Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Anyone build their own gun safe/security cabinet?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Harvster, Oct 5, 2007.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Harvster

    Harvster Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2007
    Messages:
    353
    Though my welding skills are not up to the task yet, I was thinking of building a gun safe. With some iron plate and some concrete I would think one could build a functional (but in my case probably not too attractive) safe for a lot less than purchasing new. Anyone have any experiences?
     
  2. SSN Vet

    SSN Vet Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5,758
    Location:
    The Dark Side of the Moon
    Unless you have an account with a steel distributor (and maybe if you do) and qualify for volume pricing, I think you will be shocked to see what the price of even 1/8" cold rolled steel runs.

    You'll need a plasma cutter to get clean and straight cuts, though I guess a few dozen hours with a grinding wheel and you could clean up torch cut edges.
     
  3. ilbob

    ilbob Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Messages:
    10,902
    Location:
    Illinois
    I would bet that you cannot buy the stuff to build it cheaper than you can buy a finished safe.
     
  4. .cheese.

    .cheese. Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2007
    Messages:
    3,808
    I kind of built my own.

    I basically took a stack-on rifle cabinet and a bunch of walmart pistol cabinets and built a big wood housing for it all so that it can't be walked off with.

    it's not true DIY, but it was cheap.
     
  5. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    12,879
    Location:
    Home Of The First Capitol Of The Confederate State
    No

    But once I relocate, I might give that idea some consideration~? :scrutiny:
     
  6. ilbob

    ilbob Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Messages:
    10,902
    Location:
    Illinois
    A more practical, and somewhat easier idea is to build a concrete vault of some sort. Requires a lot less skill, and concrete is fairly cheap. You can't remove it of course.

    Could serve as a tornado shelter as well.
     
  7. GILROY

    GILROY Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2003
    Messages:
    164
    Remember a good fire rating is just as important as theft security. That means double walls doors and sides and good insulation in the spaces key places. If you want to save a few bucks watch the local classifieds. Sometimes you can catch commercial grades on the cheap when businesses go south. Of course if you are just in the mood for a big, heavy project, go for it, but me thinks about 1/3 way through, you will see the wisdom of the previous posts.
     
  8. Bazooka Joe71

    Bazooka Joe71 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Messages:
    2,803
    Location:
    Southern Indiana

    HAHA,

    I can see it now...<looking around the house>"Hmmm, hey honey, you know what this place needs?" "Whats that?" "A good tornado shelter...You never can be too safe....HEY, while I'm at it, I can store my GUNS in there!! Brilliant idea huh?
     
  9. Gord

    Gord Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2006
    Messages:
    3,829
    Location:
    Behind enemy lines
    As with flatbed trailers, it's hard to "roll your own" for less than you can buy one premade. For both, the price of steel is what will stymie you. You'll probably already be saving a few bucks buying premade just based on material costs - much less your time and the equipment needed to put it all together.

    I suppose if you can find some beefy steel plate somewhere as cheap surplus it might be cost-effective to do an ugly-but-functional DIY safe - otherwise, just look around for something used.
     
  10. pinstripe

    pinstripe Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2006
    Messages:
    376
    Location:
    central Arkansas
    I haven't built any gun safes, but I have built wooden gun cabinets. I would like to build a metal safe, but the price would probably be more than one already made.
    Good luck if this is the path you take.
     
  11. bsf

    bsf Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2003
    Messages:
    465
    Location:
    MI
    I too agree that the best method would be a permanent, built-in-place, concrete vault. Reinforce the walls and maybe install additional thermal barrier. Use a vault-type door. Still could be defeated, but it would deter most. Would probably have to do some demolition to pour proper footings, though.
     
  12. Horsesense

    Horsesense Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2003
    Messages:
    565
    You could find some heavy scrap iron for cheep. I thinking "I" beams welded together and concrete pored in the voids, or the top and bottom of an old oil tank. My brother-in-law made a storm shelter out of a 15X24 oil tank, the thing is about one inch thick and he got it for free.
     
  13. ilbob

    ilbob Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Messages:
    10,902
    Location:
    Illinois
    have you looked at the price of scrap lately?

    Lets call it 15x24x8.

    At 1" thick it would weigh about 43,000 pounds. Not exactly a DIY project.
     
  14. BigBlock

    BigBlock member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2006
    Messages:
    952
    Location:
    OR
    How about a 30 gallon steel drum, inside a 55 gallon drum, with concrete in between? You don't have to build a "vault" to make a concrete safe. You could make something small and safe shaped out of concrete, maybe easier to use cinder blocks and fill the voids with concrete. Maybe just go down to a scrapyard and see what they have laying around for cheap?

    Personally, I'm just gonna build a 3/4" plywood box with a couple locks on it. Will it stop a determined criminal? No, but it will give me enough time to shoot him. ;)
     
  15. shouldifail

    shouldifail Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    Messages:
    106
    Location:
    great lakes state
    What about perhaps using an old locker, like the ones you might find in a school or gym?? I would assume if you looked around at some scrapyards, or estate sales, you could find one for even a fraction of what a metal gun cabinet would cost. My mother is a teacher and they are auctioning off TONS of old school fixtures from a school that they just closed. I'm looking into getting a couple lockers for myself.
    Depending on price, you may be able to pick up 2 or 3...use one for pistols, one for long guns, and one for ammo....add some reinforcements, or a long bar that would padlock over all the doors and you'd be set.
    Just a thought.
    chris
     
  16. 230RN
    • Contributing Member

    230RN Marines raising the left-leaning Pisa tower.

