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  #1  
Old 06-05-2011, 1:00 PM
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Default Bolting Down Safe

So I just bought this safe from Costco today. Took advantage of the last day to save $200. I know its not the best out there, but I think its got good features for the price, especially since this will be my first one. I can always get a nicer one down the line.

My question is how did you guys/gals bolt down your safe (if you have done so)? Did you hire someone to come out and do it, or do it yourselves? If so, who? This safe will be in the garage, so it will need to be bolted down to concrete. If you did it yourself, what tools, bolts, and parts did you need to do it?

I appreciate your input.
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Old 06-05-2011, 1:05 PM
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Did it myself. Borrowed a Roto Hammer from work and bought some Drop In Anchors from HD
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Old 06-05-2011, 1:08 PM
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You will need a hammer drill, some red head concrete anchors and some bolts.

While the safe is in place drill out the holes to the size necessary to drop in the red head anchors then install your bolts with some large washers and tighten it down. Use the largest washers you can find and double or triple up on them.

Make sure you slab isn't post tensioned. If it is DO NOT drill into it.

Last edited by Big D; 06-05-2011 at 1:09 PM.. Reason: typo
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Old 06-05-2011, 1:17 PM
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if you want to do it the best way, go buy the appropriate size allthread and use simpson set22 epoxy to set the allthread into the concrete. Redheads are not too solid and can be manipulated with some time and muscle.
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Old 06-05-2011, 1:55 PM
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Get a real good hammer drill, not the Home Depot special. I'd rent one.
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Old 06-05-2011, 2:42 PM
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There will most likely be a Calgun's member not far from you who would have one
payment something like a box of shells or a six pack to use the tools

I would ask some members that live not too far from if they have the needed tools
getting to know other members is always good
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Old 06-05-2011, 2:55 PM
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Quote:
Make sure you slab isn't post tensioned. If it is DO NOT drill into it.
Do be sure about this. You can also fasten it to the wall.
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Old 06-05-2011, 5:13 PM
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Red Head Hammer-Set. Heavy Duty Nail Drive Anchors 6-8 of these and your safe isn't going anywhere, unless you've got it attached to a tow truck
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Old 06-05-2011, 8:25 PM
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Perfect, thanks for the responses guys. Now I just have to wait until the safe gets here.
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Old 06-05-2011, 8:30 PM
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I'm a carpenter. So bolting it was no problem. Put it in the corner of my closet. Used a stud finder and drilled new holes. Bolted it to the floor joist. 3/4" plywood isn't strong enough. A pry bar would remove it easily. You need to hit a 2x8 or 10. Also found and marked the corner studs and the one 15 1/4' from the corner. Drilled new holes and lagged it to the wall. It is going nowhere...
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Old 06-05-2011, 8:39 PM
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Originally Posted by paul0660 View Post
Do be sure about this. You can also fasten it to the wall.
Mine is currently bolted into the wall, how would I go about figuring out if my slab is post tensioned or not?
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Old 06-05-2011, 8:39 PM
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I found the studs in a small closet and mounted the safe to all 3 walls and ran bolts into the concrete. The safe door opens towards the entry door so getting a pry-bar in is going to be a *****. If someone is really determined to get in, they will however I'm going to make it as difficult as possible.
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Old 06-05-2011, 8:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Toyman321 View Post
Mine is currently bolted into the wall, how would I go about figuring out if my slab is post tensioned or not?
It will be a newer home usually. and i have seen it labeled as such in the garage and on the floor.
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Old 06-05-2011, 9:16 PM
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It will be a newer home usually. and i have seen it labeled as such in the garage and on the floor.
I havnt noticed any labeling, house was build in 1970??
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Old 06-05-2011, 9:40 PM
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Yea Im going to have to find out about the concrete in the garage. The house was remodeled a couple years ago. So it should say on the garage floor somewhere?
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Old 06-05-2011, 9:54 PM
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Even with redheads or other lead anchors into a concrete slab at the bottom of the safe. There is enough leverage at the top to pull them out. Mount to the floor and the to the wall. The more lag bolts into the wall studs the better. The weight of the safe makes no difference. Picture a lever and fulcrum. The top of the safe is the lever and the bottom corner is the fulcrum. Easy to dislodge the bottom bolts closest to the wall and the weight of the safe will pull out the 2 on the front while falling. Two guys carry it away. Much harder to dislodge the wall mounts. I have installed alot of safes in private residences professionally. If you can hit a stud at opposing angles on the wall mounts. It's much stronger. 4 bolts to the floor. 2 to the top rear, And 2 to one or both sides near the top. Mid section bolts just increase strength. If only corner mounting is available. Opposing angles At 12" center. One towards the right and one towards the left.. And so on... The Xmas tree effect.
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Old 06-05-2011, 11:09 PM
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I dunno but wedge anchor bolts are seriously tough stuff. Four of them will require a truck to pull the safe out of the ground. Unless the bad guys plan on backing a diesel truck up to your garage and wrapping a huge chain around your safe, I think you'll be just fine.
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Old 06-05-2011, 11:14 PM
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Originally Posted by reggie 00 View Post
It will be a newer home usually. and i have seen it labeled as such in the garage and on the floor.
My current home has a stamp in the garage floor that says "post tension slab, do not drill or core". It was bulit in 2010. I have yet to bolt my safe down.
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Old 06-06-2011, 6:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Toyman321 View Post
I havnt noticed any labeling, house was build in 1970??
Your good to go. Drill away, And like the previous poster add some wall lags. Whwn i did mine i used an anchor from HD that was basically a thread-sert and bolt. Worked outstanding. for added umph i hit two wall studs with lags. Dont forget to check your level before you bolt it all in place. My floor slopes and it made the door swing on its own. I shimmed the front before i bolted it down solid.

