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High security vault rebuild

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  • High security vault rebuild

    Here's a project I have going:
    We took in a vault that had (prematurely)worn out door hinges,
    and was just sort of 'beat up' looking too.

    The hinges on one of these can only be adjusted up or down,
    but you can't change the left or right 'tilt' of how the door hangs.
    So when the hinges get worn, or 'wobble'- the door miss-aligns so much
    it sticks shut and ya can't open it, or it won't close all the way & lock.
    When they get that bad, the vault is usually junked.
    Or, the hinges can be changed...

    Here's some pictures of the sequence:
    1. We tilt the safe over onto its back.
    (this one weighs close to 5,000 pounds. The door alone is about a ton)

    2. It comes into the shop for the old door hinges to be ground off,
    and the new ones welded on. Being on it's back, the door is easier to position/align,
    and it pretty well holds itself where you need it to be while ya work on it.

    3. Then its taken back outside and stood up the same way it was layed down.

    4. This one gets a full re-paint, so the boltworks have been removed for cleaning,
    re-lubrication, and to paint behind them.
    When I get done it will look new & fresh from the factory, and we'll sell it with a warranty.
    (It'll be sold as re-conditioned, and still wear it's 1984 date of manufacture tag)

    Getting the new hinges lined up on the door frame is very critical.
    The hinge pin fits so tightly in the block part that they draw a vaccum when you try to pull the 2 parts off each other.
    And remember- there is no lateral adjustments.

    Its a real moment of truth when ya stand the thing back up and try to open the door.............

    Today, I took the old hinges off, put the new ones on, and stood it back up.
    The door works to perfection, so I stripped out the locks & bolt works.

    Tomorrow, I'll weld in new shelf brackets, do a little bodywork,
    and hopefully paint it.

    Here's some pictures of it getting done--

    I'll take some more when its finished.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by Winger Ed.; 03-05-2008, 09:52 PM.

  • #2
    Here's the rest of the pictures so far.

    The welds on the lower hinge block are so big because the lower hinge bears the entire weight of the door.

    The top hinge really just stabilizes the door and keeps it from falling off.
    There isn't any weight setting on it.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by Winger Ed.; 03-07-2008, 08:49 PM.


    • #3
      Good job and fix for an old safe. Thank you for sharing the pictures.
      How hard is it to weld the hinges. I was always told that safe hinges could not be changed. I have junked one old safe that my grandfather had due to this information. Thank you


      • #4
        yeah thanks for showing the boltwork and other 'secret' parts, SAVTA would be proud, how about some detailed measurements and drill points too?


        • #5
          Originally posted by PUMPKINHEAD View Post
          and drill points too?
          Drill points aren't much good unless you have the time & permission to use them.
          For those with such evil in thier hearts:
          A .22 pistol held in the owner's ear is a much, much faster way to open one.

          the changes should make everybody happy,
          Last edited by Winger Ed.; 03-07-2008, 11:55 PM.


          • #6
            Originally posted by odleo View Post
            How hard is it to weld the hinges. I was always told that safe hinges could not be changed.
            Thanks for the reply.

            Like most things, it isn't exactly hard, just time consuming, and ya need the right tools.

            The big trick is that the new hinges have to be perfectly alligned,
            or (since they aren't adjustable except up & down) the door won't open.



            • #7
              So........ Why are the hinges on the outside? I could think of a few ways to nock them off.


              • #8
                Even if the hinges were taken off the door bolts/lugs would still hold the door tight.


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