Need ideas for a wooden gun cabinet

Discussion in 'The Powder Keg' started by Oxford, Mar 16, 2002.

  1. Oxford

    Oxford G&G Evangelist

    I've started sketching out plans for a new wooden gun cabinet & base. I've got a few questions for you experienced gun experts who've made cabinets.

    1. How far apart should the guns be spaced when standing upright?

    2. How tall should the cabinet (inside dimensions?)

    3. How deep should the cabinet be? 12"? or what?

    Got any other pointers I should keep in mind before starting. I'm making this project out of pine except for the bottoms and back, which will be plywood, and I plan to stain everything. It'll have plexiglass windows in the upper two doors. The bottom will have two 6" drawers on top and one wider drawer...probably about 24" wide.

    All comments would be appreciated.

  2. Chris

    Chris G&G Evangelist Staff Member Forum Contributor

    I would go 18 maybe 24" deep, as depedning if you are going to keep just shotguns or bigger guns and will it have a glass door with it?

    I just like too much room than not enough

  3. Oxford

    Oxford G&G Evangelist


    I'm tentatively planning on plexiglass windows for the upper two doors.

    Your comment on having it deep enough made me think a little more. On second thought, the 12" depth I had thought about could be too shallow.

    I'll be storing a combination of shotguns, pistols, rifles, ammunition, and cleaning equipment.
  4. wes

    wes Guest

    If you have scopes on some guns,make it deep enough for them.
  5. The depth depends. also, on the angle you lean your guns, of course. You centrainly don't want the guns too upright. Although you can build the lower a little deeper if you wish which will give the lower part a larger 'base' look. If you intend to have the entire caginet the same depth you might want to consider what all you will be storing in the lower compartment.

    I was wondering about the plexiglass. I have done some smaller projects such as cases over Quail sculptures, etc. and I find, with cleaning over time, the plexiglass becomes scratched and cloudy. I would suggest construction in such a way as to be able to change the plexiglass if needed on down the line.

    What are you going to make the cabinet out of, i.e., wood type, etc? My dad has a very nice one he built out of lesser expensive tongue and groove (which hides spaces between boards very nicely without glue and allows for natural expansion and contraction) knotty pine available at most home centers which carry wood. He gave it a few coats of clear polyurethane.

    It looks great even after about 40 years.

    Also, I realize a gun cabinet is very little deterrance to any burglar but they sure do look nice when done right.

    Have fun and keep us appraised......yepper
  6. Uncle Red

    Uncle Red Guest

    Dale, I used to work for a cleaning company. The way we cleaned any plastic glass substitute(Lexan, Plexigl**** etc.) Was to use dawn dish washing soap mixed about 1:4 with distilled water( 1 part soap to 4 parts water, we used distilled because tap water would leave deposits after a lot of cleaning) and a soft, 100%, cotton towel!(baby diaper) One of the contracts we had in the 6 years that I worked for them was a church that used a Lexan pulpit, and we never had a scratch on it from cleaning. -UR.
  7. Cool Uncle...thanks....have to remember that....'preciated....yepper.
  8. Uncle Red

    Uncle Red Guest


    Now why did my "P-l-e-x-i-g-l-a-s-s" get censored and Oxford's didn't??

    SPOCAHP ANAR G&G Enthusiast

    I built one

    Oxford Email me at [email protected] and I will discuss details of the one i just made and send you some pics. I can also get you a set of plans but it wil take a couple of weeks for me to ge them from my dad and email them to you.

    Spacing I centered mine 4.75 inches apart but 4.5 will work fine. My depth was about 12 inches (no scopes) but still do not think you need 20 inches like some of the others said. Tip Freebie Use a 3/4 inch x 4 inches wide use a 1.5 inch spade bit and drill holes 4.5 inches on center. rip down the center and then you wil have your bbl rest.

    I also have heard of using an old fridge as a cabinet/safe. I plan on doing one of these in the future.
  10. Mike Haycraft

    Mike Haycraft Guest

    Unless you have great sercuty at home I would never put firearms in view anymore. Its terrible we have to do this but if you are ever are broken in and they take a family heirloom you will never get over it.:)
  11. Oxford

    Oxford G&G Evangelist

    Phacopsrana and other who commented: Thanks for emailing me your gun cabinet pictures and for your advice. You all had good pointers.

    I'll increase the height to 51" instead of the 48" which I had initially planned to use.

    The plexiglass (lexan) idea still seems ok to me...less chance of accidental breakage and it can be replaced if something bad happens.

    I'll increase the depth to 14" instead of 12" which I had planned. Right now I don't have a scope but will be adding add one to a 30.06. I've got a 03A3 but there's no chance that I'll add a scope to it. It's too valuable in it's original condition.

