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Deciding on what to construct to secure tools and valuables from theft and nature

 
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Hey all, I'm fishing for some ideas. I have nothing on my land at the moment, but a greenhouse, which can be plundered by anyone smart enough to turn a doorknob. I'm looking to store my tools and valuables without worrying about petty theft and sever wind. What could I build myself, within a week or two using mostly found objects?

There's lots of clay, stones, sand, and trees around me. I'm tossing around the idea of a ~2 meter tall cellar closet, that's mostly dug into the ground, which would help with durability, and it wouldn't stick out so much though I don't know how to enforce it, nor what to do for the roof (or at least a ceiling that could support a ground roof cover). Any ideas are appreciated. If you want an idea of the land I'm working with, here's my introductory documentation video
 
pollinator
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Hi Maruf,  congrats on the land purchase.  I'm jealous.

I've used a job box to store tools on construction sites.  They're just sheet metal, so they can be opened, but your average burglar won't have the tools to do that, at least the first time.  I know you are probably trying to keep the cost to nothing, but you need to consider the time and security trade-off in building something.  

If you've got time you may be able to find something free or cheap that would work.

Something like this, but I'd try to get one with a plate over the lock so they can't cut the lock off:

Job box!



edit:  One other thing to think about is to buy a used welder and some sheet metal.  You can build your own and you'll have a welder.  Failing that, find a welder, get him to make it for you, then work off what you owe him.

 
steward
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Maruf, beautiful land you have there! So tell us more about what you might have available to work with. Can you get pallets, windows doors or scrap wood from a local town or city? Do you have rope, or nails, what kinds of tools do you have? How many of the local forest trees can you harvest?

I think I would find a thickly branched place among the big pine trees. Find four trees that would be the four corners of a square. Trim off the "inside" lower branches to clear a building site, but leave the "outside" branches to hide where your shed will be. Collect/cut down dead tree trunks and either build walls using the four corner trees , sort of like a log cabin, or make cob and rock walls and then lay the dead logs over the top as a roof.
Your shed would be hidden among the pines and might also be protected from the weather a bit?

You could also build a dugout, as you mentioned, using the rocks and logs to form a roof and walls.
 
Maruf Miliunas
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Miles Flansburg wrote:Maruf, beautiful land you have there! So tell us more about what you might have available to work with. Can you get pallets, windows doors or scrap wood from a local town or city? Do you have rope, or nails, what kinds of tools do you have? How many of the local forest trees can you harvest?



There's a large fallen birch tree and some oak I could harvest, otherwise, I'm not cutting any live trees down this first year. I have lots of nails and glass that could be converted to windows, and I know where I'd be able to get pallets. As for tools, I'm still acquiring power & garden tools, and I'm considering having this structure store a solar system.

Miles Flansburg wrote:I think I would find a thickly branched place among the big pine trees. Find four trees that would be the four corners of a square. Trim off the "inside" lower branches to clear a building site, but leave the "outside" branches to hide where your shed will be. Collect/cut down dead tree trunks and either build walls using the four corner trees , sort of like a log cabin, or make cob and rock walls and then lay the dead logs over the top as a roof.
Your shed would be hidden among the pines and might also be protected from the weather a bit?



This is a fascinating idea. There's one spot in particular I think this could be a viable option. I need to scout some more.

Miles Flansburg wrote:You could also build a dugout, as you mentioned, using the rocks and logs to form a roof and walls.



Otherwise, I'm still considering how I'd do this. If I used the logs to form the roof, wouldn't they rot?
 
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We put our tools and things in a large heavy-duty plastic storage tub and left it at our place for a couple of years, between visits.  It was behind and under some trees so casual visitors couldn't see it if they drove onto the place.  Nothing was stolen.  I think the more purposeful you make your storage, the more likely someone will see it and think something in there is of value.  Making a brush pile over the storage tub might help conceal it.
 
master steward
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Tyler Ludens wrote:We put our tools and things in a large heavy-duty plastic storage tub and left it at our place for a couple of years, between visits.  It was behind and under some trees so casual visitors couldn't see it if they drove onto the place.  Nothing was stolen.  I think the more purposeful you make your storage, the more likely someone will see it and think something in there is of value.  Making a brush pile over the storage tub might help conceal it.



I think this is great! I believe camouflage is going to be the best way to prevent theft using what's on hand at the build site. (Nice piece of land by the way!) And if you do go the camouflage route, may I suggest multiple smaller stashes that are hidden instead of everything in one.

On a side note, I have a little story about theft. My buddy lives in a part of Nashville known for theft and crime. For years he left his lawn mower parked next to the house, and never had a problem. He build a small tool shed, put his garden tools and lawnmower in the shed and put a lock on it. Within a few weeks, the lawnmower was stolen. Just like Tyler mentioned, it seems to me also that if it's locked up, thieves think whatever is inside has value.
 
pollinator
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Bury an old freezer, put a pile of branches on top?

Could even put a padlock on it.. but camo seems more important than armor.
 
pollinator
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There's an old design for a waterproof underground cache where you can store small items that might be of use to you:

you buy a wide(>12") schedule 80 PVC pipe,  one solid end cap, one screw-on end-cap - seat&seal bottom cap, then bury vertically until the screw cap just barely sticks out(can add rubber gasket to seal if burying completely) - then camouflage with rock or brush pile.

You can store small tools, spare clothes, food, water, etc. - dry and out of sight. to get your money's worth in materials, make a few, and spread them around.
 
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Far as I know if he can see it he can steel it. I like underground stealth factor. I plan on making cone shaped underground rooms with the narrow end up level with soil and bigger room underneath with a compression ring at top or just a wood box holding sides in a ring.  In sandstone. It will also have a recharge well for drainage.
 
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