Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Just outside of Lancaster, Pennsylvania
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    Default PIMP MY GUN SAFE 2015 (Doing It With Twins!) - LED Lights, MOLLE Panel, Name Tapes

    My new twins…






    I documented my mods to my original safe in this 2010 PAFOA post here

    Seems that people liked the work, as it got name dropped here in YellowBullet.com and “shamelessly copied” per this post in Calguns.net

    The only downside to the old safe was it was a massive beast that would not fit down the curved stairs to the basement of the new house…didn’t think of that when wife and I fell in love with our new home. The safe was relegated to the temperature controlled garage located under the master bedroom. From the security and convenience standpoint this drove me insane for some 2 years. After getting a few absolutely exorbitant quotes to cut an outside entrance into our poured concrete wall basement, I came to the realization that my best bet was to replace the behemoth with two smaller safes. Rather spend the money on more things that go boom rather than cut a potential leaky door into a basement that has been totally dry.

    I had a blast doing the initial safe build, and responses to my original post had uncovered resources that were not available back in late 2009 for that project. I was also splitting my storage of ammo and accessories between the basement and the garage. This project was the perfect opportunity to update my safe as well as build my gun area in the unfinished side of the basement.

    My first safe was a Bighorn 6039 (31 cu foot- 900 lbs) that I got from Costco. I had a great experience with the Bighorn safe and think they are one of the best safes in a reasonable price range. I had been watching Costco ads, and knew that they had decent sales with free curbside delivery every few months. Ended up ordering two Bighorn 19ECB safe (YouTube review here) for $599 ($200 off the normal price of $799) each.



    The 19ECB has 19.1 CuFt interior, 59”H x 28”W x 20”D exterior dimensions, and 435 lbs. It is rated at 30 minutes at 1200 degrees fire rating. This is a downgrade form my previous safe as it was rated for 70 minutes, but that extra protection added considerably to the weight and cost. A similar size safe with the higher fire rating is available, but prices were over double what I paid. The safes come with electronic locks. I would have preferred a combo / key lock, or even better, dual electronic and mechanical dial opening, but that was not an option with the Costco sale. I did call Rhino Metals direct and they stated that previously they would replace / upgrade combination dialers at the client request but that now they could only offer the model as shown on Costco at that price. I do plan to upgrade the lock in the near future with a Dual Entry lock from Cannon


    As a side note, the price of the safes for Costco included “curbside” delivery. I ordered the safes online and within three days got a call directly from the shipping company to arrange the delivery time. On delivery day the driver backed right up the driveway and asked if I wanted the delivery on the driveway or in the garage. After wheeling the safes into the garage on a pallet jack, he helped me unbox them and requested that I inspect them inside and out to make sure there was no damage and that the door functioned properly. Awesome experience, and I did tip the delivery guy a bit extra for the service.


    Bighorn safes come predrilled a small hole in the back to run a wire for power. While the safes were still in the garage I drilled the hole, snipped the plug end off a heavy gauge extension cord and pulled it through. I did hire a local moving company to move the safes into the basement. And once they were I place, I just wired on a new plug end onto the cord.







    I placed the safes on some TREX decking boards to keep them off the concrete floor and then drilled and tapped lag bolts into the concrete floor to secure the safes. Bighorn provides 4 predrilled holes in the safe case on the floor for this purpose. After the safes were secured to the floor, I used an epoxy sealant around the bolts inside the safe to avoid any moisture coming up. The carpet on the floor of the safe was precut for the bolts, and include some plastic caps, but I did not like that look, so I leveled the interior bolt holes with some additional epoxy, then cut a new KleenBore PROTECTOR rife cleaning mat to fit the floor of the safe. The grey color of the mat is near perfect color and texture match for the automotive grade carpet inside the safe. I also store my firearms well lubricated, so the mat provides an easily replaceable protective surface



    I added an 18” Lockdown electric dehumidifier made by GoldenRod Gun Saver to each safe. The safe had enough of a lip under the door to allow the humidifier rod to be placed in the front. Per GoldenRod, this is the recommended placement for optimal protection.




