Author Topic: How to secure generator air compressor tool chest and other large expensive item  (Read 15954 times)

Offline kevo

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I'm trying to find a way to secure or make more secure equipment in a garage of a standard house. Equipment like generator, air compressor, rolling tool chest and other like items that are expensive and big but given a little bit of time someone could "walk" away with if they had a truck.

I'm looking for physical/mechanical ways to slow down someone from taking these items. I say slow down because I can't think of a way to prevent them from being stolen.

Offline mike77

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I agree that there is no way to keep them from being stolen, but just slow someone down. The only way to keep them from being stolen is to keep them in a way that you can't use them either. The first question is how secure do you want these to be? The more secure they are, the more expensive it will be and more of a hassle to undo. If it is too much of a hassle to secure, most people will stop doing it after a while. Do all of these need to be portable easily (i.e. rolling the tool chest to a work area)? Is the compressor portable or an installed unit?
Going on the assumption that they are all portable and need to remain so to some extent, I would suggest several layers of security. First is secure the garage. There has been a topic or two on here about how easy it can be to open a garage door and how to make it harder. ITS Tactical did a good write up or two on this topic also. If you have an alarm in the house, maybe consider extending the system to the garage in some way. Or add sensors that just warn you in the house if someone enters the garage.
The next step would be to secure the equipment itself. How much work do you want to do and how secure do you want to make it? Simple solution would be eye screws into the studs and use a bike cable through an equipment handle to the eye bolt. A step up would be a forged eye bolt or other hard point secured into the concrete floor then attaching the equipment with high security lock and chain. At this point, don't forget to look at what you are securing to on the equipment. Most handles I've seen would only take a couple of minutes with a hacksaw to get through, leaving the lock and chain behind. So you might need to strengthen a point on the equipment to secure to.
If the equipment has wheels with any type of opening in them, you could put a U-lock or chain through the wheel so that it can't roll easily.
Just some quick thoughts...

Offline kevo

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Thanks. Yes, the equipment are all portable on wheels or casters.

I'll definitely check up on the garage door info at ITS. I was not aware of that about garage doors.

Any idea how one would go about setting a hardened steel anchor (u-bolt) into an existing concrete floor?

Offline NWBowhunter

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Drill hole in to concrete using a masonary bit. You can pickup concrete bolts at the box stores they hammer in and expand.  They should be able to bolt your gear down.

Offline ChrisFox

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Or bend some metal straps that fit over the equipment that can then be bolted to the floor/wall.

Offline mike77

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Most of the bolts that you can get at the big box stores for concrete are just that, bolts. Not U-bolts or eye bolts. You would then have to bolt some sort of plate down, which then could easily be unbolted. If you go that route, I would suggest using some thread lock compound so that you can't just unbolt it. You could take a step up and use a drop in anchor then thread lock a forged eye bolt in. Don't use a standard bent wire eye bolt. They are easier to cut and can be pried open. A step up from that would be to use adhesive to glue a forged eye bolt into the concrete. I don't know about your local Home Depot, but some of the ones around here are outlets for Hilti fasteners. They have (or can get) a wide range of fasteners, including some very strong adhesives that come in a standard caulk tube. Drill your hole, put some adhesive in then shove the eye bolt in. Some of these, with a large enough anchor, will literally pull a large chunk of concrete out before pulling out the anchor! If you were to put in say a 1/2" or larger forged eye bolt, it should take a big pair of bolt cutters or noisy equipment to get through quickly.
All of these methods require drilling into the concrete, but every tool rental place will have the necessary equipment. You might have to rent the drill and buy the bit, but at least you don't have to buy the drill itself. Another consideration for all of these though is that you then have something sticking out of the floor when you move the equipment away or if you go to sell the house.
Personally I would consider most of the above overkill, but I don't know your situation or the level of security you're looking for. If I had a garage and was concerned about security, I would be looking at the door first and sensors/alarms second. Then I would be looking at anchors into the wall studs before the floor.

