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View Full Version : What's the best way to keep my furniture on the porch?


Zsofia
04-24-2009, 08:47 AM
It has a tendency to get aspirations and become ambulatory. (Suspiciously, two Mothers' Days ago, my lovely copper birdbath took it into its head to search for greener pastures. Perhaps it lusted after tropical birds.)

The porch is a big old-fashioned concrete thing. I was wondering if it would make sense to put in eyebolts by the wall, where they wouldn't bother anything, and chain my stuff down. Is that the best way? The smartest way? And how would I go about doing that? I have the "normal" set of homeowner's tools - power drills, etc. I don't have any masonry bits but obviously I could get some. Do you just drill a hole the size of your bolt and screw it in? Do you need some kind of epoxy also?

Or is there a better solution I have not thought of? (Razor wire would ruin the view.)

I believe when people steal my stuff it's a crime of opportunity, not of planning, usually, and so I'm just trying to make it a pain in the ass to take. I know anybody with boltcutters or a handsaw is going to be able to take off with anything of mine they want, I'd just like them to take it from my neighbor instead.

beowulff
04-24-2009, 09:53 AM
Eyebolts can be unscrewed. You might want to consider hammer-in concrete anchors (http://www.ramset.co.nz/images/lift_ties_anchors/ShureDrive%20Anchors.jpg). Other than that, you have the right idea. A hammer drill would help a lot.

Solfy
04-24-2009, 10:05 AM
I don't know if this would be more difficult for you, but when porch furniture took to migrating in our neighborhood, the answer was motion detecting floodlights set on a timer. Oddly enough the theives didn't appreciate having lots of light to assist them.

Zsofia
04-24-2009, 10:08 AM
I HAVE motion detecting lights. And when I say "they steal shit off my porch" I mean "right in front of the window"! (Granted, it's obviously when we're in bed, but still! It's the living room window! The cats are watching them!)

Zsofia
04-24-2009, 10:10 AM
Eyebolts can be unscrewed. You might want to consider hammer-in concrete anchors (http://www.ramset.co.nz/images/lift_ties_anchors/ShureDrive%20Anchors.jpg). Other than that, you have the right idea. A hammer drill would help a lot.
But how do you keep the furniture attached to the anchors? (I don't want to have to actually nail the furniture to the porch - I'd like to be able to move it, or rearrange it, or get nicer stuff in ten years without having to pry out the bolts.

J-P L
04-24-2009, 10:19 AM
Chain the furniture using the eyebolts and a padlock, make sure to run the chain thru the furniture, not simply around them.

beowulff
04-24-2009, 10:28 AM
But how do you keep the furniture attached to the anchors? (I don't want to have to actually nail the furniture to the porch - I'd like to be able to move it, or rearrange it, or get nicer stuff in ten years without having to pry out the bolts.

Buy (or fashion) a piece of metal with two holes in it. Hammer an anchor into the concrete through one of the holes, attach the chain to the other.

Zsofia
04-24-2009, 10:35 AM
Ohhh, <smack>. I get it. :) How easy are those things to install? I'm a weak little girly girl.

Chief Pedant
04-24-2009, 10:45 AM
Well, of course the BEST way is to get better "neighbors" but if this means getting to a better neighborhood, easier said than done, particularly in today's economy.

Without photos, it's hard to be specific, but I wonder if one option would be to use a bicycle cable. The advantage would be that it can be locked and unlocked easily.

I think an eyebolt (buy stainless steel) properly secured to concrete (your hardware store can show you the various options, but they are all easy) is pretty reasonable light security for the impulsive easy-target thief. Run the cable through the eyebolt. Options for how to secure the belongings themselves to the cable depend on what they are specifically...

You can get regular cabling (plastic-sheathed will weather better) and simple crimp clamps to make custom lengths and loops; all pretty cheap. You can drill holes in existing belongings where none exist.

