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Antique Safes/Wright line safe


I have a wright line safe, vintage 1970s, 4 foot tall single handle, dial is 4L,3R,2L to stop at 95.
Opened couple of times , now will not stop at 95 cannot open. Wanted to know if it is worth repairing or buy new?
Thanks Bill


With the exception of the cheap safes sold by most of the big box stores, most safes are worth repairing and unless it is damaged, cheaper than buying a new safe.

The Schwab Wright Line series of fire safes, were designed for fire resistance only and are NOT considered a burglary resistive safe.   They are basically tamper resistant.  You will need to determine if you need the safe for fire resistance only, or if you also need burglary resistance to decide whether or not to buy a new safe.

If the safe was operating correctly, but now won't dial up and stop at 95, you probably have a mechanical problem with the lock.   Whether the combination is slightly off due to wear, use, old grease, etc., or whether you have a bigger problem with the lock, like a loose or jammed mounting screw, loose or broken lever/spring assembly, etc., will have to be determined by a safe technician.   Obviously the worse case scenario would be that the lock has to be drilled to open it up, but this WILL be determined by the actual problem.

Cost to open AND repair the safe should be in the $350 to $500 range (plus any replacement parts), which would probably be about 1/4 the cost of a similar new safe.

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.   Contact a local safe company to have a trained safe technician work on your safe.

You might try dialing +/- a couple numbers to see if it slightly off.  If it still won't open, you need service.

If you are able to get the safe open, DO NOT CLOSE OR LOCK IT, until after you have had maintenance done on the lock.

If you don't have any safe techs in your area, let me know where you are located (zipcode) and I'll see who I know in your area.

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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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