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Yea Im going to have to find out about the concrete in the garage. The house was remodeled a couple years ago. So it should say on the garage floor somewhere?
They would have labled your floor if they changed it. For a remodel i cant see them busting up the garage and post tentioning it. Lots of work, lots of money compared to simple slab.

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My current home has a stamp in the garage floor that says "post tension slab, do not drill or core". It was bulit in 2010. I have yet to bolt my safe down.
You sir need to contact your builder and ask for the drawings. I want to say they have a drawing that shows whats what on that floor. My brother bought a house just recently and the builder is pretty helpful in situations like this, so hopefully your's will too.
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Old 06-06-2011, 9:50 AM
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I dunno but wedge anchor bolts are seriously tough stuff. Four of them will require a truck to pull the safe out of the ground. Unless the bad guys plan on backing a diesel truck up to your garage and wrapping a huge chain around your safe, I think you'll be just fine.
Yea I think these should be enough. Unless my garage is post tensioned. Can anyone explain to me in brief what post tensioning is and why you aren't supposed to drill into it?
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Old 06-06-2011, 10:00 AM
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post tensioning means tensioning AFTER the concrete is poured. There are cables in the slab that can be tightened to increase the shear strength of the concrete, as opposed to conventional pouring with inert mesh or rebar. Drilling post tensioned concrete messes with the integrity of the entire slab. Actually a few small holes probably won't matter, but it could be cataclysmic as well.

I don't recall hearing about post tensioned garage slabs before 2000 or even later. The technique actually has been around since the 40's.
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Old 06-06-2011, 10:06 AM
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post tensioning means tensioning AFTER the concrete is poured. There are cables in the slab that can be tightened to increase the shear strength of the concrete, as opposed to conventional pouring with inert mesh or rebar. Drilling post tensioned concrete messes with the integrity of the entire slab. Actually a few small holes probably won't matter, but it could be cataclysmic as well.

I don't recall hearing about post tensioned garage slabs before 2000 or even later. The technique actually has been around since the 40's.
Thank you, Ill check to see if mine is or isnt today. Hope it isnt.
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Old 06-06-2011, 10:07 AM
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Should be a label or plaque inset into the concrete as you go into the roll up door.
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Old 06-06-2011, 10:54 AM
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Problem with post tension slabs is when you damage a cable. I forgot what the tension is but one of the iron workers I used to work with said they were setting a cable and when it popped, it cut the slab in two pieces and destroyed everything above it, including walls. You don't even want to nick one of those cables.
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Old 06-06-2011, 12:51 PM
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You can drill into post tension, I've drilled thousands of holes into post tension concrete slabs. The cables are blocked up and set in the center of the slab if it's done right. You can drill 1" in the slab top or bottom, use a Hilti drop in anchor and make sure the square imprint from the set tool is clear when set. The 3/8" are good for over 2000lbs, I've hung 800lb+ exhaust fans using drop in anchors in post tension concrete slabs.
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Old 06-06-2011, 3:44 PM
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What are post tensioned slabs good for, in the context of a garage floor? I mean, I know they have more tensile strength, but is that any kind of advantage for this application over ordinary rebar concrete?

