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  • Tools needed to Bolt down Safe in Concrete Slab?

    Hi All,

    I plan on purchasing the following safe, and would like to bolt it down, but not sure if I can do this myself or should I hire someone. If I hire someone, who could do the job? I live on a one level ranch concrete slab (Still have cad drawing of house when built). If I try to do this myself, what tools would I need, and how can I avoid cracking my slab foundation? Also do I need to pull the carpet/floor material up under the safe when drilling into the concrete?

    Costco - BIGHORN 19ECB Safe

  • #2
    Re: Tools needed to Bolt down Safe in Concrete Slab?

    I would use a expanding anchor for the bolting process, (very simple, drill the proper sized hold, drop in the anchor and tighten the bolt, or drive in a pin)

    there are different types of anchors, there are lead shields, that fit into a drilled out hole and a lag type bolt goes down and expands them to hold them,

    one could go fancy and use a epoxied anchor, (drill and glue the anchor in the hole and the the fastening bolt, goes in)

    a hammer drill helps a lot, but it is not a necessity, but a masonry drill bit is, if one is not using any type of hammer drill, a hand start drill can help in combination of the masonry bit, (one can do it just with the star drill)

    I would set the safe with the predrilled holes in the base, go down the holes and mark the flooring slab, move the safe drill and set the anchors, set the safe either over the studs or aligned with the holes and fasten, At 400 pounds it is going to be a job, (keep all fingers and hands clear, no need of shortening them)

    I have never cracked a slab in setting drill in anchors, (I have been careful if there near an edge of a slab 3 to 5 inches in how tight I get the expanding units, and if the slab is green, but yours slab is over 30 days old,

    but if one has a tow truck bolting it may or may not stop it from being drug off, (put the cable near the top of the safe an you most likely could pop up the floor slab)
    Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
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    • #3
      Re: Tools needed to Bolt down Safe in Concrete Slab?

      If you decide to hire someone, see if you can find a millwright. They bolt down equipment for a living.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Tools needed to Bolt down Safe in Concrete Slab?

        You can rent a rotohammer fairly inexpensively, or find a neighbor with one. Why are you bolting the safe down? Is it for safety reasons(earthquake etc) or to prevent theft? Bolts would only slow down stupid un-prepared theives. Tack welding the nuts once torqued will slow them town even further.

        With drilling concrete, there are a few things to keep in mind. Sometimes there are pipes in it, tensioned cables, etc Depending on what tyPe of anchor you are using, need to be mindful of the depth of the hole you are drilling. I would drill the holes no more than 3 1/2" assuming you have the typical 4" slab. If you were to decide on a 4" anchor, the hole needs to be about 3" deep. The diameter of the hole on the safe should allow the anchor to pass freely thru it, but not be too small. I like the idea of being able to drill holes with the equipment in place, it almost eliminates any math errors once the item is in place. Chances are however, the best you could do is mark the holes with the safe in place, move it, drill, put safe back, drive anchors, done. Otherwise your anchor might go in crooked assuming you could not get the gun close enough to drill a proper straight hole. A ckooked anchor will not have the same holding power as it should, but it will still have some. When you do install the anchors, put the washer and the nut on prior to beating your anchor. Hopefully the anchor will bottom out before you run out of threads, or not stick out of the cement too far, however a sawzall can fix that.

        A long story short, careful planning, measuring, the right tools and a few strong backs make this a job many people can tackle. You probably want to consider a heavy duty furniture dolly to maneuver the safe as well. Also keep in mind that locksmiths that sell safes also install them. It might save your back to hire this job out.


        If I has my way, my bolts would be epoxied in but that is a messy affair, and requires special procedures.
        Last edited by masterbeavis; 01-11-2012, 01:25 PM.
        We don't have preventative maintenance around here, we have CRISIS MANAGEMENT!

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        • #5
          Re: Tools needed to Bolt down Safe in Concrete Slab?

          All good suggestions. You can probably rent a hammer drill from home depot and talk to the Hilt rep for advice on the proper size bit and style anchor. This is not a difficlut job at all but have you worked with power tools? If you decide to do the job, remove small portions of rug where you will be drilling so you don't spin the rug around the drill bit. Don't "clean out" the hole once you reach the correct depth.
          I commend you for anchoring something of this size and weight, not only to prevent or slow down theft, but to prevent a safety hazard in the event of someone leaning or pushing on it. People probably get badly hurt everyday from free standing wardrobes, tool chests and other things that should be better anchored or secured. Frank

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          • #6
            Re: Tools needed to Bolt down Safe in Concrete Slab?

            I second the epoxy in anchors, will make it impossible for someone to remove the safe without your permission.

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            • #7
              Re: Tools needed to Bolt down Safe in Concrete Slab?

              Mb, actually the new epoxy anchors are not bad, and the epoxy comes in a tube that fits a standard caulking gun.

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              • #8
                Re: Tools needed to Bolt down Safe in Concrete Slab?

