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Project - a DIY ammo locker

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Preacherman, Mar 27, 2004.

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  1. Preacherman

    Preacherman Member

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    Hello, all. I've been having some fun making a second ammo locker for myself (having run out of space in the first one! :D ). I thought you might be interested in a quick, easy and relatively low-cost way to make a very secure ammo storage facility.

    I started by buying an ordinary office cupboard - the steel 36"x18"x72" sort that you can get at Office Depot or Officemax any day. I took out the steel shelves that came with it, and put them aside (I can always find a use for them later).


    [​IMG]



    (Edited to correct the cupboard measurements.)
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2004
  2. PATH

    PATH Member

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    Very nice. Why remove the shelves?
     
  3. Preacherman

    Preacherman Member

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    I then bought a set of utility shelves from Wal-Mart. You can get these in various sizes and weight gradings. Typically, something that can carry 900 pounds will do just fine, although you can go up to a ton capacity if you want to.

    It's important when buying these shelves to first measure (carefully! :D ) the inside dimensions of your cupboard. Sometimes the doors are set a bit in from the edge, which takes up some of the depth measurement. If the shelves are the same depth as the outside of the cupboard, they won't fit - they have to fit the usable inside depth. Of course, height and width also have to match.


    [​IMG]
     
  4. sm

    sm member

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    pssst...It's empty...boy was I dissapointed! :D

    Okay I gotta agree what a great idea. So what now - a magnetic firearm dealie to keep the guns straight and in order [ gee Steve thanks- your welcome Preacherman]. :p

    Edit: my smart aleckness was geared to first photo...now the boy is gonna show innards...still waiting on the guns tho'...;)
     
  5. Preacherman

    Preacherman Member

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    Then, I began assembling the shelves inside the cupboard. Notice that I haven't done as the illustration on the shelf package suggests, and put a shelf right at the bottom or the top. This isn't necessary when the shelves are assembled in a cupboard, because the sides of the cupboard provide additional stiffening. This also means that the bottom of the cupboard can serve as an extra shelf.

    One word of warning: because the shelf dimensions are identical to the cupboard dimensions, often it's very difficult to get the crossbars slotted in. You have to bend and fiddle, bang and bash them to get it right (a rubber hammer is an indispensable aid, as is a plentiful supply of profanity! :D ). It also helps if you don't have two cats who are intensely curious as to what Daddy is doing in that strange metal box, and want to help... :rolleyes:


    [​IMG]


    PS - Guys, wait up! One more post to come - then you can comment! :D
     
  6. Preacherman

    Preacherman Member

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    And here's the finished product. Six usable shelves, with a capacity of up to half-a-ton of ammo (I don't think I'm likely to exceed that - at least, not in one cupboard! :D ). All I have to do is put the handles on the doors, add a padlock hasp, and it's safe and secure from prying eyes and fingers. Sure, a burglar could break in if he wanted to - but how's he going to move half a ton of ammo? :D


    [​IMG]


    Path - I removed the original shelves because they can only carry a load of 70-80 pounds each. A couple of ammo boxes, filled the way I fill them, will soon break those shelves! :D It's better to use the heavy-duty stuff.
     
  7. sm

    sm member

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    tap...tap...tap fingers
    Okay so I flunked Patience 101...get on with it :)

    Is that carpet or cork on the shelves?

    You done good Preacherman, all ribbing aside a very nice job indeed. So...What's it look like filled up? * snicker*
     
  8. PATH

    PATH Member

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    The final product is very nice. I am going to give some thought to an arrangement like that. I don't have half of a half of a ton of ammo though!
     
  9. Preacherman

    Preacherman Member

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    Steve, those aren't carpet or cork shelves - they're fiberboard. If you look at the box the shelves came in, it's clear from the illustration. You've been at the medicinal alcohol again, haven't you? :neener:
     
  10. Valkman

    Valkman Member

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    Very nice - I remember you mentioning it before and have been thinking doing it myself. Now I AM gonna have to do it. I don't have much patience for the shelving part, though. :fire:
     
  11. sm

    sm member

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    Nope, today is the 27th of March - correct? I took my last drink on this date in 1984. Twenty years...who'd a thunk it -huh?

    My sinuses are giving me fits, and what a headache I have. Oh - yea I was quick to be a smart aleck earlier. I apologize.

    Great, I go to earlier illustration and can't read the fiberboard part...sigh...maybe I do need to get my 'script changed on the bifocals...

    Well beats the direction I was headed in '84...

    Still think you "done good" , very good job and appreciate the sharing.
     
  12. Valkman

    Valkman Member

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    Waaaiiiit a minute....how are you putting 36" wide shelves in a 30" wide cabinet? I take it the dimensions on the shelving box are not the ones you actually used here?
     
  13. sm

    sm member

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    Hey as a kid I was sent next door for the "shelf stretcher". You know that dealie all the businesses loan to each other when the kid is sent to get it back...yeah that one.

    When I became older I too sent the "new employee" looking for the "shelf stretcher".

