It’s been a very busy spring. Flannel Man (FM) has been hard at work getting up early everyday to work on building the walk-in gun safe with his dad. Since we converted our house from an oil burning furnace to a geothermal heat pump last fall we no longer have a big 225 gallon fuel oil tank taking up space in our basement.
FM had been eying that space up for a walk-in gun safe because he would only have to build two new walls. I know putting in a walk-in gun safe sounds crazy but we really need it. Because both FM and I shoot multiple types of competition both indoor and outdoor we need a lot of rifles. And since they are all custom they don’t fit well in the standard gun safe meant for hunting rifles. Plus, FM has a small collection of old military rifles & pistols. So to fit our collection and allow for future expansion we would need a very large custom gun safe that would cost as much as FM’s truck! Being the
cheap savvy DIYers that we are we decided to build one instead.
As fare as resale value goes we aren’t too worried about it. We plan to be here for a very long time and when it comes time for we/our children to sell the house they could always advertise it as a very secure wine cellar…or a walk-in gun safe. I mean it is Wisconsin half of the men I know are jealous we have one!
We started out by buying +80 cinder blocks, rebar, cement mix, grout mix, and mesh ladder (to reinforce the grout joints). FM and Papa Flannel laid the first row of blocks then drilled holes in the basement floor to hold the rebar in the cavities of the block.
Day 5 & 6
Before installing the door FM put a plaster-like bonding agent on the outside of the cinder blocks. The bonding agent seals everything up and is meant to be painted but we’re fine with the white color it came in.
Using some of our tax return from our geothermal system we ordered a vault door from a company out in California. We ordered a standard size and then upgraded a few features (interior release, left swing, digital lock, and improved heat resistance). The door is made of steel and has a poured ceramic in the door to withstand a 2300 degF fire for 1 hour. It has 14 steel bolts and weighs a total of 600 pounds! We needed four guys to move it into place but moving it was surprisingly fast.
We used lag bolts designed for concrete to fasten the door frame to the walls.
Everything was going good but the door seemed a little out of alignment with the frame and was sticking. But Papa Flannel had a great idea to stick some shims in-between the door frame and the door where it was sticking then close the door hard. Apparently it works well on regular doors but on this vault door it got stuck, very stuck…while FM was inside. With all of us pulling on the door and FM pushing weren’t able to get it open for a good 10 minutes! For a while there we all thought FM was a goner. But he’s out safe and sound now.
The wood door in the back right is our garage which makes the truck really easy to load and unload with our heavy equipment!
Next its onto the inside. Building shelves, painting the walls with Drylock, and dehumidifiying the space.