Or is it just the same principle as spending extra money for a free-floated barrel on your rifle even though you shoot much worse than the rifle does? (I am one of those who does such things.)
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Old 06-06-2011, 4:12 PM
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What are post tensioned slabs good for, in the context of a garage floor? I mean, I know they have more tensile strength, but is that any kind of advantage for this application over ordinary rebar concrete?

Or is it just the same principle as spending extra money for a free-floated barrel on your rifle even though you shoot much worse than the rifle does? (I am one of those who does such things.)
From what I have noticed is post tension slabs tend to be thinner, and lighter. Saves money on the mix and rebar since less is used for post tension slabs. Also I have never seen any post tension for commercial construction, only residential and this includes high rise apartment buildings. All commercial buildings I see have corrugated pan deck with rebar laid on iron beams or truss systems.
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Old 06-06-2011, 10:13 PM
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Not an engineer, but from what I have seen and read, post tensioned slabs are used where the soils are difficult and subject to a lot of expansion and contraction from wet to dry. If you build a house on expansive soils (much of So Calif) you can get a lot of differential movement, which causes cracks and settlement. The end result is very unhappy homeowners.

Post tensioning is also used in overpasses, where there is a long span between piers.
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Old 06-07-2011, 12:01 AM
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I was going to put mine in the garage and bolt it in when I bought it brand new in 2006. Thankfully I mentioned to the superintendent, who I had become friendly with not to do it because of the post tension slab.

It has been mentioned a couple of times in this thread, but for those who don't know, it means that in the middle of the slab, there are steel cables that criss cross the width and length of the slab. If you drill into the slab and hit the steel it may result in serious injury or death.

The super told me of some stories that occurred in the construction industry where workers had been very seriously injured and some decapitated when the steel whips out and strikes the worker. They had some pics in their trailer that showed some of the lesser serious injuries.

Mine was put into a closet as a result and not bolted into the slab.
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Old 06-07-2011, 12:17 AM
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I was going to put mine in the garage and bolt it in when I bought it brand new in 2006. Thankfully I mentioned to the superintendent, who I had become friendly with not to do it because of the post tension slab.

It has been mentioned a couple of times in this thread, but for those who don't know, it means that in the middle of the slab, there are steel cables that criss cross the width and length of the slab. If you drill into the slab and hit the steel it may result in serious injury or death.

The super told me of some stories that occurred in the construction industry where workers had been very seriously injured and some decapitated when the steel whips out and strikes the worker. They had some pics in their trailer that showed some of the lesser serious injuries.

Mine was put into a closet as a result and not bolted into the slab.
They don't whip, they pop and cause a ripple in the slab and shoot out the side. If they whip, the rebar boss is in a lot of trouble, the cables are supposed to be centered in the slab with rebar above and below the cable. We're allowed to drill 1" into the slab and the anchors cannot be closer then 6" from the edge of a slab. If so then we need to place inserts befroe the slab is poured or have steel inserts that we weld our hangers to. Also, if we drill, the anchors cannot be closer the 6times the diameter of the hole drilled edge to edge. 3/8" Wedge anchors=3/8 hole, no closer then 2.5" apart E2E.
3/8" drop in=1/2" hole, no closer then 3" E2E.
I've drilled into cables, I've been there when cables have popped.
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Old 06-07-2011, 8:37 AM
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You can drill into post tension, I've drilled thousands of holes into post tension concrete slabs. The cables are blocked up and set in the center of the slab if it's done right. You can drill 1" in the slab top or bottom, use a Hilti drop in anchor and make sure the square imprint from the set tool is clear when set. The 3/8" are good for over 2000lbs, I've hung 800lb+ exhaust fans using drop in anchors in post tension concrete slabs.
Glad it's worked out for you - I would be too paranoid to even think about drilling into one of those babies
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Old 06-07-2011, 9:17 AM
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Glad it's worked out for you - I would be too paranoid to even think about drilling into one of those babies
Me too, my house in AZ has a post-tensioned slab, I ain't touching it.

