DIY Gun Cabinet

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A custom-made gun cabinet is a great solution for safely locking up your weapons. A well-made cabinet adds elegance and style to a den or basement, and the security it provides by keeping your weapons in one secure location will benefit your family for years to come.

Location

  • A decorative gun cabinet makes a great centerpiece for a den or garage, but a simple cabinet intended simply to store weapons should be kept in a discrete location. Building a cabinet into a larger set of bookshelves or other cabinetry is an effective way of hiding your guns in plain sight. If you are building a smaller cabinet, keep it away from doors or windows to deter thieves from stealing the entire cabinet.

Materials

  • Choose heavy, dense woods like oak for building the cabinet. Use bolts, or sink screws and putty over the holes, when assembling the outer frame so that an enterprising teenager cannot disassemble the cabinet with a screwdriver. Glass fronts are elegant but consider a steel cage over the inside of the glass to reduce the risk of a smash-and-grab.

    If you are working with metal, ensure that the underlying frame is of a heavier stock--like iron or steel--and has solid welds. Make sure that a metal cabinet, if kept in a warm or sunlit area, has some ventilation or insulation to reduce the risk of heat damage to your ammunition or flammables.

Hinges and Locks

  • Solid hinges will last longer and prove more resistant to tampering especially if reverse hinges are mounted on the inside of the cabinet door so that the door cannot be removed with a screwdriver. A heavy-duty lock with a complex key or combination will keep the cabinet secure from tampering. Call a certified locksmith to help you select the right locking mechanism. Make sure that the lock's bolts are sunk deeply so that the door cannot be opened by brute force, shattering the wood or bending the metal were the bolts belong.

Liability

  • Because guns are dangerous, courts have found that a homeowner has a duty to properly and safely secure weapons within the home. To improve safety, consider putting smaller, locked drawers inside the cabinet to store ammunition or trigger-lock keys. Also, putting a steel-cable lock to thread the weapons together and into the case is a prudent precaution; thread heavy-duty eye screws to the sides of the cabinet for the cable to connect.

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