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Antique Safes/Cary Safe combination reset


Cary Safe
Cary Safe  

Locking mechanism
Locking mechanism  
I have recently acquired an old Cary safe. I understand it may have been a jewelers safe that may have been installed inside a larger safe. I do not have the combination. I was wondering if it is possible to obtain the combo or reset it with another number. The door is open, but the dial only turns now slightly left and hardly a bit to the right. Although I have them, the plates have been removed from the  back of the lock to prevent it from locking. I see a number 4411 stamped on upper outside frame.

Although I am only going to use it for an endtable in my cigar room, I would love to make it work again if possible.  Thank you


This is NOT a jewelers Safe, it is a Jewelers Chest.   You are correct in that this container would have been mounted INSIDE of a Safe.

The lock in use on this container is a Yale M-16.   This was a later model Yale Y6, modified to include a relocking trigger inside the lock.   The safe that this would have come out of, would probably have been made between 1910-1920.

As far as its use as an "end table", I think it will make a GREAT conversation piece.   Especially if you get it in full working order.   How does that commercial go - cost of Cigar - $15, look on your friends face when you retrieve them from the safe - Priceless!!!!

This lock used a hand change wheel pack (probably with 3 wheels).  Each wheel consist of two main parts, the outer wheel and the inner hub (like a car tire).   There are numbers running around the edge of the wheel.   Opposite the moveable fly on the inner hub, on the edge of the hub is a small scribe mark.   The alignment of this scribe mark, next to a number, dictates what number THAT wheel is set on.
The wheel on the bottom of the wheel post is the number one wheel and first number of your combination, the wheel on the top (or closest to the drive wheel, when assembled) is the number three wheel and third number of the combination.

NOTE:   I don't recommend disassembly of the lock as a DIY project for the same reason I don't recommend using locksmiths.  Lack of training, knowledge or tools can result in a lock out.

Dialing sequence should be:

4 times Left to the first number,
3 times Right to the second number,
2 times Left to the third number,
1 time Right until the dial stops (around 80).

NOTE:   Left is counter clockwise, Right is clockwise.   DO NOT count the revolutions of the dial, count the individual number as it arrives at the 12 o'clock index mark on the dial ring.

If you can't figure it out, call a local safe company to have their safe technician check it out, service it and/or reset the combination.

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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

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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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