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OT: Moving a gun safe

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  • OT: Moving a gun safe

    I will be buying one or two gun safes in the near future. One that I'm considering only provides delivery to the "curb". The safe weighs about 750lbs.

    Thinking I can rent on of those large appliance dollies that have the back legs on them. According to the guy at the safe store this is what the movers use to get the safe as close as possible to the location. Assuming I can wrestle the thing off the shipping pallet without dumping it over, the dolley should get me in the front door.

    From there it is a short distance to a 90 degree turn to go down the hallway. I think I can make this turn with safe still on the dolly. When I get to the end of the hallway I will have to stand the safe upright because it has to make another 90 degree turn into my den. There is not enough room at the end of the hall to make that turn on the dolly. Once inside the den the safe will need to be moved sideways and forward a bit while in the upright position.

    The safe guy said they usually use multiple short strips of slippery "white plastic stuff" to slide the safe along in the upright position. Placing a new strip in front as the old strip comes out the back etc. What kind of material do you think he was talking about? Maybe uhmw??

    Any other ideas on how I can move this along in the upright position? Golf balls, short sections of water pipe???

    The carpet is due to be replaced next year in this house so I'm not particularly concerned with damage to the carpet. Seems like both the pipe and the golf balls would need plywood layed down. And the pipes would be difficult to make the 90 degree turn. Maybe the plastic strips would work just set on the carpet??


  • #2
    Try an organ dolly, from a rental yard. Gives you 4 wheels to roll and swivel on. Good luck. Cody


    • #3
      I've used 3/4 or 1" PVC pipe.

      If it is not going to be lifted on stairs you should'nt even need a lift truck. This is the way I've moved many safes for the local gun shop. Just back a truck with the tail gate off up to the store, roll the safe out on the pipes and have a friend help tilt it on it's back in the bed and slide it in. The truck holds most of the weight so I never felt strained. Do the reverse at home and keep the pipe relay up all the way to it's resting spot.

      It took me several years to buy a safe. I would build another gun with the safe money I saved After realizing that for less than the price one gun I could protect all my stuff. The price of two safes is much cheaper than paying insurance.



      • #4
        The furnature dollys are good for 900 pounds and have swivel casters. They are inexpensive and have a lot of uses. I moved mine on one and was able to to get it in the house and into position with the help of one other person.



        • #5
          Might consider a pallet jack.
          Don\'t ask me to do a dam thing, I\'m retired.


          • #6
            My parents recently moved and we had to move there gun safe. We rented one of those heavy duty dollies with a strap on it, and I being the biggest of the group got to wheel it around. The toughest part was getting over the entrance to the doorway. I dont think the safe weighed 750lbs probably closer to 500lbs my guess anyways, but me and 2 others were able to wrestle it around with out using rollers.

            The white plastic the guy mentioned who knows what it is maybe delrin or is it delron, or uhmw or even maybe teflon that stuff is slippery.

            Is the safe gonna be sittin on the carpet because that is gonna suck to have to move it when you recarpet lol. good luck


            • #7
              <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by mochinist:

              Is the safe gonna be sittin on the carpet because that is gonna suck to have to move it when you recarpet lol. good luck
              Utility knife will solve that problem,just cut it out now,things are better sitting on concrete anyway.

              I have a dolly thats built from 1x3" tubing layed flat ways with four "Xerox" dual wheel casters welded to it.It has moved B-port mills with no trouble and they wiegh in 1500#s plus.Think Surplus center had the casters for $9.95 each.

              Heck,I suppose you could mount the safe on casters and conceal them when its in place,maybe make a flatbar skirt around it,if you bolt it down good and they can't see the wheels who's to know?

              [This message has been edited by wierdscience (edited 12-30-2004).]
              I just need one more tool,just one!


