bunker: April 2010 Archives

keep the f*** outWatching the bunker door materialize was especially satisfying after a lengthy design and planning process. This is not a traditional bomb shelter blast door. It's design is unique to the needs of a RECESS.

The door is fabricated from ~300 lbs of steel, and will be reinforced with a combination of stacked plywood and ballistics foam. The exterior surface is a plate made from welded 1.5" angle iron; intended to trap, reflect, and fragment small arms fire (see my bunker door ballistics tests here).

This bunker door opens to the inside, and features a removal hinge to eliminate the possibility of entrapment. Two pieces of 2" square tube steel will lock the door against it's 4" square tube steel frame once the shelter is occupied.
intimidating enemies with your bunker door
The primary goal of this design is intimidation. If a RECESS exists to protect your personal cache of water, food, and essential survival gear then the first purpose of your RECESS door is to discourage entry.

A friend, frienemy, or foe that happens across this door should be inspired by its nightmarish appearance and aggressive surface, and immediately question whether or not they even want to try and enter the space. Notions of firing at the door or attempting to batter it down will be cowed by the apparent impossibility of the task. An actual attempt will prove futile, and a waste of valuable ammunition and/or energy.

Hit the jump for some pics of the final assembly.


When I designed RECESS, the plan called for a drain in the center of the bunker floor to evacuate rainwater (seep), spills, blood from the slaughter of animals, or human waste.

As plan became reality, I recognized the flaw in my design: property. The bunker was the lowest point in my backyard, so in order for the water to flow out, the pipe would need to exit the side of the hill that my house sits on. Unfortunately, that "hill" was subdivided thirty years ago, and the downhill side is owned by a neighbor whose roof line sits level with my backyard.

trenching in an emergency drain pipe

After about a month of discussion, I managed to convince my neighbor that the 3" white PVC pipe I wanted to punch through our shared block wall was a good idea. He has a large garden at the base of my drain pipe. I suggested the water overflow would be to the benefit of his prize-winning squash.

trenching in an emergency drain pipe

During the first phase of construction, I'd plumbed the drainpipe out past the deck so that I could more easily tie into it. Now, I had to relocate that pipe and dig a very narrow trench sloping downhill to my neighbor's yard to set the extension into.

taking the pipe to the wallthe end of the line


Once the pipe was tied in, I carefully measured down the block wall on the property line, and chiseled through the find the pipe. The result is fairly discrete. The drain pipe exits the wall, turns 90 degrees straight down, and darts into a length of perforated PVC buried in my neighbor's flower bed. If an emergency ever requires me to begin flushing solid waste, I could hop down and crack the length of pipe extruding form the wall.

This was a terrible chore, and one of the most labor intensive tasks of the bomb shelter construction. It was also the last transformation the yard would undergo as a result of the RECESS construction. Everything remaining is landscaping (concealment), fascia, or interior preparation (waterproofing, stockpiling, comfort improvement). 
 

{ Bunker Living }
  • Hanging the Bunker Door
  • Connecting the Drain
{ resource map }
 

{ live stream }

 

{ get connected }