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  • Armor Plating

    Has anyone ever dealt with armor plating or know much about it ?

    I always thought it was just some kind of metal that was tempered in some way. I was working on an armored van for the past few days for our local donut patrol sert team. Today I was torching a shelf out of the van, the metal got cherry instantly and the stench was unlike anything I ever smelled before. The only thing I could think of is it might have some kind of coating on it. It is only 1/8" thick.

    Also, as I was torching, there layed a 9mm round in the corner, glad I found it and not the torch.
    Ken

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  • #2
    WOW! That would have sucked... I guess blown! Sorry couldn't help myself! We're glad you found it first too.
    I watched a show where they were armour plating a van one time. I thought they used something like a T1 plate, don't remember exactly what it was. I don't think T1 would have a strange odour from cutting it so maybe it was something completly different.
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    • #3
      i have tried to cut through a safe before, not saying that it was armored, but when i hit it with a torch...it got hot...and smelled funny too...but nothing else happened. ended up using magnesium slice rods to cut it open.
      welder_one

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      • #4
        Originally posted by welder_one View Post
        i have tried to cut through a safe before, not saying that it was armored, but when i hit it with a torch...it got hot...and smelled funny too...but nothing else happened. ended up using magnesium slice rods to cut it open.
        So are they still looking for you? And how much did you get?
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        • #5
          funny. it was left in an old house that a friend bought in an estate sale. the lady passed and had no relatives or friends, i guess. no one tried to claim anything for three years. there was nothing in it. good thing i cut it up though, i dont think that i would have beeen strong enough to pick it up in one peice...lol
          welder_one

          nothing fancy, just a few hot glue guns for metal
          www.sicfabrications.com

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          • #6
            Originally posted by welder_one View Post
            i have tried to cut through a safe before,
            Hmmm,
            Most safes are just regular steel like you'd buy at the metal yard.
            The more high security ones will have a piece of 'hardplate' as we call it, welded
            in front of the lock itself. Most of that is about the size of your hand, and
            is just cut up pieces of armor plate.

            A high secutiry one that's a 'composite' body will have a inner & a outter shell.
            These shells may be anywhere from 1/8th to a full inch thick. Usually, there'll be 2 to 4 inches of concrete poured in between them. That's why one about the size of a large refrigerator weighs 6-8,000 pounds. The 'rocks' in the concrete may or may not be real hard-- like a grinder wheel is made from, there could be ball bearings mixed into it, a steel frame like a old style ice cube tray looks or made from re-bar. A mix of steel cable type wires is common too. This is done to resist cutting by tearing up your tool's blades/bits.

            What you may have hit, and was trying to cook off is another little trick they have.
            Its this gooey stuff that looks like tar, but when it gets hot it makes a HUGE amount of a foul smelling and toxic smoke. Its blinding, and really chokes ya, plus it gums up tool blades/bits. If the stuff is in a safe, it will be painted onto the inside of the outer shell. From what you describe, that sounds like what you were heating up.


            I had to close up a 1/4" hole in one with the goo in it a few months ago.
            I weld up a drilled hole in them pretty regularly.
            It's expensive, takes awhile-- often hours, but that's how a real locksmith opens one. They'll drill into the lock, do thier majic, and get it open.
            To close the hole:
            I weld it flus on the inside using a MIG & (solid) .035--S-70 series wire:
            Weld some coming out, put in a piece of cut up drill bit, weld a little, more drill bits, &
            so one. Then weld the hold on the outside, grind it down and re paint the safe.
            This makes it almost impossible to re-drill another hole in the same spot.
            I hit that goo on one---- oh gosh, it filled the shop with this smoke & stench in a minute.
            I finally got it closed back up, but gosh what a mess.



            But on the armor plate:
            That's just a real hard steel, like a wrench or such is made from.
            Its about as hard as you can make it, before the alloy becomes brittle.
            Then there's some degree of tempering and or forging involed in making it.
            But any odd smell has got to be a coating of some sort. I cut & grind on small pieces of it here and there, and it never smelled different from other steel.

            .
            Last edited by Winger Ed.; 01-30-2008, 07:24 PM.
            "Gone are the days of wooden ships, and Iron men.
            I doubt we'll see either of their likes again".

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            • #7
              WingerEd,
              You sound really knowledgable about safe. My question is have you heard of cyanide bottles in the door of older safes? A buddy I work with told me about it a few years ago . I always wondered about it, did they use cyanide in the doors?
              Thanks.

