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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This was my morning project. A 7' x 48" x 12" 1k lb vault door. I had a chance to purchase this from a office. The deal was I was supposed to be able to pick it up outside the building but I thought it best to take it out my self to save the door frame. I learned a lot in a hurry about vault doors. But with a little help and just sledge hammers and a small hammer drill we had it free in about a hour. That was the easy part. This door has pins on all four sides and a 2 1/2 hr fire rating. If and when I reinstall it I would definitely tie the door frame in with rebar and a solid concrete wall and possibly some sheet steel. Anybody else install something like this? Thanks Truman
 

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I did, but with new construction so it was "poured" in place as I built my vault room. If you are installing a new wall, you should be able to do the same. I used LiteForm and LiteDeck ICF as the basis for my vault room so I have insulated concrete on all six sides.
 

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.......with a little help and just sledge hammers and a small hammer drill we had it free in about a hour. That was the easy part........
With you being an amatuer at removing vault doors, your own experience should be a strong indicator you need advice from a professional vault installer on how to frame the door and tie it into the concrete wall. The only one I have witnessed being installed had a very beefy welded channel iron frame with many welded steel anchors deeply imbedded into a poured wall. A impenatrable door is of little use if one can chisel out the door, as you did, or break through another part of the exposed concrete wall with a roto drill, sledge hammer, and a hacksaw. Steel plating covering exposed concrete walls was being discussed as a way to discourage breaking holes in the concrete walls, but is yet to be added....cost a chunk. As with any other practical home vault, it will be impossible to keep out a determined professional thief, but the longer it will take to break in, the less likely they will make the attempt. Time and noise are a burglars worst enemy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Agreed, I was happy or disappointed at how easy it was to remove. I think being an office it was for mainly fire protection and records. There was no steel reinforcement attached to the frame and it was mounted in concrete blocks with a slushed frame gap. If it goes back a solid concrete wall will be used for sure with steel ties attached and maybe a double rebar grid in the wall.
 

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The idea is not to build Fort Knox. Any security device can be defeated. The idea is to deter and delay. A reasonable installation of Truman's used door will accomplish that. My concrete walls are heavily reinforced with rebar, but any steel product can easily be cut with the right equipment. And time.

I consider my vault room primarily as a fire safe and toronado shelter, rather than as in impenetrable vault. I keep the door hidden behind a book shelf so I hope that no thief will even know there is a vault door in that corner of the basement. Truman can do the same.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Agreed Judge, The best idea is to hide it completely. Something of this nature will draw unwanted attention for sure. Truman
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Jeez, you guys are making me paranoid and I don't even have a place to mount it yet. Truman
 

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If you have the space you have the ultimate safe room as well as gun vault. If you are going to have it do double duty, make sure you have a sufficient but hidden HVAC/water/sanitation system. My wife thinks I am a little out there, but I am installing (almost finished) a survival bunker. It is built into a hillside, has a garage that will eventually shelter 6 large vehicles and a few ATVs. Started with a natural cave that has expanded into 8,000 square feet (not counting garage) and has solar panels, a windmill, and on the property are 3 natural springs that we have 2 prebuilt hydro dams that will install in a couple of hours each. No windows but I see that as a plus. Since we own the 80 acres around the place we feel somewhat secure and now go there on weekends for the finishing off projects. I am relying on mostly not being found for security, but if we are found by hostile folks, they may regret that finding. I bought an old tug boat for the fuel tanks and generators, 2 5,000 gal tanks and a 20kw and a 7 kw generator. All nicely unfindable. We can run the place on just one set of solar panels, or one hydro/electric unit without disrupting the natural environment. As it is primarily an old cave it is a constant 65% year round, and we will not have to expend juice to heat or cool it. Got a septic system that would service a small subdivision. And a natural small lake up hill of us that refills with rainwater, snow runoff all the time. It drains into a 3,000 gal tank that provides gravity water pressure. And to think my wife told me I was nutz to buy the place for a song 25 years ago. Have spent about 90K fixing it up, including all interior fixtures, doors, 6 bedrooms w/3/4 quarter baths, 2 great rooms, and an office and a conference room that will double as a dorm if we come across non family that we want to help(unlikely).
Yeah I am a little paranoid. The galley is of absoutely full service commercial type (from a wrecked Great Lakes ship), and we have a large safe room/armory, not that I think we will need as the ony exterior door was built from the remains of an old armored car, and entry via the garage is likewise protected. Each vehicle stall is separated with a really tough door to finally get to the house entrance which is going to have a drop down door that will stop .50 caliber, thinking of upgrading it to 20mm.
It actually a nice place to bring the whole family on weekends even if it is a little drive, but the grandkids can play in the woods and practice survival techniques, they think it is great fun. We are teaching them to relate to the wildlife without telling they might have to eat it some day.
Yes, I am having a good time planning for survival with out machinegun nests, and only a couple of spider holes.
 

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Now there's a bit of distorted logic....hope you're not a judge in real life....:D
Well, I am. One has to think like a criminal to catch one!

(If you are a defense attorney, please understand that this is a JOKE. Even if you are not. A JOKE!)

Hipshot, I love your ideas and envy your self-sufficiency. I have some of what you have, but not to the scale or totality.
 

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Just bolt in on the wall & hide the guns under the bed... by the time the thieves get past the door, the cops should be there....
 

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I have two very good friends in CA, both of these gentlemen built vaults in to new construction garages/gun room additions using bank vault doors (one B of A and the other Wells Fargo )my plan as well when I get to SC. Both used contractors to build their buildings and indicated a modest increase in the design and construction cost.Only a corner of the building was designed into a the vault. Not hard to slow someone down on ground level a bit more involved to keep them from coming through the roof.
 

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Well, I am. One has to think like a criminal to catch one!

(If you are a defense attorney, please understand that this is a JOKE. Even if you are not. A JOKE!)........
Most of my off beat comments are usually made with jovial intent...hence the smiley faces. In the future, I'll try to remember your criminal mindset:D...and NO, thank God, I am NOT an attorney.....;)
 

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My excellent adventure involving concrete, rebar, and steel doors.....RR

setting the walls...


welding the rebar....


pumping the concrete....


finishing the concrete....


unloading the door....


rolling the door into place...


getting the inner flange ready to bolt to the outer flange....


all done.....that was easy....
 
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