Unfortunately I have a fire safe, so I can't drill holes in the sides. I'm thinking about rigging up some L-brackets that I can bolt to the wall, then plop the safe down over them and bolt them through the holes in the bottom of the safe.
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Old 06-07-2011, 9:42 AM
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Havent gotten around to checking if its post tensioned yet. I hope its not!
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Old 06-07-2011, 9:51 AM
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I'm very reluctant to drill into my post tension slab. My safe alone weighs 575 lbs, and it took my father and I almost an hour to move it with an appliance dolly. Now it's filled with a couple hundred pounds of guns and ammo. I also have two indoor dogs and a wireless home security system. I have several nosey neighbors and either my wife or I are home 90% of the time. If anyone breaks in and makes off with my safe or it's contents, they earned it.
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Old 06-07-2011, 12:06 PM
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Glad it's worked out for you - I would be too paranoid to even think about drilling into one of those babies
That's how we hang equipment and the HVAC system. Everything is tested and certified by UL. Just think about all that stuff above the ceiling when you walk into a building, and how it stays up there.

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Me too, my house in AZ has a post-tensioned slab, I ain't touching it.

Unfortunately I have a fire safe, so I can't drill holes in the sides. I'm thinking about rigging up some L-brackets that I can bolt to the wall, then plop the safe down over them and bolt them through the holes in the bottom of the safe.
I drilled 2 holes in my fire safe, I also sealed the holes with fire caulk and replaced the sheetrock that I removed to make room for the lag bolts. Those plugs were caulked also.
If you understand how everything is built and how it works you can solve a myriad of "problems" that arise. You really want those safes secure, not for burglars but for seismic reasons. You think that was heavy before, now image that laying on the floor door side down and all of your s**t is inside.
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  #36  
Old 06-07-2011, 1:00 PM
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Originally Posted by SJgunguy24 View Post
I drilled 2 holes in my fire safe, I also sealed the holes with fire caulk and replaced the sheetrock that I removed to make room for the lag bolts. Those plugs were caulked also.
If you understand how everything is built and how it works you can solve a myriad of "problems" that arise. You really want those safes secure, not for burglars but for seismic reasons. You think that was heavy before, now image that laying on the floor door side down and all of your s**t is inside.
Well, the good news is that the safe is in Arizona, so earthquakes are no longer a problem. However, I do still want it bolted down to prevent burglary. Thanks for the suggestions.
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Old 06-07-2011, 1:10 PM
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That's how we hang equipment and the HVAC system. Everything is tested and certified by UL. Just think about all that stuff above the ceiling when you walk into a building, and how it stays up there.
UL rating is meaningless for anything hung in a building in CA, just FYI, ICC-ES approval or an equivalent, LARR or IAPMO, UL is not, there are ways around the requirements however they are not easy.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SJgunguy24 View Post
If you understand how everything is built and how it works you can solve a myriad of "problems" that arise. You really want those safes secure, not for burglars but for seismic reasons. You think that was heavy before, now image that laying on the floor door side down and all of your s**t is inside.
The safe will be fine not bolted down in a seismic event, it would be a precentage of the weight

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave A View Post
Not an engineer, but from what I have seen and read, post tensioned slabs are used where the soils are difficult and subject to a lot of expansion and contraction from wet to dry. If you build a house on expansive soils (much of So Calif) you can get a lot of differential movement, which causes cracks and settlement. The end result is very unhappy homeowners.

Post tensioning is also used in overpasses, where there is a long span between piers.
In residential construction soils is the reason for the post tension slabs. Post and pre tensioning are used everywhere, parking garages, some school, commercial, office, and bridge.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SJgunguy24 View Post
From what I have noticed is post tension slabs tend to be thinner, and lighter. Saves money on the mix and rebar since less is used for post tension slabs. Also I have never seen any post tension for commercial construction, only residential and this includes high rise apartment buildings. All commercial buildings I see have corrugated pan deck with rebar laid on iron beams or truss systems.
Lots of large warehouses are starting to post tension slab on grade, forklifts are royal *****es on slabs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SJgunguy24 View Post
You can drill into post tension, I've drilled thousands of holes into post tension concrete slabs. The cables are blocked up and set in the center of the slab if it's done right. You can drill 1" in the slab top or bottom, use a Hilti drop in anchor and make sure the square imprint from the set tool is clear when set. The 3/8" are good for over 2000lbs, I've hung 800lb+ exhaust fans using drop in anchors in post tension concrete slabs.
A 3/8” Hilti HDI is good for 870# in 2000psi conc. and 1115 in 4000psi, just be aware that not all jobs will accept HDI’s or similar, I personally don’t allow them, it a good thing to find out beforehand.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreaded Claymore View Post
What are post tensioned slabs good for, in the context of a garage floor? I mean, I know they have more tensile strength, but is that any kind of advantage for this application over ordinary rebar concrete?
Concrete has almost no tension capacity, the reason for adding rebar, cracks are caused when the tension capacity of concrete is exceeded. Post tension slabs force all or most of the slab into compression.

