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Gun Safes
05-06-2018, 09:15 AM, (This post was last modified: 05-28-2018, 10:47 AM by bradberry.)
Gun Safes
I have an older gun safe that came with no fire protection and no insulation. When I lived in a non-humid environment, that was fine. Now that I have been living in Oregon, that has of course all changed.

It is past time to UPGRADE the interior of this safe. There of course are a lot of things to ponder such as materials for fire/smoke protection and shelving. Then I have to consider what this safe is used for. In this case it is ammo, gold, silver, personal items and documents. Then consider that this safe was not built or intended to be lined or set up as a fire rated safe.

Challenge accepted!

So along came a lot of research. My wife hates this part because she knows that it may cost a little bit of money. I could have just thrown drywall in there and called it a day, just like my newer safe has in it. After doing A LOT of research, I guess drywall is NOT the best environment for your gun safe. Yeah it maybe the cheap way to add a fire rating, but is it the best way. NO!

Upon my research I discover many articles such as

"Risks to firearms caused by Gypsum drywall

Recently, people have found a lot of nasty chemicals in Gypsum drywall. When producing Gypsum slurry, the producer adds Formaldehyde as a plasticizer.

However, more often than not, when they finish the manufacturing, this chemical remains at high levels in the Gypsum drywall. Note that this chemical is corrosive to zinc, nickel, copper, and steel.

In some Chinese manufactured Gypsum drywall, FeS2 which is pyrite has high levels.

What’s bad about this chemical is that in humid environments (when the Gypsum drywall heated above 212o releasing steam), the drywall can give off sulfurous gasses which are egg smelling like hydrogen sulfide, carbonyl sulfide, and carbon disulfide.

These gasses react with silver, copper, and other types of corrode metals. A lot of Chinese Gypsum drywall contains the Acidithiobacillus ferroxidase bacteria. This type of bacteria lives in pyrite deposits. They consume sulfur and iron producing sulfuric acid.

There hasn’t been a survey showing that the percentage of Chinese manufactured Gypsum has problems with high pyrite. And it’s confusing for gun safe buys. Some gun safes are made in China.

But they’re labeled as Made in China, and that confuses us even more. Some gun safes are made in the USA. However, they are made with Chinese-manufactured Gypsum."

So you say, well my safe is better because it is all made in the USA. But it still has drywall in it! It is still a corrosive.

The answer lies in the materials used to construct the modern gun safe and basic organic chemistry. Here is a video from, yes a sales person, but its not the product I listening to its the message.

Here is the link to the article:

So the project starts!
05-06-2018, 09:59 AM, (This post was last modified: 05-06-2018, 10:02 AM by bradberry.)
RE: Gun Safes
The project continues: My wife was out of town during most of this project. After buying most of the needed items, fire proofing material, fabric, staple gun, wood, (yes I know wood is flammable), caulking for the smoke ( and ) and the best part is the Ceramic Fiber Blanket ( , , , , .

The Ceramic Fiber blanket and board is what the higher end safe guys use. Really, the cost is not that big of a difference. Working with it was/is real easy. The issue is glues, and other adhesives do not adhere to it.
05-06-2018, 10:08 AM, (This post was last modified: 05-28-2018, 10:49 AM by bradberry.)
RE: Gun Safes
Understand that this project is NOT done, and now I must leave to the airport to go pickup my wife. There will be some images shortly. Did I fail to mention that the Ceramic Fiber Cloth, at least the money I bought has a Max Temp limit of USAGE at 2300F. The working continuous working temp is 2012F.

I am told that a "point of origin" fire in your home is typical at around 2200F. Where the temp for a fire in your home will range from 750F to 1100F.

I guess I could have bought the Zirconium Grade as it was just a little more money.
05-28-2018, 10:17 AM, (This post was last modified: 05-28-2018, 10:51 AM by bradberry.)
RE: Gun Safes
Well, after do some minor damage to my back and the fact that my wife is home now, the safe project slowed down to a crawl. The replacement of furniture in the house took over coupled with other items that life brought to our attention.

So now, the safe is semi finished and yesterday I finished cleaning up the area where the safe gets to call home. Today when my son comes over and we will be putting it back into its permanent (at least till I retire and move out of Orefornia or Caligon) home. Over the next few posts, I will just be posting images.