You can also try the motion detector approach, with either lights or the fake but startling dog barks, or even the alarm approach. All of these sometimes deter the feeble-minded who just need to swipe something they can exchange for petty cash.

And assuming you aren't too liberal, if the thieves are reasonably predictable, hang out at the window some night and gun one of them down. Spike the head on a patio lamp pole and let it sit there with a small sign that says, "We strongly discourage folks from 'borrowing' our patio furniture." It may not deter the next crackhead, but you will feel a LOT better.

beowulff
04-24-2009, 10:51 AM
Ohhh, <smack>. I get it. :) How easy are those things to install? I'm a weak little girly girl.

They're pretty easy to install, but you are going to have problems drilling into concrete without a hammer drill. You can rent one for a few hours at your local tool rental place, or maybe one of your neighbors has one you can borrow.

I think Chief Pedant's Vlad approach has merit, also.

Chief Pedant
04-24-2009, 11:05 AM
They're pretty easy to install, but you are going to have problems drilling into concrete without a hammer drill. You can rent one for a few hours at your local tool rental place, or maybe one of your neighbors has one you can borrow.

I think Chief Pedant's Vlad approach has merit, also.

Actually, I think concrete holes are do-able with a regular drill; even a cordless if it's not a totally feeble one.

Get a carbide-tipped bit, large enough to drill a hole for the sleeve anchor (assuming you use that approach) for your eyebolt. Again, a good hardware store should set you up for a few dollars. I'm assuming you want to discourage the snatch-and-grabbers, not the guy with the two-foot bolt-cutters.

If you go the eyebolt approach, remember to get one with a screw (tapered thread), and not a bolt (uniform diameter), end. You can then screw this into the sleeve anchor that's been tapped into the hole you drilled by simply putting a screwdriver (or other rod) through the eye and turning it. It sounds complex, but it is really really easy.

beowulff
04-24-2009, 11:53 AM
Actually, I think concrete holes are do-able with a regular drill; even a cordless if it's not a totally feeble one.

In my experience, drilling into concrete without a hammer drill is an exercise in frustration. Yes, it can be done with enough time and effort, but if the concrete is really hard, with big aggregate (like one of my old houses), you are going to waste lots of time. Of course, one could get lucky, and have nice, soft concrete, but I wouldn't bet on it.

Chief Pedant
04-24-2009, 12:08 PM
In my experience, drilling into concrete without a hammer drill is an exercise in frustration. Yes, it can be done with enough time and effort, but if the concrete is really hard, with big aggregate (like one of my old houses), you are going to waste lots of time. Of course, one could get lucky, and have nice, soft concrete, but I wouldn't bet on it.

Good advice. I do agree with you there...old concrete can get pretty tough. And you are certainly right that a hammer drill makes it easier. Still, for a few bucks it's worth a try with just a carbide tip. If your ordinary drill doesn't cut it, you can go looking for a hammer drill.

One thing I don't recommend is concrete nails. I don't like the ones you shoot in and I have never had good success with the ones you hammer in.

Zsofia
04-24-2009, 12:28 PM
And assuming you aren't too liberal, if the thieves are reasonably predictable, hang out at the window some night and gun one of them down. Spike the head on a patio lamp pole and let it sit there with a small sign that says, "We strongly discourage folks from 'borrowing' our patio furniture." It may not deter the next crackhead, but you will feel a LOT better.


After the Mother's Day incident, I am not at all too liberal for the "gibbet at the river's mouth" deterrent option.

I believe my dad has a hammer drill. However, if I ask him for it he'll insist on coming over to do it for me and he's 78 with a bad back. You can't tell him anything, though.

Quartz
04-24-2009, 01:11 PM
I believe my dad has a hammer drill. However, if I ask him for it he'll insist on coming over to do it for me and he's 78 with a bad back. You can't tell him anything, though.

So distract him with the grandchildren while your husband does the drilling. :D

Zsofia
04-24-2009, 01:33 PM
By the time I rent a husband and some grandkids I could have just rented the drill. :)