    Damn I almost 49 and this is the first I ever of a "shelf shrinker"...gotta be a copyright infringement - gotta be. :D
     
  14. Preacherman

    Preacherman Member

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    Valkman, good eyes! You're right - the box in the photograph is not the box for the shelves I put in the cupboard. However, I gave the wrong dimensions for the cupboard, so I've fixed that in that post. The box shown above contains a shelf set rated for 2,400 pounds - rather more than I need in one ammo cupboard... :D The shelves I used were from the same manufacturer, part of the Space Solutions Designer Series, which is available at Wal-Mart, and is as close to a perfect fit for a standard office cupboard as you can get. They measure 36"x16"x72", and are rated for 900 pounds total capacity. Don't get the bigger shelves with 18" depth - that's too wide to fit into the cupboard, due to the doors taking up an inch or so of the depth.

    This cupboard can also serve as a cheap alternative to a gun cabinet. It's nowhere near as secure as a Homak or Sentry cabinet, but it's better than nothing, and has the advantage of looking innocent. If you put it in a back room somewhere, next to a desk or something, it's unlikely a casual burglar would think to try to force it open - he'd be looking for TV's, VCR's, DVD's, jewellery, etc. in the main room and master bedroom.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2004
  15. 12 Volt Man

    12 Volt Man Member

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    Great project!!!
     
  16. Skirmisher

    Skirmisher Member

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    Did a closet clean up Thursday and after removing several cases of ammo from behind the door, a telephone stand and some stackable bookcases also filled with ammo, I decided it was time to consolidate. I bought a locking 2-door cabinet with adjustable shelves. I separated the ammo into calibers and guages. When I was through my husband asked if he could store some too. He had a milk crate full plus cases and boxes under the bed and computer. Now it's all in one place, neatly arranged in a cedar cabinet with locking doors. I guess women just like the furniture look. The one fact we discovered, however is the need to shoot up some of this ammo. Last year we had a hard time keeping it stocked, but this winter was a long cold winter and we didn't get out much.
     
  17. Langenator

    Langenator Member

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    What was the total cost and time consumed on the project?
     
  18. Preacherman

    Preacherman Member

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    Cost:

    1 used office cupboard from a local used furniture dealer - $50.
    1 set of shelves from Wal-Mart - about $30 for the heavy-duty shelves I bought.

    Time: About an hour and a half (including profanity breaks! :D ), pllus another hour or so removing interested cats (repeatedly :rolleyes: ) from the scene...)

    I'm busy filling it up at the moment, and I'll post a photo of the filled cupboard in due course.
     
  19. Kestrel

    Kestrel Member

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    Hey PM, great idea!
     
  20. DigitalWarrior

    DigitalWarrior Member

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    Looking closely...

    I was looking closely and it appears that the inner metal shelfs only have very small four "L" feet. I also think that the bottom of the shelf is elevated folded metal. I think that if I stood in it, the metal might bend / buckle (definitely on the hairy edge).

    If someone put Half a ton of stuff on those four little "L" feet, that would be about 1000lbs/sq. inch. I would have thought that would have peirced the sheet metal, even at the strong points around the side.

    I can't wait to see, hope I am wrong, all kinds of interesting things I could do if that is the case.

    BTW looks great.
     
  21. Preacherman

    Preacherman Member

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    DW, those "feet" are rated for a half-ton of weight on the shelving - and you can get others (see the second photo in the thread, of the shelf box) that are similar in construction, and rated for over a ton! I've put up several sets of this stuff, and never yet had a problem with anything bending or falling over. For use outside a cupboard, of course, one puts a shelf at the top and bottom, which helps to keep the uprights together. However, in a cupboard, the sides of the cupboard provide plenty of additional stiffening, so that one can put the shelves closer to the center, and thus create more usable space. As for pressure on the bottom of the uprights, this is really not a problem - and if you put the shelves on a more sensitive floor, that you don't want marked, you can buy some of the plastic "feet", about 1" square, that will fit under the legs and protect the floor. Wal-Mart has those too.

    BTW, in my other ammo locker (made the same way as this one) I have shelves rated for 1,600 pounds, with the same kind of uprights, resting on the bottom of an office cupboard. That's been overloaded for some time now (at least a couple of dozen bulk cases of ammo, twenty or more ammo cans segregated by caliber, well over a thousand shotgun rounds, etc.), and has never shown any sign of difficulty. I think these setups are pretty durable.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2004
  22. Bowlcut

    Bowlcut Member

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    we use such shelves at work for storage. they are quite strong. and they dont bend under weight. giving them 3 walls to rest upagainst would definatly aid in their weight holding.

    dang it...i could use that idea to ad some storage here in this tiny apartment. not only for ammo but computer parts...
     
  23. Langenator

    Langenator Member

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    I wonder if DRMO has any used metal cabinets like that for sale.
     
  24. JennYe

    JennYe Member

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    Nice job.
    Now post a photo of those pesky cats.
    They have to be cute.
     
  25. Hutch

    Hutch Member

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    Sorry P'man, but I think you're waaaaaay overengineered on this'un. I have an el-cheapo (Staples, or OfficeMax, I forget) office cupboard like yours that I use as an ammo locker, and the shelves, while p'raps rated 80 or 90 lbs, seem to be holding up well with heavier loads. Can't even detect any deflection on the shelf hold 2 cases of Radway Green .308 plus another case or two of 9mm. I think if you put the mondo-heavy cases (.45 ACP is brutal) on the shelves as close as possible to the sides, and put any really crazy stuff on the bottom shelf, you're good-to-go as is. I don't think conventionally packaged ammo requires any special practices at all. Not trying to be jerk or anything...
     
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