I hope it inspires others to not settle on DRYWALL for a set of false securities of so called Fireproofing of your safe. Protect your guns and remove them from that corrosive environment.

My next project will be replacing the drywall in my other safe with this product. Since the cost is not much different, I will probably buy the Zirconia grade with a service temperature of 2600 °F (1430°C) and a continuous use limit of 1350 C / 2461 F. Maybe even change and spend a little extra on the High Density Ceramic Board at 2300 F. Gun safe manufacturers are doing us a disservice by installing drywall as fire proofing. The cost for the ceramic cloth is not that much more. They just want to charge US a premium.
05-28-2018, 10:20 AM, (This post was last modified: 05-28-2018, 10:55 AM by bradberry.)
RE: Gun Safes
[Image: 20180426_165750_1.jpg]

[Image: 20180429_124907_1.jpg]

[Image: 20180429_124920_1.jpg]

[Image: 20180429_125023_1.jpg]

The pink material is a coating of intumescent. This will help to seal the holes in the wood panel on the door. I also used the intumescent caulking around all the interior of the safe front door welds and where the 1.5" square tubing mates up with the steel for the door.

[Image: 20180505_111906_1.jpg]
05-28-2018, 10:27 AM,
RE: Gun Safes
Dry fitting:
[Image: 20180505_131243_1.jpg]

[Image: 20180505_160234_1.jpg]

[Image: 20180505_160246_1.jpg]

Covering the front panel:

[Image: 20180505_195007_1.jpg]
05-28-2018, 10:28 AM, (This post was last modified: 05-28-2018, 11:01 AM by bradberry.)
RE: Gun Safes
Applying the Ceramic fiber cloth:

[Image: 20180513_164451_1.jpg]

This is the back of the front panel attached to the door. It has 4 layers of ceramic cloth over the intumescent coating.

[Image: 20180508_190613_1.jpg]

All panels such as this one have 4 layers of the ceramic fiber cloth. This means the the top, bottom, front and back are all layered in the same fashion. I left just enough space between the metal to allow for the thickness of the ceramic fiber cloth. TIGHT FIT!

[Image: 20180513_150252_1.jpg]
05-28-2018, 10:41 AM, (This post was last modified: 05-28-2018, 11:09 AM by bradberry.)
RE: Gun Safes
Anchoring the panels into the safe. Making sure all is square is crucial.

[Image: 20180520_162524_1.jpg]

The semi finished product.

[Image: 20180526_155531_1.jpg]

[Image: 20180526_155425_1.jpg]

No, that self is not crooked. All shelves are perfectly level, front back, diagonally, and side to side. The shelving: Right side: 2- 15" shelves (fits four ammo cans), and two 11" shelves. The left side: 1- 15" shelf, and 4-9" shelves. All shelves are supported with aluminum angle iron. Each one is 4" long and there are three per shelf. Each shelf was weighted with 150lbs for testing (that's all I could fit). That should work for AMMO!

Only one thing remains and that is the Flexilodice intumescent seals. There are going to be two seals installed. One will be flat for general fire seal and the other is going to be round at the top with an air pocket (still a intumescent seal), but like the seal for your door of your car. I am making sure that the safe WILL BE air tight. My other safe seals are okay, but I will also be replacing the single seal on it with the tandem seals.

Keeping the air and the moisture out along with the smoke, if that were to ever happen is imperative and where a LOT of safe manufacturers FAIL!

I hope by sharing this project, it answers questions of others. If there are any issues you may notice, please reply and let me know.
08-21-2018, 09:13 AM,
RE: Gun Safes
One thing I have notice about most safes. They are NOT sealed properly. Even the two that I have were not. Sure they have a Flexilodice intumescent fire seal that expands when it may get hot or the smoke reaches certain temps but do they really seal out before the smoke, when it counts, if there is no fire? Most of them do not. Are they air tight? NOPE! There are seals out there that one may really want to add to their current storage device that will give them a higher level of protection from moisture and air. It is simple to add these seals to your existing safe or storage device. I know that both of mine, when the seals arrive will be able to protect my collection at a much higher level without breaking the bank.

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