    After construction, I'll stain it light brown to match my rec room and coat it with polyurethane.

    Oxford: D
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2002
  12. Mac_Muz

    Mac_Muz Guest

    I have a wooden cabnet for my guns. The base is bigger, and holds small stuff.
    The rack holds 12 long guns.

    The bottom is 41 1/2 wide x 18" tall x 10" deep.
    the upper part for guns is 39 1/4' wide x 53 1/4" tall x 9 1/4 deep.
    All measurements are out side. The wood is 3/4" thick. The rack spaces center to center are 2 3/4" the top rear rack sticks out from the back 3 1/2" and the "U" cuts are out 2 1/2".

    This is a store bought cabnet with real glass.... I added a chain from the lower part for what ever security it might offer by adding a lock hasp, and connecting the chain up from the lower part. This goes loosley thru each trigger guard meeting with a small padlock in the center. It is not the best security to say the least, but I am here more often than not, as I work at home. I have been looking into steel safes, but for what I want I would never get it up the stairs.......hope this helps........... Mac
  13. Oxford

    Oxford G&G Evangelist

    Mac_Muz: Thanks for your comments. I especially like your suggestion for the depths of your upper cabinet. That would allow me to use a nominal 12" board instead of having to glue up two boards for enough width. I'll keep your suggestion in mind.

    I'm thinking that the main concern with that depth, though, is with a scope mounted there probably wouldn't be enough space when the door shuts.

    I haven't given much thought yet to how to lock guns but I like your idea. I'll keep it in mind.

  14. Mac_Muz

    Mac_Muz Guest

    Yup not enuff room for a scoped gun.... Just tried it for the first time with one. And no way does that come close.

    I was just giving dimentios that exist in my store bought cabinet.

    I was able to have a Ruger 10-22 scoped and fit, bit not any bigger rifle. The only other one i have I just tried.... That hangs on a peg near by. I can't get all the guns in the cabinet, nor do I want to....Mac
  15. Big Dog

    Big Dog Retired IT Dinosaur Wrangler Forum Contributor

    Here's an idea from the local Wallyworld. Their rifle rack has the guns at an angle - / / / - instead of straight out. This could buy you a little extra room for scoped rifles without getting too deep.
    A plastic-coated cable could still run thru the triggerguards for added security.
    Dressround likes this.
  16. Oxford

    Oxford G&G Evangelist

    Big Dog: I'll probably set the gun at an angle, like you suggested. Guess my best bet is to forget about using one nominal width 12" board and either use veneer plywood or glue up two 8" boards to get a better depth. I've got a good jointer and sander so making glue joints is not a problem.

    Mainly, I want the gun and scope to fit inside. It shouldn't be a problem to lean the gunw/scope mounted against a wall and measure out how wide the bottom board needs to be in order for the gun to fit inside.

    Thanks for your suggestion.

  17. Rooster

    Rooster Guest

    Has anybody thought of a "gun chest". Something like a hope chest which could hold the guns and accesories. That way it could set at the foot of the bed, maybe with a cushion on it for sitting. Or even a fake inner tray to hold blankets or stuff to sort of camo the guns underneath for added security. Just wanted to throw this out there for thought.
    Dressround likes this.
  18. Uncle Red

    Uncle Red Guest

    That is a heck of an idea. Wish I'd have thought of it. -UR.

    SPOCAHP ANAR G&G Enthusiast

    Gun chest

    I was designing a gun chest like a hope chest in order to store my rifles in and I was going to have a lower level for 4 rifles and then a drop in layer for four more and then drop in shelf with blankets on it so people wouldn't see the rifles when you opened it. I scrapped the idea for two reasons.

    1) I had to make it ia minimum of 50+ inches to hold my Nagant rilfes.
    2) I had bought cedar and after undergoing construction realized that the wood was really too soft for what I wanted to do.
    so now my wife has a nice cedar chest when ever I get around to building it. I have attached a picture of the chest I did Build.

    I also have a better idea for thgose really good with a saw. I want to make a captians bed( one with drawers underneath. I looked at a set of plans. The matress sits on a platform that sits on the dresser part. this platform is about 6 inches thick. With some minor modifications, a long piano hinge, and a couple of hydraulic arms(like in hatchback). And BAM you have a completely concealed gun cabinet and noone will know that you have them unless you tell them. rifles can be laid flat, angled, or upright. This platform will need to be somewhat thicker than 6 inches but anything to thick will not look right. I suggest laying them down flat(side).
  20. Firemedic

    Firemedic Guest

    My percussion black powder rifle takes extra room because of the drop at the comb and the hammer. I almost have to put it in the base hole in the oposite side. It won't stand straight up.