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Antique Safes/Antique Postal Alpha Dial Combination


QUESTION: Do you have any knowledge of how to open antique US Postal alpha dial combination banks.  The bank consists of 2 alpha dials, A-K on first dial and L-V on second dial. We have the combination, however we do not know how to open.


Sorry, but my area of expertise is actual safes not banks or Postal box locks.   While I'm sure that I could figure it out and open it for you, this would be a hands on project.

As you also did not provide me with the combination that you have, I have no way of trying to decode it to give you some type of dialing sequence to try.

Assuming that each dial controls two wheels, the dialing sequence would be something like:

first dial (A-K)
2 times left to the first letter,
1 time right to the second letter,
Second dial (L-V)
2 times left to the first letter,
1 time right to the second letter,

If this doesn't work, try reversing the sequence or RL vs LR.

Hope this helps, if not let me know WHAT letters you have, and I'll see what I can come up with.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: No luck;  The combination is G3 R2;  The letters have three marked lines between the letters which are also marked with a line.  I thought the combination was to turn the dial a certain number of times then stop on G and then to third line past G and same with the R to second line past R. I can't get it to work for me, however I do not know the number of times to spin dial or if I spin dial right or left.


without having the postal box in hand, all I can do is make a guess - as I said items like this are not in my area of expertise.

Try turning one dial 3 times to "G", and the second dial 2 times to "R".

You may want to check out both dials for the lettering.   If one dial has a G and the other an R, I would try them in this order.   If they both have a G and R, then trial and error.

You might want to check with the following location/individual to see if they have any better information, as they sell similar items.

they may need a photo of your particular post office box to determine what you have and any info about it.

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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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