If people need to bolt to post tensioned slabs, locate the tension strands, even if you are not going to drill deep enough to hit a strand that is in the correct position, there are anchorage and the ends of the strands, so be aware.

Last edited by sandman21; 06-07-2011 at 1:13 PM..
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Old 06-07-2011, 2:54 PM
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Originally Posted by rareair View Post
Red Head Hammer-Set. Heavy Duty Nail Drive Anchors 6-8 of these and your safe isn't going anywhere, unless you've got it attached to a tow truck
Those are made out of ZINC! Shear strength is about 300 lbs. Pretty easy to generate that kind of force. Which is good because otherwise you will have permanently installed your safe, never to be moved.

My safe is held down by 3/8" x 4" Rawl "5 piece" bolts. We use these for rock climbing protection anchors and are good for holding 5000 lb worth of force. I can also take them back out if I wish to relocate the safe. This isn't possible with those hammer-in studs some people use.


http://7summitsoutfitters.com/climbi...wl-411302.html
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Old 06-07-2011, 3:00 PM
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No, don't rely on that. Depending on where your house is (with respect to the nearest fault), a quake could easily have enough horizontal acceleration to overturn a safe. For example: our house is rated for 1g vertical and 0.65g horizontal. For a gun safe that is 6' tall and 27" deep, if the overturn moment front/back exceeds 0.375g, the safe will fall over (assuming it doesn't slide, and on rough floors, it's unlike to slide). So if we get unlucky and the next earthquake is aligned with the front/back direction of the safe, and I happen to be standing right in front of the safe, then I'll look like a pancake, with 1300 lbs of Sturdy Safe on top of me. The Brady people would probably score that as yet another death caused by guns ...

For that reason, I'm uncomfortable relying purely on the hold-down bolts in the bottom of the safe. If you look at the lever arm (safe is 72" tall, 27" deep, weighs 1300 lbs, the bolts are spaced about 20 inches, there are only 3 hold-down bolts in the bottom, and a 0.65g earthquake is directed so all the load ends up on a single bolt), then the total force on the one unlucky anchor bolt can be as high as 1500 lbs. While a 1/2" redhead anchor in a 2500# slab should theoretically handle that, there is darn little safety margin. With 1/2" lag bolts into floor joists, there is no way to hold the safe down in an earthquake. That's why I also secure the safe at the top; the lever arm there is much better (72" of lever arm rather than 20"), so a small number of concrete anchors or lag bolts can be very effective.
Never said to rely on it, only dealt with the claim that seismic is more of an issue than someone trying to rip it out of the ground.

You house is not rated for 1g vert. and .65g horiz., you might be referring to Sms/Sm1 or Sds/Sd1. Those numbers are then used in equations to determine the loading on the house. The same applies to anything that attaches to the ground or the house; for the most part it is based on Sds. If you tell me the general location I can tell you what the load on the safe will be allow if the loading and capacity on the anchor bolts.

If we assume your numbers 72”x27”x20” with a weight of 1300lbs, the load per anchor using a .65g, all the safes I have seen have 4 anchors one in each corner so we will assume that, gives us a load of 761# per bolt this is without accounting for the resisting moment caused by the weight of the safe and its contents.

I would put as many anchors as I can.

Last edited by sandman21; 06-07-2011 at 3:04 PM..
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Old 06-07-2011, 3:30 PM
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These are a little harder to remove than the rawl bolts - you'll have to beat them in deeper or cut them with a sawzall if you didn't drill the hole deep enough. They have the advantage that they can be had in longer / larger diameter sizes then normal rawl bolts. (they do make huge rawls, but they aren't sold everywhere.) 4 or these, with the biggest washers you can find, plus a 1/2" lag screw at the top into the wall studs behind/next to the safe, and moving the safe will not be an issue.

I just looked at the Costco safe offerings - how is this $3500?!
http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product...nav=&Nty=1&s=1
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