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My daughters are getting older and my collection is getting bigger. Until now, I have been using gun cases under the bed and I keep the ammo in a locked box on the top shelf in the garage. I have been looking at used cabinets on the cheap and they are pretty much junk. Has anyone here built one? I was thinking about building a nice 8 gun cabinet with locking doors as a summer project. Can anyone share some pics as inspiration or offer some advice after you have been there and done that?

I have built some simple furniture like a computer desk and tv stand before with good results. I am considering starting with an unfinished 36" kitchen cabinet and then adding a glass and ok enclosure up top.
 

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The last one I saw that the guy built at home, he won't let me take pictures of it. It is poured concrete, metal roof and has a vault door after a heavy jail type of door, Plus a dehumidifier with a check valve drain, there is an air vent but it makes a lot of angles, so there is no straight line possible and has air filters. But he has a very large collection of firearms.

Going on the cheap may bite you later, teach your kids respect for guns and buy a decent safe.

Jerry
 

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The advice that I can offer, as someone who also has built furniture projects, build it bigger than you think you should. If you currently have 8 guns, build it to hold 12. I know that it seems like a waste, but collections do get bigger. Another good idea that I've found when building display cases, if you intend for people to be able to see the weapons, you need to use either plexiglass or lexan for the window, I built an architect's table and used actual glass for the top....not a bright idea, it was 3/4 of an inch thick and still got broke. That being said, haven't TOO much storage for the purpose of safely storing firearms is never a bad idea. Good luck, and God bless.
 

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Is it mainly to display or secure?

If to display I would go with an all metal frame and use bed rails for the corners and rails. Reason being is bed rails are spring steel and pretty much can't be cut or drilled with normal tools. I would attach 12 g metal to that. Tack weld bolts to that.

Then bolt a nice exterior to the safe with counter sunk nuts and cap them with plugs from a hole saw.

If you want a glass front I would say use polycarbonate, 1/4" I built some custom double hung and bay windows with it. Very durable, I did hammer and sledge hammer tests on my first window. Very hard to break the glazing out when stuck in the middle of a 2x3 frame. You do have to make allowances for it to shrink and expand according to weather.
 

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---why---??

May I ask sir,why a cabinet vs a safe.

I see that some people have a gun cabinet in their living room. The kind with the glass doors and made of some type of pretty wood. To each their own, but I never could understand this. They might as well place an add in the paper for "Guns To Steal". Most are either kept unlocked or the lock is similar to the old skeleton key. It could be easily opened with a paper clip.

My suggestion.....get something big,get something secure,don't openly brag about your guns,and surely do not openly display your weapons.

Surely you have more stuff than guns that could use the extra protection of a safe.----pruhdlr
 

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In addition to a large gun safe, I also have a small, 6-gun display cabinet. Why? Aesthetics and culture. I don't keep my most valuable guns on display, just the ones with classic lines, beautiful wood, or historical interest. I know a lot of people buy gun safes to secure their guns against theft. Personally, I secure my home against break-in, have a self-defense pistol at the ready, and rely on my safe to protect my guns in the event of a fire. I also store a few valuables in it.

I can understand the OP's interest in a large, good-looking wooden display case. That is an American tradition and something I'm sure many of us remember our grandparents or other relatives having. Sure, it will only keep the honest people honest, but it also says to every person who walks into your home: "I am a gun owner. I am proud of owning guns and will not hide them away. You should own guns, too!"

Also, unless you always keep your guns hidden, rarely using them at all, other people are going to find out you have firearms. That is the reason I only keep a few older, less valuable guns in my small display case.
 

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Hmmm.... how about some old mosins with rotten bores, out on display? Then the "good stuff" locked up in the safe. Sort of like eye candy in reverse? Maybe a couple of rusty BB guns in there too.....

Give the smash and grab crowd something to take?
 

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Safes or vault rooms are the way to go, but if you decide to have a conventional gun cabinet don't rule out getting a big old 80's era china closet and hutch and converting it. They are sometimes a bit garish, but always cheap. Remove the shelves in the hutch, replace them with a barrel rest, add locks to the doors, and you have room for quite a few guns. I've attached a picture of one I used many moons ago. The locks were put on the bottom doors. You had to open them first to unlatch the top doors. I can't recall how many guns this held, but I think it was 14.

Excellent idea, looks great! :cool:
 

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Smash and grabbers should take damascus dbl bbls with 3 inch goose loads and rags in the bbls.

In the long run building a gun closet serves the purpose and keeps things out of sight but handy. Big plus is if you ever move the closet is an asset to the homes value.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well, for now a gun cabinet will have to suffice. With locking doors, it will keep my kids out. I picked up some stuff today to start the build. If anything, it will be a nice summer project. I do plan on getting a safe at some point. I don't have alot of money tied up in my guns at this point. I'm not very concerned about break-ins with a security system, a big dog, and my nightstand piece at the ready.
 

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the best idea I have ever seen, was a gun cabinet/coffee table. most people never would never look there for guns and they are readily accessible. If I build a piece of furniture for my house, it will be one of those.
 

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> Sort of like eye candy in reverse?

I had a boss and he would leave extra stuff left over from a contracting job in the bed of his truck. I asked him why and he said because the drug heads would come by and grab something quick in a package vs. breaking a window of the truck or trying to jimmy the toolbox.
 

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I was in the same situation. Then one night I was working in the garage and took a look at my old upright chest freezer that has not worked in months. So i took out all the mechanical parts and shelves except the top one.(that shelve is perfect for hand guns). It works perfect and is sitting right next to the regular chest freezer in the basement so I don't think a theif would even notice. And a plus is the shelves in the door are perfect for powder containers.
 

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Agreed that there is something great about a traditional gun cabinet. Build it yourself, take your time, and you can build it to your standards. Could go with inexpensive white pine or step it up to oak plywood if money permits. Apply a good sealer and you'll have something to be proud of.

Absolutely nothing wrong with a gun cabinet.
 

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For now for some of my low cost guns, I am going to use old school lockers.

They are one held together with screws, but they needed a few minor fixes (straightening some of the seams, tighten screws) so I also drilled 1/8 inch holes and riveted them, still need to weld the seams and sand and paint.

They would not stop a determined thief but will stop the quick hit and run types.

Michael Grace
 

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I was in the same situation. Then one night I was working in the garage and took a look at my old upright chest freezer that has not worked in months. So i took out all the mechanical parts and shelves except the top one.(that shelve is perfect for hand guns). It works perfect and is sitting right next to the regular chest freezer in the basement so I don't think a theif would even notice. And a plus is the shelves in the door are perfect for powder containers.
Just make sure to add a dehumidifier to keep moisture out!!
 

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Was at a estate sale and the owner had a large collection. In the basement was a walk in safe. I must have went by it several times till I relized what it was. The door was a section of paneling and hinges were painted the same color. The sellers had it blocked so you could not go inside but feeling around the door jamb it was all steel. If some one breaks in they would go by it and not even give it a second thought. Anyway the bad guys don't like basements as there is no way out.
 
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