                I you want to anchor it to the floor. 1st you must make sure there is nothing in or under the slab like pipe or wires. Do you have in floor heat? I would have to see where the holes are in the safe for anchoring. If I could get a hammer drill in the safe to drill I would use kwik-bolts. If could not drill from inside I would use drop in anchors Hilti Online - HDI Drop-in Anchor That safe weighs 407 lbs. you are not going to pick it up & set it over the kwik-bolts. Like Frank said don't forget to cut out holes in the carpet before you drill. The only tool a typical homerowner would not have that you need would need is hammer drill & bit. You can try not using a hammer drill, but you will wish you didn't. Any contractor worth his salt could set the safe. Ask friends & family for a name of a contractor they used & liked. By the way that safe weighs 407 lbs. nobody is just going to walk it out of your house.

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                • #9
                  Re: Tools needed to Bolt down Safe in Concrete Slab?

                  All give you a heads up on a few things before you purchase that safe, or any safe in that price range.

                  Do some youtube searches on breaking into safes and you will be surprised how easy the cheaper models are. A cordless grinder with a diamond cut off wheel can cut through the sides of most safes in a matter of seconds. Safes for homes should weigh in excess of 1200 to 1500 lbs minimum to provide any type of protection. You have to use construction epoxy once you set the safe where you want it. This is a two part epoxy. Hilti makes a very good product that is sold at H.D. and is available in a cartridge that will fit a standard caulking gun. The reason for epoxying the anchor and bolt that goes into it is to secure the safe so that it cannot be "rocked" back-and-forth to loosen the anchors. (common practice for safe theives) A light weight safe like the one in your link can then be moved with a standard dolly you buy at Costco, H.D., Lowes etc....

                  As others have explained the only real tool you will need is a Hammer drill, STD Shank Hammer drills are the easiest to use and will drill through concrete like it was butter. Any Tool rental supply or H.D. with a large tool rental bin will have these. The safe you buy will have in its user manual instructions on how to anchor it and the bolt and anchor size you will need.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Tools needed to Bolt down Safe in Concrete Slab?

                    Need the following info. #1 Are You an anti gunner? #2 , A light sleeper?#3 ,Dogs ? #4 Address please.
                    I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

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                    • #11
                      Re: Tools needed to Bolt down Safe in Concrete Slab?

                      Epoxying a bolt requires blowing out the hole, inside of a home that is a disaster. You could brush the hole out with the proper brush, I reckon that would be fine because you are not trying to keep a house from falling over.
                      We don't have preventative maintenance around here, we have CRISIS MANAGEMENT!

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                      • #12
                        Re: Tools needed to Bolt down Safe in Concrete Slab?

                        Originally posted by Alphacowboy View Post
                        I second the epoxy in anchors, will make it impossible for someone to remove the safe without your permission.
                        Impossible? Remove the nuts, shove a large prybar under the edge of the safe a few times, your safe is mine. A grinder will make short work of stealing your stuff. Somebody once told me that no matter what you do, my investment is going to be somebody else's stuff. You invent stuff that is theft proof, they invent better theives.
                        We don't have preventative maintenance around here, we have CRISIS MANAGEMENT!

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                        • #13
                          Re: Tools needed to Bolt down Safe in Concrete Slab?

                          Originally posted by masterbeavis View Post
                          Impossible? Remove the nuts, shove a large prybar under the edge of the safe a few times, your safe is mine. A grinder will make short work of stealing your stuff. Somebody once told me that no matter what you do, my investment is going to be somebody else's stuff. You invent stuff that is theft proof, they invent better theives.

                          I think you may have misunderstood the anchoring. Safes bolt from the inside not the outside. The floor of the safe will generally have four debits in the four corners that show you where the drill points are.

                          How I have set safes.

                          1. Drill out the four drill points from inside the safe.
                          2. set the safe in place and mark the hole drill points with a felt tip marker.
                          2.a: if your setting the safe in a house with tile, carpet, wood flooring then I tape around the safe, so I know exactly where to reset it. If its in a garage I just use a Mark-Allot and outline where the safe should sit.
                          3. pull the safe out of the way and drill my anchor holes, set my anchors with a little epoxy around the sides.
                          4. reset the safe and make sure my holes are aligned perfectly.
                          5. fill each anchor hole, (one at a time) with epoxy and use the required grade bolt and ratchet the bolt with epoxy in the hole.

                          The only draw back to this installation is it is a mother f'ing Be-atch to remove the safe if you ever have to move it.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Tools needed to Bolt down Safe in Concrete Slab?

                            Exactly what the surgeon said. You can't get to the fasteners as they are inside the safe. Some anchors without epoxy could possibly pried out of the concrete , good luck doing that with an epoxyed in unit.

                            WS, removing the safe wouldn't be to bad, as drilling out the head of the fastener isn't bad with the right tool and patience.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Tools needed to Bolt down Safe in Concrete Slab?

                              Who needs a safe when you have one of these around the house? Attack trained, intimidating, with a bark that would curl your blood. Better than a gun! I actually leave all my valuables lying around in plain sight, he's all the deterrent I need. Frank
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