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Antique Safes/Hall Safe



My mother recently inherited a safe she believes is a Hall safe from my grandmother. The safe was my grandfather's office safe from back when he owned a Chevrolet dealership in the 20's or 30's.

The good news: the safe door is open. The bad news: we don't know the combination.

Will a regular locksmith ruin the value trying to set a combination? She lives in St. Croix falls, WI and I could bring the safe to a reputable locksmith in the St. Paul / Minneapolis area if you believe that would be best and have a referral.



First off, I never recommend using a locksmith for safe work.  They generally do not have the training, knowledge or tools to work on safes.  While a safe technician is usually, also a locksmith, rarely are locksmiths also safe technicians.

I'm not sure why you think that recovering or resetting the combination would ruin the value of the container, unless you believe the locksmith would have to damage the safe in order to do the work.   Kind of like having a mechanic damaging your engine to change the oil.   If you have this fear, then THAT person is NOT someone you want working on your safe OR your engine!!!

You should be looking for a safe and vault company in your area.  Check your yellow pages under "safes & vaults", for a local company.   if you can't find one, or don't trust them, then you might try:

Dale's Lock & Safe Service
612-455-0403   Dale Scharr
2751 Hennepin Avenue South, #278
Minneapolis, Minnesota  55408

Lundblad Safe Works
651-482-1225     Mark Lundblad
2286 Cowern Pl E
North St Paul, MN  55109

A-Dave's Lock & Safe
612-529-0863     David Paulsrud
2019 Emerson Ave. No.
Minneapolis, MN 55411

Hope this helps,

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Terry V. Andreasen (Andy)


Safe and Vault related Questions; Antique Safe Repair and Restoration; With over 44 years in the Safe & Vault industry, if I can't answer your question I know where to get the answer. Current Project: Restoration of an Ely Norris Cannonball Safe from the early 1900's. Will answer Safe & Vault related questions concerning age, value, restoration, moving, opening & repairing, parts, operation and history. Note: It is not my intention to teach you to open safes or to provide information which may aid in the unlawful opening of a safe. I will not give out drill points or information which I deem inappropriate.


44 years in the Safe & Vault Industry. Owner and Service Manager for one of the largest Safe & Vault companies on the West Coast. Graduate of Lockmasters Safe Lock Servicing, Safe lock Manipulation and Safe Deposit Lock Courses. Graduate of Locksmith Institute. Author of "The Coffee Table Guide to Antique Safes". Certified Instructor for the California Locksmith Association teaching Basic and Advanced Lock Servicing, Basic Safe opening and Repairing. Factory Trained by AMSEC, LORD Safes, LeFebure, Mosler, KabaMas, LaGard and Sargent & Greenleaf

Safecrackers International and the National Antique Safe Association Safe & Vault Technicians Association

The Coffee Table Guide to Antique Safes

Graduate of Locksmith Institute 1972 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Lock Servicing 1974 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Lock Manipulation 1975 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Deposit Lock Servicing 1985 Instructor Certified - California Locksmith Association - 1985 Factory trained by AMSEC, MAJOR, STAR, Johnson-Pacific, Kaba-MAS, Allied-Gary, ISM, Lord, Brown Safe, EXL, Mosler, Diebold.

Awards and Honors
2009 - 2015 Listed in AllExperts top 50 Experts. All Experts Categories - Safes & Security Containers, Locksmithing, Antique Safes. Retired US Army Chief Warrant Officer (CW4), with 39 years of total service. With numerous awards from Vietnam, Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. US Navy - 1971-1981 US Army Reserve 1984-2013 US Army Retired

Past/Present Clients
US Secret Service, FBI, BATF, Local Law enforcment agencies, Diebold, Hamilton Pacific, Red Hawk Int., Chubb International, Bank of America, Wells Fargo Bank, Mechanics Bank, El Dorado Savings Bank, many Credit unions and smaller banks. McDonalds, Togos, BurgerKing, TacoBell, Carls Jr. FoodMaxx, SaveMart, Lucky's, Albertson's, Raley's, Safeway, NobHill, Bell Markets, PW Markets. Great America, Century Theatres, Cinemark Theatres, UA Cinemas, and many homeowners and small businesses. Provide warranty service for lock and safe manufactures. Service area is Northern California - Fresno to Oregon, including western Nevada

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