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Antique Safes/Old acquired safe.


Mystery Safe 1
Mystery Safe 1  

Mystery Safe 2
Mystery Safe 2  
Dear Terry,
I see you helped many people with their antique safe questions. I was wondering if you might also help me out?

I acquired this old safe from a house I rent out, after the tenant moved out. It measures 37" Wide, 51" High, 30" Deep. 43" from above the wheels to the top of the safe.
My questions are...

1) Can you tell me the manufacture of this safe? I have not been able to find any identifiable marks on it besides the name on the dial, which from reading some of your other posts I see only identifies the lock.

2) Is this safes locking mechanism damaged? Should the handles be Horizontal/Vertical instead of on an angle?

3)  What do you think the dial sequence is on this safe? Eg. 4 left to #,3 right to #, 2 left to #, Right to # , open

I have some additional pics of the wheels and hinges but this site would only allow me 2 uploads If that would help you.




Once a safe has been painted over, like yours, and most of the reference information lost, we have to go over it with a fine tooth comb to figure out what you actually have.   

As you didn't indicate WHAT lock that you have on your safe (name on dial), I would only be guessing at what you have.   Generally safes like this had 4 wheel locks, so the dialing squence would either be RLRLR or LRLRL - example:

5 times right to the first number,
4 times left to the second number,
3 times right to the third number,
2 times left to the fourth number,
1 time right until the dial stops (should be around 80).

If this doesn't work, change directions or LRLRL vs RLRLR.

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.

If you can't figure out the combination, you WILL need to have a safe tech from a local safe company open the safe for you.   NOTE:  I never recommend using locksmiths for safe work as they generally don't have the training, knowledge or tools to work on safes without causing excessive damage.

I would be more than happy to look at your safe to try to ID it, however, most of the items that I need to see are going to be on the inside so you won't be able to get the photos I need until it has been opened.

In order to answer specific questions, identify, evaluate or appraise your safe, I'm going to need photos.  They should include full exterior and interior.  Detail photos should include pictures of the dial, handles, hinges, artwork, locks, bolt work, castors, cabinetry and any special details or damage.  Note:  You may have to remove the back panel on the door to gain access to the lock & bolt work – I will need these pics.
If you have a particular detail that you have a question about, I will need a photo of it along with your question.

I will also need to see any documentation that you have in regards to your safe.  If your safe has a unique historical perspective, you should be able to document this with letters, newspaper articles or photos, if not it is simply a story and will have no bearing on the value of your safe.

Please use as high a resolution as possible so that I can examine details of your safe.  Pictures which are low resolution, out of focus, or from a distance don’t help when we try to evaluate the container.  Note:  with higher resolution, you may only be able to send 2-4 pictures per email, depending on the size of the file, I have a 10mb limit per email.  If photos are larger than 2mb each, you may only be able to send 2 or 3 photos per email, requiring several emails.  Please don’t send me “cell phone” photos.

Please send all of the requested photos to:

Note:  As I am in the field several days each week, covering a huge service area, I may not get back to your photos immediately, but I will respond as soon as I get an opportunity.  Due to field work, emails may tend to get backed up which means I may not answer them immediately.

Our informal evaluation is at no charge, however if you feel you need a formal evaluation or appraisal for insurance, estate sales, donations for tax write offs, or to establish it as an antique, there is an administrative fee for this service.  

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Terry V. Andreasen (Andy)


Safe and Vault related Questions; Antique Safe Repair and Restoration; With over 40 years in the Safe & Vault industry, if I can't answer your question I know where to get the answer. Current Project: Restoration of two Tilton & McFarland Safes from the 1860'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.


40 years in the Safe & Vault Industry. 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. 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

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 - 2013 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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