Offline Dawgus

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 Great suggestions from mike77. Look for drop in anchors or quick-bolts. Home Depot or Lowes carry a few varieties. If there is a Grainger or Fastenall in your area, they'll have a better selection. Some tool rental places carry a selection of anchors as well. Hilti makes awesome drop in anchors, but some require a special set tool to properly seat them. Drop in's or quick bolts come in 3/8, 1/2, and 5/8 inch sizes. Put the anchor somewhere in a non open area. Simply in case it doesn't seat, hole is too large, etc, you don't have a hole in your floor.
 If your tool box is in a permanent spot, consider simply removing a few drawers, drilling pilot holes in the back, and bolting/screwing it directly to the wall studs. If your air compressor is also in a permanent spot, bolt it to the floor as well.
 Also keep in mind the other tools you may have in the garage. Large bolt cutters, portaband, sawzall etc. You're pretty much leaving them a key to the lock. Secure them in a locked cabinet.
 As you said, at best you will just slow someone down. If they want your tools bad enough, they'll get them. I've seen guys go through some pretty crazy stuff to steal secured tools of equiptment off of construction sites.

Offline mxitman

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When we poured the floor for our garage, I did a few things prior; I first ran 5/8" pex tubing for my infloor heating system. I also installed 12 - 1" concrete eye bolts throughout the edges near the foundation. I use it for securing the garage door itself when not in use and anything worth anything has a 1/2" steel cable secured to the eye bolts. I do not have an automatic door opener ;)

Hey if you want to spend the time it can still be cut off but I don't think anyone will mess with it...way overkill but didn't really cost me anything at the time since I got everything from my work. As said before Hilti makes some good anchors, I would go with a multi point attachment if you can. Look for Hammer driven anchors like this; If you have a metal plate with a ring through it, you can simply drill out the holes and then pound them in.

 I have a hilti direct fastening powder gun that make quick work of attaching metal plates or ceiling hangers, you can rent them at most equipment rental places, would make it faster.

Offline kevo

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mike77: thanks for the great info. I'll be looking into drilling a hole and using that super strong adhesive with a hardened steel u-bolt.

Offline mike77

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We may be talking about the same thing, but I think it would be easier to go with an eye bolt over a U-bolt. This is what I think of as a U-bolt. This is a forged eye bolt. A U-bolt would need two holes while an eye bolt only needs one. If you compare the same diameter and hardness of eye bolt versus U-bolt they will take similar force to defeat, so why not go with the one that only needs a single hole? Actually, the two close holes for a U-bolt could weaken the concrete some. There are minimum distances between holes when you look at the anchor or adhesive specs.
Like Dawgus said, eye bolts come pretty large but you might need to go to a specialty supplier to get over 1/2" or 5/8". Dawgus was also right that the drop in anchors I mentioned before do need a special set tool, but they usually aren't too expensive. There are also similar threaded anchors available that are intended to be glued in with the same adhesives that I mentioned. If you can find a Fastenal, Grainger, Hilti, or other specialty supplier in your area you're likely to find someone that can give you some good advice as to what is available for this project.

Offline NotAGrasshopper

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What you want is a bolt made by McGard.  I use them on my outboard motors but they have versions that are made for bolting into an anchor (like in concrete).  They are designed so you can't get a grip on them with wrenches, pliers, etc. but come out easily with the correct "key" which is just a socket with a laser-cut pattern that matches the bolt head.  Just screw down into an anchor in the concrete.





See here:   http://www.mcgard.com/AssetSecurityRevenueProtection/IntimidatorSecurityProducts


Offline mike77

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Wow, thanks NotAGrasshopper. It makes sense that such bolts exist, I just never thought to search for them! You're right, one or two of those holding down a plate of some type would take a lot of time to get through. I've got that page bookmarked now for future needs.

Offline NotAGrasshopper

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Wow, thanks NotAGrasshopper. It makes sense that such bolts exist, I just never thought to search for them! You're right, one or two of those holding down a plate of some type would take a lot of time to get through. I've got that page bookmarked now for future needs.

Just make sure none of the bolt shaft is exposed for someone to grab with vise-grips.  I'd also put high-torque (red) threadlocker on it before screwing in.

Offline justanotherjoe

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dont forgot to not leave tools around that can cut metal such as bolt cutters, saw zaw, torch, air powered cut off wheel, ect

Offline Illini Warrior

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I have cast iron stands that are floor flanged to the concrete .....  my grinders and vices are mounted to them ..... have all the portable stuff chained to them ......