When a sign that says keep out just won't do.
May 18, 2009 7:38 AM   Subscribe

Looking for a unique door to my gun room/armory.

At my house I have a work room/gun room/ armory where I keep my safe with my fire arms in it. They are all locked up and kept safe from anyone that is not a problem. The problem is the door to the room is pretty lackluster and could easily be kicked down by my nephew if he wanted to. I've always wanted to put something more permanent and unique down there as a door. I have thought about trying to find a bookshelf secret passage door or submarine bulkhead style door but my google fu always fails me when I search for them. Ideally I would like something that I know would lock down the room so I could keep ammo and such outside of my gun safe and not have to worry about my nephew's friends coming over and saying "hey look what I found!" Any ideas are welcome.
posted by Mastercheddaar to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (16 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
If you're seriously concerned, just get a deadbolt and add another key to your keychain. Less unique, but also less chance of forgetting to close it, or just making it more tempting (fancy doors just make it much more tempting to sneak into).
posted by Tomorrowful at 7:42 AM on May 18, 2009

There was a somewhat related question here a long time ago. The Hidden Door Company was suggested but may be out of your price range; this comment has more links.
posted by jessamyn at 7:44 AM on May 18, 2009

posted by McBearclaw at 7:50 AM on May 18, 2009 [1 favorite]

I would go with a portcullis.
posted by zerokey at 7:53 AM on May 18, 2009 [2 favorites]

The non-secret-agent solution is to get a metal door (with a solid core, not a metal-cased hollow core door) and have it installed with security (not home) hardware. Probably run into the $400 kind of range, but definitely worth it.

Another deadbolt on a crappy door will not stop someone from getting in if they really want to.
posted by Aquaman at 7:55 AM on May 18, 2009

I've been looking into those wireless alarms. You can put those door sensors on ANYTHING. Then you sync the door sensors with the console. You don't even have to get monitoring - you can set the system online (yourself) so that every time a certain sensor goes off, it sends an email or text message. You can also set the alarm so that it goes off if the sensor doesn't move -- folks use that to make sure grandparents take their medicine, kids come home from school, etc. I would totally put a sensor on the door to your room and another one on the gun case itself. Then if anybody does bust into your safe room, you'll be notified twice.

Lots of options out there - I'm looking at InGrid. But if you google "wireless alarm system" you'll get a ton of results. I'm not that techy and this looks like a good combination between DIY and a packaged system. You could use the other sensors for your door/windows.
posted by barnone at 7:56 AM on May 18, 2009 [1 favorite]

How about a roll-up steel door/rolling shutter? It won't require much alteration to the existing "hole", you can still install locks in them, but will definitely show that there is no average room behind that door. They also come in fire-resistant varieties (provided the walls around are equally resistant), which may be an asset to a gun storage area.
posted by AzraelBrown at 8:03 AM on May 18, 2009

The strike plate is one of the big weak points. You can have a big metal door but someone can still kick that in just as easily as a cheap plywood door, deadbolt or not, if the strike plate on the doorframe just bends.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:06 AM on May 18, 2009

I like the book shelf and rolling door ideas. I might go with the rolling metal door. It seems to be a better fit. I'll need to find another place for my book shelf idea....
posted by Mastercheddaar at 8:18 AM on May 18, 2009

Your basic exterior steel door/deadbolt is fairly secure; it'd be easier to go through the stud and gyproc wall next to it than the door. I've got a schlage keypad lock lock on my exterior doors which is kinda James Bond like and works very well.

One advantage of a plain steel door is you can stick wood panels to it with construction adhesive. These doors are way over the top security wise but they show a lot of ideas for cladding.

A basic hinged bookcase is pretty simple to make, especially if you don't load it up with books. EG: use it as a trophy case or display case. By not engineering it for the mass of books you won't need to take crazy steps with your hinges. Depending on whether your floor layout allows flanking the bookcase door with several non opening bookshelves will lend camouflage. An outswinging bookshelf door can be combined with an inswinging security door so that the bookshelf doesn't have to be secure. Those steel bar type doors featured on movie safety deposit box vaults would be ideal for that IMO.
posted by Mitheral at 8:54 AM on May 18, 2009

Honestly, someone could just kick through the drywall next to the big steel door. Have you considered reinforcing the walls? Quarter inch plywood might be enough to force someone to use a saw to break in.
posted by malp at 8:54 AM on May 18, 2009

While looking for a door, look for a solid door frame and nthing the idea of reinforcing the walls beside the door and/or surrounding the room. And, have you checked the window? I like putting long deadbolts in spots that make it harder to kick in a door: top and bottom as well and centre. But a lock is only as good as the frame it's set into. Do they still make those door locks that are a bar running vertically down the outside of the door which, when locked, have the bar fitting into a plate in the ceiling and floor? I think they have a cross bar, too. I like the idea of a reinforced door hidden behind a wall of bookshelves. If the person you're concerned about doesn't know where your guns are already, that could help.
posted by x46 at 9:06 AM on May 18, 2009

Maybe you can find an old, used, metal clad fire door?

Very heavy and intimidating!
posted by orme at 10:01 AM on May 18, 2009

If you're considering building a new wall, concrete block is pretty easy to DIY.
posted by electroboy at 10:23 AM on May 18, 2009

Perhaps this Amsec door is the right thing. Sure is cool looking. Alas, it is a touch over $4K. I imagine installation is a few dollars extra.
posted by bz at 4:19 PM on May 18, 2009

I once rented a flat that had six deadbolts (self link) going into a metal frame. The door was very sold and very heavy. It looked pretty nice too.
posted by mmascolino at 8:13 PM on May 18, 2009

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