    I loved the lighting set up I ran in my previous safe, "Piranha Bar" LED lights from Oznuim.com, wired through a dimmer / off switch and a 12v adapter. Oznium has upgrade the technology in the LED tubes since my first safe build and now offers a Tri-Chip LED Tube which is more efficient and brighter. Great lights that allow a very clean install. These lights are more commonly used by the car tuner market, but they make for damn fine gun safe lights that take up very little space, last for an estimated 25,000 hours (3+ years of continuous use...) and generate no heat.







    I wired the lights onto an IR Proximity Sensor Switch (also from Oznium) that brings the lights up when the door is opened, and shuts them off when closed. Same as in the previous build, I hide the transformer and all wire connections in junction boxes mounted under a shelf.







    The lights come with QD plug ends, and the company sells plug end pigtails. I soldered and wire wrapped the connections for a cleaner look, and so I can easily replace a tube if it ever develops an issue.





    For each safe, I used 5 - 20” and 12 -9” tubes to give the maximum light. I used the “ White” color (a pure white) but the tubes are available in warm white (more yellowish) as well as red, blue, green and amber. The 12V converter I used has additional capacity, so someday I may run a few red tubes beside the white ones and add a second Proximity switch to give the option of a different color.




    I rearranged the safe shelves so that longer rifles were on the left, shorter rifles and SBRs on the right (with the shelf with the wiring under it giving a little lift on this side) and the pistols on the top shelf organized in a Hyscore Modular Pistol Racks.
    I bought 6 and reconstructed them using threaded rods and bolts to make two longer racks. The rack is a series of high-density foam pieces held together by a plastic rod. Snip the rod, insert threaded metal rod, add more foam pieces, cut rod to length, add cap bolts to the end of the rods. Easy 10-minute project.






    My favorite improvement to my previous safe was the custom built MOLLE organizer panel inside the door. Back in 2008, I had to call around to 10 different custom military textile shops and try and explain what I was looking for. Luckily
    WILDE BUILT TACTICAL now offers custom made MOLLE Safe Organization Panels on their website. I did have them add a full Velcro backing to mine rather than the top bottom and middle strips on their standard build. That way the panel does not pull away from the door under the weight of full magazines. The added bonus is I didn’t even need to use the preinstalled grommet to screw the panel into the door. The full Velcro backer is strong enough to hold the panel against the carpet inside the door even when fully loaded. I also had them add an interior foam core to the panel to make it stiffer and give it the “plate carrier” look that my previous panel had.



    I am fairly certain these guys copied the idea from my 2009 post. For that I am glad, because these guys do some seriously high quality work at a reasonable price. With the added Velcro and foam core backing, each 18”x50” panel came around $190.




    I added open top M4 magazine pouches and open top M14 magazine pouches by Condor, AK mag pouches (Molle Shingles) by US Palm, and pistol magazine pouches by TUFF Products.



    The pistol and AK mag pouches had Velcro areas, and I added small TUFF MOLLE ID Placards to the other pouches and to the panel itself. I ordered these directly through TUFF to get small ones only rather than the pack with the large and small panel. Having Velcro on each mag pouch allowed me to mount custom name tapes for each mag type. I sourced these from MiltaryNames.com.



    I ordered the Black Webbed Name Tapes with VELCRO in Silver Thread using 5/8” Lettering.




    The safes are arranged with smaller calibers (22, 9MM, 5.56, and 12 gauge shot firearms) in one safe and heavier calibers (40 S&W, 45 ACP, 7.62 x 39 and 308) in the other.


    My wife calls one safe “Bass” and the other “Treble.” Took me several weeks to catch the reference.






    Lastly, I added some back up rechargeable dehumidifiers as well as
    AcuRite Humidity Monitors




    Also added Cannon Safe Electronic Lock Security Lights to the front.
    While I like the look, they are a bit of a hassle as the magnet is not very strong and I bump one off when passing by at least once a week.