              • #8
                The only larger gun safe I ever saw moved was just under 1000lbs. A fellow about 5'7" and 165lbs moved it all by himself. It's what he did for a living. It had to come off a truck (lift gate equipped) then roll up a driveway, over a 6" step, then over a 4" jam to get into the house. Then it had to make a couple 90 degree turns and go through a small doorway to it's resting place.The fellow moving it had a strange variation of a normal dolly that had a jackscrew type lifting mechanism that he could use to get heavy stiff over bumps. Then he'd use squares of shag carpet turned upside down to set the safe on to turn the corners on a smooth floor. He was a master who knew his job well. 750lbs of akwardly shaped steel can certainly ruin your day if it gets away from you. From what I've seen, moving a safe is sort of like moving a machine but there's probably not any grab points, no room for hoists and you can't bang it against the walls much. Doing it like an ancient Egyptian with a bunch of pipe nipples and a prybar sucks (but sometimes is the only choice).


                Pursue Excellence and the rest will follow.

                [This message has been edited by Excitable Boy (edited 12-31-2004).]
                Pursue Excellence and the rest will follow.


                • #9
                  The material the mover was talking about is UHMW or ultra high molecular weight polyethylene. You can get it in several thicknesses, but I'd suggest about 1/4". I have a 350 pound printer on about 3" square pieces and one person can skid it on carpet without any problem.

                  You can also pick up "Magic" furniture moving slides at home supply stores, hardware stores or Bed, Bath and Beyond. These are basically saucers of UHMW that go uner furniture legs to slide them around on carpet and work very well.


                  • #10
                    I moved a safe by lying sheets of plywood down over my carpeted and tiled floors and using pipe rollers to move the safe. Worked great. With a smooth surface like the plywood, small rollers can be used so the transition from rollers to the floor isn't a big one (less chance of tipping the safe over)

                    Recently I moved a vertical mill (1300 pounds) into my garage. It came on a pallet and I was concerned about how to get it from pallet to floor safely, without tipping over. I had no overhead hoist to lift it, so I resorted to a primitive but effective way to remove the pallet. I simply pulled what ever nails I could then used a sledge hammer to break the pallet apart. By removing the supporting members between the top and bottom of the pallet on one end, I was able to make the pallet into a sort of ramp and the mill could be pushed off to the floor.
                    It was crude but effective and took little time.


                    • #11
                      Check if you can rent a motorized dolly. That will make the entry steps easier.

                      Also, the guy that moves my safe has a belt harness he uses. It wraps around his waist and has a long strap that he ties to the load. He can pull the load from his center of gravity.

                      The guy (Pete) is probably 150 to 160 lbs., but he moves safes for a living and makes it look easy. Pete also has that white plastic to protect floors. I suspect UHMW plastic. Obviously, Pete does not use brute force, but thinks his moves out carefully and executes them flawlessly.

                      Make sure you have a good helper/spotter to keep things from getting out of control.



                      • #12
                        Here is a pix of piano/organ dolly.


                        • #13
                          I plan on picking up a 52 gun safe in the next couple of months but I plan on putting it in the basement. Here's the problem, I plan on moving in a couple of years and really don't like the idea of hauling a 6 foot tall, forty inch wide, 1200lb+ safe up a flight of stairs... The solution? Buy a Zanotti safe - they're designed to come apart as panels with no panel weighing more than 300 pounds. The panels go together inside with pins..


                          This Old Shed
                          EGO partum , proinde EGO sum


                          • #14
                            I've heard a lot of good things about the Zanotti safe. It is pricey and the fire rating is not as good as some but it seems to be a good trade off for move ability.

                            I'm surprised that no one has talked about the importance about bolting the safe down once installed. Even if a burgular doesn't get into your safe, if it's turned over viloently think about what happens to the stuff inside.

                            A person I know put his safe in his auto repair shop. In retrospect not a good idea. He talked about his collection alot and sure enough he was broken in on. His safe was turned over and the back was cut out. No amount of relockers in the world would have saved that safe with all the free supplied equipment the thieves had available in there.

                            All the safes I've seen have holes on "16 centers. Make sure they are used.

                            Another story is about a guy I shot IPSC with. He forgot his combination. He DID bolt his safe down. After bustin out part of the concrete block wall in his basement to read the serial number off the back of his safe Treadlock gave the dealer the combination.




                            • #15
                              Hire the local tow truck guy to move it. cheap and easy.