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              • #8
                This is what it is..

                Armor plate is 2 sheets of steel hot rolled to form the bond. Both sheets are Ni-Mo-Cr alloy with the front or rather "facing" side tempered to Hc1 or almost twice the hardness of the reverse "backing" side. The purpose is for the harder face side to flatten or deflect a projectile while the reverse side catches it. The reason you where having trouble cutting is because you will create a back temper on the bonded surface with Ni-Mo that is pretty stubborn to cut. This medal Ni-Mo-Cr has been studied extensively and during cyclic oxidation tests at and above *800 it down right stinks. It is believed to be the scale spalling which by the way showed a trace of NiMoO4, that a foul odor is also born. But I guess it is also random. I guess you found the winner?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by tnjind View Post
                  WingerEd,
                  You sound really knowledgable about safe. My question is have you heard of cyanide bottles in the door of older safes? A buddy I work with told me about it a few years ago . I always wondered about it, did they use cyanide in the doors?
                  Thanks.
                  Sorry to take so long to get back to ya....

                  I'd never heard of that, but it wouldn't be a big problem to do I guess.
                  I've never seen or heard of racks, or holders for anything inside a safe door.
                  But, there is a space inside the door for the boltworks & lock.
                  A gap of 2-3 inches is common, and I guess you could set something like that inside the door, but I think it'd be illegal in most places.
                  It'd be sort of like putting a 'booby trap' that shoots an intruder with a firearm when they open a door or window in your house.

                  .
                  "Gone are the days of wooden ships, and Iron men.
                  I doubt we'll see either of their likes again".

                  Circa 1920.
                  Author:
                  Unknown US Coast Guard unit Commander.

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                  • #10
                    I didn,t mean to put the cyanide in the safe, but the manufacturer did inside the door shell. Heck to do that now adays would be liably danagerous.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by tnjind View Post
                      I didn,t mean to put the cyanide in the safe, but the manufacturer did inside the door shell. Heck to do that now adays would be liably danagerous.
                      I've never heard of it, and our locksmith guys never hesitate to drill into one,
                      no matter how old it is, or who built it.
                      Of the 4 guys we have that do drill into them, their years of experience doing it are-- 28, 15, 12, and 8.
                      And the owner of the company is 3rd generation, his family started the safe company in 1905.
                      None of them has ever mentioned it being done, or the need to watch out for the stuff.

                      I won't go so far as to say its a urban myth;
                      maybe perpuated by folks that just want anyone punching holes in their safes, but I think its a myth.

                      .
                      "Gone are the days of wooden ships, and Iron men.
                      I doubt we'll see either of their likes again".

                      Circa 1920.
                      Author:
                      Unknown US Coast Guard unit Commander.

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                      • #12
                        Sounds good to me, myth.

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                        • #13
                          Armour Plating

                          I have worked with a lot of special types of steel .......... This armour plate your talking about must have maganese in it ?.... just guessing ........ probably a **** secret what's in it ?????????....... i been offered a job in Irag armour plating vehicles and doing welding ......... got me thinking...... but a previous CO. just go back to me and I'll do a mill house easily this year ......screw the sands........ I'm dying to know what exactly is it the steel myself.........guess I can't help you much ........ somewhere in my files my Friend for NASA was trying to get me to Fab the Aluminum Boats.........That Armour plated to .........friggin Aluminum.........LOL.....can't figure...........I think STIR WELDING IS THE WAY TO DO IT..........???

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                          • #14
                            I never did find out what was in it. I checked with everybody except the company that made it. I do know a guy that worked for them at one time, he is a cop now, maybe a creme filled donut will get him talking
                            Ken

                            What else is there besides welding and riding. Besides that

                            Miller Thunderbolt XL 300/200 AC/DC
                            Hobart Handler 187
                            Dewalt Chop Saw
                            4" Air Grinder
                            Die Grinder
                            Rigid Drill Press
                            Kellogg 10hp Air Compressor


                            2009 FXDC

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Safety

                              I received this message in my "webmaster" account:

                              Regarding the thread titled Armor Plating in Welding Projects. Please warn the people never to cut into a safe unless they are confident they know what is contained inside that safe. A local construction company lost a 20 year old man last year when he was told by his boss to cut into an old safe. Turns out it contained blasting caps or some other explosive and killed him when it blew up. If you don't know what's in the safe use anything other than torches so you might be able to return to work the next day too.

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