    After I finished the safe build, it was time to build out the surrounding work area, build blog for that project …here

    Last edited by moshan; February 16th, 2015 at 05:15 PM. Reason: fixed broken link

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Mercer, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: PIMP MY GUN SAFE 2015 (Doing It With Twins!) - LED Lights, MOLLE Panel, Name Tape

    Truly outstanding. Top five that I've seen. I have to say though, I think you missed PerSec 101. Not everybody online is your friend.
    There's no such thing as a free lunch.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    (Allegheny County)
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    Default Re: PIMP MY GUN SAFE 2015 (Doing It With Twins!) - LED Lights, MOLLE Panel, Name Tape


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
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    Outside Philly, Pennsylvania
    (Delaware County)
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    Default Re: PIMP MY GUN SAFE 2015 (Doing It With Twins!) - LED Lights, MOLLE Panel, Name Tape

    Quote Originally Posted by moshan View Post
    Honestly, this kind of looks like the world's greatest refrigerator.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Warminster, Pennsylvania
    (Bucks County)
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    Default Re: PIMP MY GUN SAFE 2015 (Doing It With Twins!) - LED Lights, MOLLE Panel, Name Tape

    Very nice, I'm sure most people don't have the money or time to put into what you have. But that being said it looks like a very well done job. Congrats to you!
    Kimber SS Raptor Pro II, M&P Sheild, Sig 229 Elite Dark
    RRA Tact Op II, S&W 686, POF 425, Glock 43,
    Henry BB .357, Sig 226 Legion SAO

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Lords Valley/Hawley, Pennsylvania
    (Pike County)
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    Default Re: PIMP MY GUN SAFE 2015 (Doing It With Twins!) - LED Lights, MOLLE Panel, Name Tape

    Holy shit, you got a dang arsenal!

    I really like your setup though, I have considered doing something like that to my safe since I nearly doubled my collection in the last year and the interior is getting tight. I think you did a wonderful job of using the door space for additional space but man is the price high for the storage system. The lighting is well done too, I especially love that sensor that turns the lights on and off automatically when the door opens/closes.
    Sanity, yours if you can keep it.....

  7. #7
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    ., Pennsylvania
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    Smile Re: PIMP MY GUN SAFE 2015 (Doing It With Twins!) - LED Lights, MOLLE Panel, Name Tape

    That gun room is the best
    Good job. It looks perfect.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Just outside of Lancaster, Pennsylvania
    (Lancaster County)
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    Default Re: PIMP MY GUN SAFE 2015 (Doing It With Twins!) - LED Lights, MOLLE Panel, Name Tape

    Quote Originally Posted by LifeInPa View Post
    I have considered doing something like that to my safe since I nearly doubled my collection in the last year and the interior is getting tight....
    My collection took a big leap also. Set up a gun trust as well as grabbed as many of my "bucket list" guns as possible in the past 18 months. Call me paranoid, but I wanted to get these while I could. Collection is basically done now. with the exception of a few NFA items that still need to clear tax stamp purgatory.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Just outside of Lancaster, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: PIMP MY GUN SAFE 2015 (Doing It With Twins!) - LED Lights, MOLLE Panel, Name Tape

    Quote Originally Posted by ChemicalReaper View Post
    Honestly, this kind of looks like the world's greatest refrigerator.
    Just trying to keep everything tacti"cool"...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Lords Valley/Hawley, Pennsylvania
    (Pike County)
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    31
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    Default Re: PIMP MY GUN SAFE 2015 (Doing It With Twins!) - LED Lights, MOLLE Panel, Name Tape

    Quote Originally Posted by moshan View Post
    My collection took a big leap also. Set up a gun trust as well as grabbed as many of my "bucket list" guns as possible in the past 18 months. Call me paranoid, but I wanted to get these while I could. Collection is basically done now. with the exception of a few NFA items that still need to clear tax stamp purgatory.
    I know how you feel, I found myself better employment over the last year and firearms became so cheap I felt compelled to stock up. By the way is a "Trust" complex or expensive to get? It would be nice to add some SBR's and Suppressor's to the collection, the LEO's in Pike County don't sign off on NFA items...
    Sanity, yours if you can keep it.....

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