Logo 1 #topThe Poor Man's Fix-it shop.[not for the proficient craftsman] . . . .Logo 2

TUMBLEWEED HANDYMAN CORNER

 
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...SECURITY
(click image to enlarge)


Shed lock

 

 


        I live in a fairly secure area. It's a gated community which has a gate anyone can get around or through. But all in all we've had few thefts until the city advertised for beggars and thieves. Our city council did a bang-up job with their advertising because our crime rate and street-corner merchants has more then doubled since I moved to this little town. Anyway, that's not what I wanted to tell you. I only told you that so I can tell you this.
    As explained elsewhere (I think), I like to experiment. And what more fun way is there to experiment than to see how safe I can make my rinky-dink possessions that few people would want (unless they ran a salvage yard). But that's not what I wanted to tell you either. Here's what I wanted to tell you: If you have some belongings you want to make little safer, here's some ideas.
    In the picture to your left you'll see the latch on the outside my tool shed. Nothing unusual, just a common, ordinary gate latch.

 

 


Inside shed lock

 

 
    The problem with these barn door latches is they're actually intended to keep the animals in the barn, and they're not actually thief proof. Here's how I made my door a little more secure, at least the cows won't get out now.

    The door itself is a hollow core door, not much good at keeping people out. How do I know it's hollow? Because I made it myself out of 2x4's and plywood.  In order to make the door a little more beefy in the middle I installed the cross member you see. And the barn door hinges I used a bolt rather than the screws they give you so it can't be unscrewed or torn off so easily.

 


Door filler

 


    This is the door to my office, converted from a storage shed. It had hollow doors as well, but I didn't make them, they came with the house.

    In order to strengthen the door I removed one panel, cut some 2x4's in half, and glued them to the remaining  panel. I then screwed the lumber to the panel from the outside causing the glue to adhere to the panel a little better. After reinstalling the inside panel I then had a strong door that looks like a cheap hollow core door.

 

 


Hinge block

 


    Doors aren't necessarily the weakest part of the entry way, especially if the door opens into the building as mine does.. The hinges are easily broken with a swift kick, and I didn't like the idea of my door being kicked in for some odd reason. To help prevent this I installed some thick metal strips along the inside the wall where the hinges are located, which I held on with small lag bolts rather than nails or screws.

 


Hinge bolt

 

      

    These strips of metal will help prevent illegal entry, but there's yet another thing I thought I'd try, something I read about many years ago. I drilled holes in the door and the door jamb, the holes being directly across from one another. In the door jamb hole I inserted a (I think it was) quarter inch lag bolt part way, then sawed off the head. This creates a fairly good barrier against a sudden swift kick. This set of lag bolts is attached to the tool shed door. Identical ones are on the office door.

 


Hinge bolt cropped

 

 
    Here's a closeup view of a lag bolt and hole. Not a pretty job, but somebody's got to do it.

 


Latch block

 


        A standard door latch is about as secure as a loose-lidded cookie jar. As you can see I installed a metal strip along side the locking mechanism like I did the hinges. I then installed a bolt latch which, in the now solid door, should make for pretty good security. Of course a person could kick the bottom of the door and break it open, but a gate latch at the top and the bottom of the door could help prevent that from happening. That sounds like too much trouble to protect what nobody wants. Actually I have some fairly valuable things such as tools, computer equipment and binding equipment that I keep in these locations. But only someone who knew I had them would suspect they're there. And if someone was that desperate to get them, nothing I can do would prevent them. My efforts were not as much to create security of my things as it was to practice what I thought of, and to let myself feel a little more at ease when I'm away for very long.

 
 
 
 
 

 


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