck. This will be important if the outside of the safe wall will not be pulled up tight against the drywall. I'd imagine that there is going to be a gap between the safe and the closet wall given the baseboard or out of plum wall. If you remove the baseboard, maybe you could get it to fit right up against the closet wall. That would be greatly preferred over any gap.


    hth
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2009
  11. Lou McGopher

    Lou McGopher Member

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    Wrap the safe in matching carpet, for camouflage.
     
  12. catspa

    catspa Member

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    Shooter, what I'd do (and have done) is to cut the carpet out so you have bare subfloor where the safe will sit. Then cut a 12"x12" hole in the subfloor to locate the joists and provide access. Make 2 rails out of 3x3 steel angle, and drill them so you can lag them to the joists under the subfloor. Drill them also for 1/2" hex bolts or thread rod studs that extend vertically up through the subfloor and tall enough to sitck into the cabinet floor about an inch or so. Drill the cabinet floor to match, replace the hatch, lift and lower the cabinet onto the bolts, 2 fender washers, a lock washer and a nut on each one. Then drill and lag horizontally into your wall studs. PM me for a diagram if you want.

    Installed this way, a thief might cut open the safe, but he won't remove it without a chainsaw.

    Parker
     
  13. NC-Mike

    NC-Mike Senior Member

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    My feeling is you're over-engineering it.

    If your safe only weighs a 100 pounds, bolting it to the floor, in addition to bolting it to the wall will do little to stop a determined thief. If someone is going to rip out the bolts in the wall studs, they will rip out the bolts in the floor as well but more likely, they will just maul that safe and open it up like a clam with a heavy pry-bar.

    I would just bolt it to the wall and be done with it. Then buy some insurance.
     
  14. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Senior Member

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    I know that you probably don't want to hear this because you have already bought what sounds like a "Stack-On" type cabinet, but the best thing to do is get a thick wall heavy steel crossbolt safe. They are the only ones that require too much effort to be easily breached by a burglar. The best option using what you have is to conceal it well (basement would be best because statistically thieves will spend less time looking there). Building a wall around it and hiding it with a cheap set of cabinet doors and put it near the washer and drier would be another option (makes it appear to be laundry storage). :)
     
  15. ShooterMcGavin

    ShooterMcGavin Member

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    I don't know how I gave that impression :confused:

    The safe I have is made by Browning. I totally guessed on the 100lb weight; I guess it could be closer to 200lbs, but it doesn't matter much.
     
  16. CCWB

    CCWB Member

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    Screw it into the wall. Holes can be covered with putty when you move. I have a safe to keep my kid from getting a gun. If a thief wants it, they'll get it. If I'm not there when they come, please set the house on fire so I can get all the money and move!
     
  17. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Senior Member

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    Being a browning you/it should be good, but should be more than 100lbs (that was the give away, I figured it to be a large metal cabinet). The weight doesn't matter, but the construction does. I would screw it to the walls, with lags (normal screws won't do). :)
     
  18. Martyk

    Martyk Member

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    OK ShooterMcGavin... now you'll have to give us all the exact model number so we can check out the weight and specs for ourselves... :cool: What kind of a guy doesn't even know the weight and specs of his own safe! :uhoh:

    :D:D:D
     
  19. halfded

    halfded Member

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    install cross members between the joists to line up with the holes on your safe. Screw them into the joists with the longest thickest lag bolts you can find that won't split the wood. Grind the edges off the bolt heads so they can't be backed out. If you wanna go the extra mile, put a piece of plywood to cover the whole mess using those screws that will screw in but not back out. That should hold it pretty good; lag bolts for the back too. I did this with my safe and I can pull, shake, twist, whatever with all my weight/force and it won't budge an inch. Couple that with strategic positioning in the corner of a closet to prevent any kind of leverage, and you're good to go...unless said thief is traveling around with an extensive tool set and time to kill.
     
  20. Kwanger

    Kwanger Member

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    I think everyone has covered it well. I just wanted to add about the carpet cuts, as I just recently put a small safe in (albeit mine is into concrete). What I did was cut two inch square holes in the carpet for the bolts. If you decide against cutting the whole square for the carpet, to identify where you need to cut the carpet your best bet is to run a thin black marker down through the holes in the safe bottom and mark the holes. I had heard the carpet unravelling stories too and didn't want to take a chance on that.

    My safe is a cheapy electronic one - its primary purpose is to a: keep my daughter out, and b: provide some protection against casual thieves, should they manage to find it (it is also pretty well concealed, which is probably the best defense). Even though I've gotten it bolted to concete, I'm under no illusion that serious guys could easily rip the thing out. So if I were you, I wouldn't over-engineer it too much, especially as your mounting will always be a compromise - rather, just make yourself happy it'll stand up to low level unsophisticated types, and maintain your ins coverage.
     
  21. Rob P.

    Rob P. New Member

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    Simple solution that doesn't require drilling holes in the safe or re-engineering the floor:

    Buy some square steel tubing that is cut to the length required for each side of the safe between the bolt holes. Drill tubing so that it can be bolted to the bottom of the safe. Drill tubing so that it can be bolted to existing floor joists.

    Bolt steel to floor, then bolt safe to steel. Job Done!
     
  22. ChaoSS

    ChaoSS Senior Member

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    In that case, I would suggest that you either do what I've suggested (let me know if that didn't make enough sense, I can try again or make a diagram for you.) or could go with one of the ideas involving steel framing mixed into the joists. Those will cost more, and will be more difficult for you to work with (I'm assuming that you aren't exactly an expert at construction, but you probably aren't completely inept either.). However, they will hold better than what I suggested.
     
  23. Coopersrcool

    Coopersrcool New Member

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    Steel cable can also be your friend.....but you would have to have a small hole to drill holes in joists, run cable through and up through holes in bottom of safe. Move safe over cable and tighten cable as you go. having one loop through joists, up through safe and cable clamps. Would be stronger than bolts. If bad guy gets to rocking the safe...he could pull the bolts right out of the joists....he would have to break the joists in half to pull out the cable...that would be hard! Just an idea
     
  24. djs764

    djs764 New Member

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    While somewhat true, how many thiefs carry a dolly around with them? Most are just smash and grab and your computers,tv's and jewlery will be more enticing to them than trying to make a lot of noise and smash into your safe or wheel it out in the open with a dolly. If they want what you have they're going to get it no matter what kind of safe you have or how it's bolted down. Don't brag on what kinds or how many guns you have as you never know who's listening and will follow you home to later return and rob you. Also, up you homeowners insurance for the firearms, it's not that much more for the added protection.
     
  25. harmonic

    harmonic member

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    I have a friend who sells guns and safes. He said that in his considerable experience, guns are stolen 95% of the time by friends and acquaintances of the victim. If a dolly is what is needed, a dolly is what they'll bring.

    As I already advised, don't discuss your guns with anyone. Sounds paranoid, but effective.
     

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