In one corner, weighing 600+ lbs we have a heavy duty gun safe tucked snugly into the back corner of a closet the very farthest possible distance from the front door, in the other corner we have a married couple determined to stress their vows (and backs) to the fullest, weighing a whooping 270+ combined weight (if they’re lucky) and holding 4 year college degrees in Spanish and English respectively. Their task, is to move the safe from the closet into the garage, navigating sharp turns, narrow hallways, and 5 porch steps all without doing significant damage to the house or themselves. CAN THEY DO IT?
Why yes, yes we can.
It all started with an “I wonder…” “I wonder if we could move the safe out of the closet, just the two of us.” I don’t remember which one of us said it first, I’d like to take credit since I’ve been pesting Brian to move all of the boxes out into the garage it is likely I contemplated the safe’s removal early on. So, complete with pictures, here is the account of the stupidest and most dangerous thing Brian and I have ever accomplished.
Phase 1. Remove safe from closet to living room. Start with inching it onto the dolly and securing very tightly with strap designed for such purpose. Shuffle, push, pull, groan, anything to get the safe out of it’s cozy niche in the corner and into the middle of the closet. Then comes the fun part, Brian pulls on the dolly, I push from the other side, the goal is to get the safe tilted backwards on the wheels of the dolly-Brian supporting its entire weight-so we can then jointly push/pull it out of the closet. Getting it to that tipping point is a little rough, but we manage.
Getting ready to tip it back!
Ok, I have tried and TRIED but this ancient computer and my crappy satelite internet is not allowing me to attach any more pics into this post. That one up there took 3 hours to attach, no joke. SO, verbal description here goes.
We get the safe to the living room without a hitch, navigating several narrow doorways, some sharp turns from the bedroom into the hallway, and the lip between carpet and the little square of wood floor that is our foyer. We’re feeling pretty good (read, I’m going “Yeah, woohoo, we can do this!” and Brian is going, “Thats the easy part, it’s the next bit that’ll be the problem.”) Time to get the safe outside and down the stairs. Drum roll please as we start Phase 2.
We have a plan. We retrieve the ramp we had constructed for Remus when he was a puppy and not allowed to do stairs for fear of damaging his joints. It’s a sizable ramp, and we had used it to get the safe INTO the house in the first place. We place the 4x4s and a 2×4 beneath the first step which is directly our of the doorway onto the porch, and position the ramp so it comes right up to the door and slants gently down across the top of the four steps to the sidewalk. Here’s the thing-it’s not a direct angle, the distance from the entryway step to the first porch step is gently sloping, from that first porch step to the sidewalk is a much steeper angle. So the ramp is sticking off of the porch (not touching anything but the first lip of the first porch step and the entry way step) AND the ramp is too short to actually touch the ground even if we could magically bend it so it fit both angles. See how this may not be a good idea? We perservere.
With much huffing and puffing, we get the safe over the lip of the doorframe and onto the ramp. Brian wheels it out and we lay it down so it is horizontal the ramp. Enter the stupidity. We inch the safe down the ramp and I sit behind Brian to provide some weight. The ramp is now one giant See Saw, Brian and I on one end, a 600lb safe on the other, a weather worn beat up ramp teetering on the edge of the top porch step. As he inches the safe further down the ramp and I struggle to keep my end of the see saw from bouncing up, we both start having second thoughts about the wisdom of this idea. He’s not worried about the concrete, but if the safe slides off sideways it could do significant damage to the house. I’m worried about it flinging one, or both of us, right off the porch. This just seems like a bad idea, but we can’t haul the safe back up, so our only option is to stand up as fast as we can from our end and let the safe go rushing down the ramp to the concrete on it’s own. On the count of three.
I’m pretty sure my heart stopped. Like, not just one PVC but a serious period of Asystole, but it worked, and whats worse, our ingenuity and level of stupidty seem to ratchet up a notch after this brief success. Now begins the Third and final Phase. The safe is now horizontal on the concrete, and no amount of struggling on our collective 270lb muscle strength can get the safe back upright. It is well and truly stuck. We start contemplating asking the neighbors for help (see! We have a tiny bit of common sense left!) But our next door neighbor has a broken foot, and the other guy we know in the neighborhood just had his neck fused together. Going door to door seems to much like admiting defeat, so we ponder the safe as it gets darker and darker outside.
Brian then goes, “This is a really bad idea. A REALLY bad idea. But it might work.” I raise a timid eyebrow, not sure if I want the answer. “I have those tow ropes in the garage, we could hook one on the bottom of the safe, wrap it up and around it and attach it to the lawnmower to pull.”
Yup, really bad idea. After some joint hashing out of the problem we decide using the car is probably better than the lawn mower, Brian has a spot to secure the tow rope on the back of the Lexus and he promptly backs it into our yard. Long story short, we end up with the Lexus attached to a strap that goes over the vertical length of the safe and hooks underneath on the dolly, and then another strap that goes from the bottom of the dolly underneath the safe to the bottom 4×4 of the PORCH. Yes, we were going to attempt to jerk the safe upright using straps and our combined liberal arts majors’ knowledge of basic physics, one of our cars which we rely on for transportation, and our house. I was TERRIFIED.
It took a few attempts to get the “feel” of how much force would be needed, and then Brian slowly starts inching the Lexus forward, the safe inches forward until the strap connected to the porch strains taut and then oh so slowly, the safe starts tipping upright. Brian is trying not to move the car too fast, but in an eyeblink the safe goes from upright to falling face forward, Brian moves the car forward quickly to avoid the safe crushing the rear of the Lexus (I am turning blue from not breathing), the strap attached the porch jerks the dolly backwards, and the safe is now leaning precariously forward, strung between the porch and the Lexus by the now mangled strapping to the dolly. But it’s no longer horizontal, right?
I’m so relieved that nothing important is damaged at this point I feel like I’m high. Brian gets out of the Lexus and goes, “This is like one of those pictures they post on facebook with the caption “How did THAT happen?” beneath it. I’m laughing, it would be a completely redneck feel if it weren’t for the fact that the car towing the safe is a Lexus. I guess that’s a little better than the Prius, but I can’t help but feel there is a little bit of redneck in all of us. Anyway, Brian and I pull and push and get the safe back to upright. After that it’s just muscle to shuffle it back onto the side walk and roll it into the garage. We don’t even unstrap the dolly we are so tired. Brian is irritated about the bugs (it’s now dark) and the after shocks of our stupidity, I’m pretty much euphoric.
Check the facebook pictures for a better visualization of what happened. I’m inexplicably proud of having managed to do this, even though we could’ve been seriously injured or significantly damaged the house in the process. Darn right, us skinny liberal arts majors got skillz!