    Joined:
    May 27, 2006
    Messages:
    6,632
    Location:
    Calirado
    That's funny, Chris. Just a couple weeks ago I was thinking of getting a locker for my guns. Not much of a fire deterrent, nor of a burglary deterrent, but maybe just enough to save some guns.

    I figured I could lag screw it to a couple of studs from the inside back wall, but I kind of gave the idea up because I couldn't figure out how to enhance the fire-retardant qualities...

    Any practical ideas for how to fire-"resistify" a school locker? Or the guns within it?

    I've got some ideas on this toodling around my noodle, but I don't want to salt the idea mine.
     
  17. KC&97TA

    KC&97TA Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    Messages:
    792
  18. sm

    sm member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2002
    Messages:
    28,389
    Location:
    Between black coffee, and shiftn' gears
    :)

    Under a floor, "somewhere" is a Steel Truck Toolbox. First you have to know where this place is, and then where in the structure to look. Oh, the folks act like they have no idea what a gun is.

    Under the *something* covering the hardwood floor is a...it looks exactly like a lock for a key.
    Fact is, it is. O-l-d lock was replace with an new style. This house was built with a hidden , lockable, storage area, a long damn time ago.
    Steel Toolbox replaced the original "locker". Beefed up, neat locks, and done.

    Tool box was bought "right" had a dent in it from shipping and handling, and only $30 at the time.

    Oh, that Kmart gun safe, in that other room closet?
    Just to give the BGs something to play with....

    ;)
     
  19. shouldifail

    shouldifail Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    Messages:
    106
    Location:
    great lakes state
    I have no idea how to fireproof a school locker....
    But on another note, what about using an old refridgerator??? They seem to keep things nice and cold, and while it may not offer the best protection against fire, they may shield the items inside enough to not have a total loss.

    Besides, the various shelves and drawers might be helpful for organizing things.

    Throw a nice big hasp and padlock on it, bolt it down and let thieves think its just for beer!

    I suppose an old chest freezer would also work....most already come with some sort of lock on them.
     
  20. BridgeWalker

    BridgeWalker Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2007
    Messages:
    722
    Location:
    Lansing, MI
    I have a bomb shelter in my basement. Was thinking of putting a door on it.

    Right now it has a baffled entry but no door. But we're holding off because it would probably be cheaper to buy an RSC than to put a vault-type door on it and because the basement is fairly damp.
     
  21. igpoobah

    igpoobah Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    Messages:
    588
    Location:
    Arkansas
    Yes, I built my own steel gun locker out of 10ga plate. I also happen to work for a manufacturer of steel products. :neener:


    It holds 10 long guns and has an upper shelf, all steel.
     
  22. 230RN
    • Contributing Member

    230RN Marines raising the left-leaning Pisa tower.

    Joined:
    May 27, 2006
    Messages:
    6,632
    Location:
    Calirado
    Well with respect to the school locker idea, I was thinking of using wallboard as a fire retardant, either by covering the locker or lining it.

    Besides its plain insulating properties, I figure the decomposition of the plaster in the drywall would absorb heat.

    I figure if you put it on the outside, an accomplished craftsman could finish it off fairly nicely.

    If it were insulated only on the inside, it would end up just looking like a plain old locker, but the wallboard would give up water on heating, possibly leading to rust problems.

    Again, this would be intended only as a deterrent to theft and fire. I live on the second floor of an apartment, and hauling a full-blown safe up here would be out of the question.

    Would have to do something about the chintzy locks on the usual locker, though.
     
  23. mjrodney

    mjrodney Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2006
    Messages:
    434
    Location:
    SW Florida
    Even a thin steel locker gains added security when bolted into the corner of a closet, with a cheap to build wall added alongside. The "deeper" into the corner of the closet, the better.

    Most smash and grabs aren't going to dismantle or go through a wall just to get a pry bar on that locker.

    See attached.

    This was installed in a rental. The added wall looked permanent, but in fact was temporary. It required four 2x4's, one sheet of drywall, a few screws and a bit of drywall mud, tape & paint. I don't think it cost much more than $25.

    Two screws into the floor thru the carpeting, two into the ceiling above. The locker was only attached to the temporary wall, but jammed into the corner like it was, that's all it needed.

    When moving day arrived, the locker and the wall came out. A few holes to touch up and no damage left behind.

    No fire protection, though.
     

    Attached Files:

  24. culito

    culito Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2006
    Messages:
    51
    Gut on old coke machine, they have good locks and who would think that it was a gun safe.
     
  25. Cannonball888

    Cannonball888 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2007
    Messages:
    2,172
    Location:
    Florida
    [​IMG]
    +
    [​IMG]

    Not really burglar-proof, but it is burglar-resistant. It's mainly for keeping the kids out.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page