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Thread: Can I build my own E cat safe?

  1. #1
    Baz
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    Can I build my own E cat safe?

    Being an engineer/fabricator, I was thinking about upgrading my A cat safe to a larger size and 6mm steel. Will take the door and replace with 6mm, make a new 6mm body large enough to hold every thing I want it to.

    Anyone done this before? whats required for it the be E cat certified? cant find alto of info on it other than 6mm and minimum five lever mortice deadlock.

    I will need to price everything out, but buying an E cat safe the size I am wanting would make it worth the time and effort.

    Keen to hear some ideas and or photos.

    Cheers

  2. #2
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    If you contact your local Arms Office they will give a copy of the regulations as regards the security requirements for the various categories of firearms licence. It sets out the minimum requirements for safes , vaults "rooms of stout construction , etc and lists the standard of lock needed to comply. All that information is free too so its just a matter of making a phonecall or wandering in to your local Police station and asking
    Cats have nine lives-which makes them ideal for experimentation...

  3. #3
    Member Beavis's Avatar
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    Can be done, one of my mates welded some plate onto an A cat safe and made the door sturdier. Passed the test

  4. #4
    A Good Keen Girl Dougie's Avatar
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    Hey Baz I used to be a locksmith for Chubb and we sold kiwi made E cat pistol safes. These little nuggets were pretty simple in construction so I reckon you modifying an exsisting safe will be well worth the work and money.

    The lock will probably be the thing that sets you back the most. It should be easy to install though. Also, using internal plate to protect the lock and bolt from tampering or drilling will most likely be required. As Muzza said, speak to your local police or maybe even scroll through the online legislation to find exact requirements (I've just had a quick look with no luck).

    If you have a local locksmith, go in and have a chat about the lock. They may just have one (I know we had plenty of these laying around!). If the spare key doesn't cost you about $40 to get copied then you don't have the correct lock. You need a safe key, ask them for that specifically.
    She loves the free fresh wind in her hair; Life without care. She's broke but it's oke; that's why the lady is a tramp.

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  5. #5
    A Good Keen Girl Dougie's Avatar
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    May sound silly obvious but I also believe that the hinges must be internal.
    She loves the free fresh wind in her hair; Life without care. She's broke but it's oke; that's why the lady is a tramp.

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    Hinges dont need to be internal, but cutting them off cant allow the safe to be opened obviously. Have built an approved E cat safe in the past, just has to get the inspecting officers approval which MAY need a certificate from the engineer for construction and certificate from a locksmith for the locks. If in doubt to quality they will demand these. Nobody wants to look a dork if the safe gets busted into the next week with a screwdriver and hammer.
    Dougie and Happy like this.

  7. #7
    A Good Keen Girl Dougie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by compound View Post
    Hinges dont need to be internal, but cutting them off cant allow the safe to be opened obviously. Have built an approved E cat safe in the past, just has to get the inspecting officers approval which MAY need a certificate from the engineer for construction and certificate from a locksmith for the locks. If in doubt to quality they will demand these. Nobody wants to look a dork if the safe gets busted into the next week with a screwdriver and hammer.
    It looks like something pretty cool to do - did your safe have bolts on more than one side of the door?
    She loves the free fresh wind in her hair; Life without care. She's broke but it's oke; that's why the lady is a tramp.

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  8. #8
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    The one I built had internal hinges but I know of ones converted from ATM safes with external hinges and internal bolting on hinge side.

  9. #9
    Member mucko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beavis View Post
    Can be done, one of my mates welded some plate onto an A cat safe and made the door sturdier. Passed the test
    i tried to do that and Tauranga arms officer said it had to be one plate thinkness no double plating allowed
    Last edited by mucko; 10-07-2012 at 10:52 PM.

  10. #10
    Member mucko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baz View Post
    Being an engineer/fabricator, I was thinking about upgrading my A cat safe to a larger size and 6mm steel. Will take the door and replace with 6mm, make a new 6mm body large enough to hold every thing I want it to.

    Anyone done this before? whats required for it the be E cat certified? cant find alto of info on it other than 6mm and minimum five lever mortice deadlock.

    I will need to price everything out, but buying an E cat safe the size I am wanting would make it worth the time and effort.

    Keen to hear some ideas and or photos.
    Cheers
    i built my own E cat safe i just ran the plans by the arms officer first. 6mm minimum plate minimum 4 bolts minimum 10mm thick x 100mm long 2 bolts in the floor 2 in the wall wall bolts must be 100mm and floor blots need 6mm minimum backing plate if through wooden floor or chemset if into concrete dyna bolt wont pass. you dont have to have a hinge at all and if you do have hinges they can be external hinges as long as the door can not be removed if hinges are cut off ie door pins. the door must be rebated as not to allow anything to get behind the door for leverage. my door has no hinge at all, i simply have a tang on the bottom and the mortice lock at the top

  11. #11
    Baz
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    My A cat safe has locking lugs on top, bottom and 2 each side. I was intending to remove the 3mm(?) front and put 6mm on the existing bolt locking system then copy the door jamb with 6mm and then the larger body with 6mm as well.

    Cheers for all the advice and ideas so far.

  12. #12
    A Good Keen Girl Dougie's Avatar
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    Sounds like you're onto something there, should be pretty straightforward as the tricky bits are already done for you
    She loves the free fresh wind in her hair; Life without care. She's broke but it's oke; that's why the lady is a tramp.

    Rule 4: Identify your target beyond all doubt

  13. #13
    Almost literate. veitnamcam's Avatar
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    Im. Sure you can use a 6mm
    equivalent . Mild steel is soft shit as you know. Goin to the likes of biz 80 you can use less .
    Pay to double Check the regs first tho.

  14. #14
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    I built my own back in the early 90's. Went to the scrap metal dealer and found enough 6mm plate. Bought two of the specified locks from the locksmith and then set about putting it together. The hinges are just two roll pins, through the frame and into the door. One at the top and one up from the bottom. They are only there to stop the door falling off. A peice of angle iron welded the length of the door which swings around behind the frame when the door is shut prevents the door from being levered open.
    As for being allowed to build it yourself, get the specifications from from the AO and build it to spec. As long it is built to the specs they set they can't reject it. Get the specifications in writing though. And make sure you are right before you start arguing.
    If I was to build another one I would probably get an engineering shop to fold it up for me and then just do the welding myself.
    Another easy option if the shape of it dosen't matter, is get a length of steel tube as long as your longest gun, weld a top and bottom in it and then cut a door out. If you are going to use gas to cut the door, cut the door out before you put the top and bottom in (could save yourself from a big explosion).
    My safe is large enough to hold twenty guns and the total cost was about $250 excluding time. But scrap metal prices were a lot cheaper back then.
    I'm a bit paranoid about locking up my grinders and gas set when I'm away. Imagine coming home to find some mongrel had gassed a hole through your safe with your own gas cutting gear.

  15. #15
    Baz
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    Looks like the Yanks have a lot of trouble with robberies and safes getting busted. Found this site Commercial Safe | Thick Gauge Commercial Gun or Fire Safes -Sturdy Safe and looks like a top of the line safe company. notice the material thickness in the top of the line safe. 5/16" (7.937mm) doors and 7 guage (4.76mm) body. Am I safe to say if I build it out 6mm as per NZ code, I'll be good to go??>

    I will get i touch with the arms office as you all mentioned, just to be sure.

    Cheers

 

 

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