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Antique Safes/Gary Safe Floor Model 47998


I own a Gary Safe Company model 47998. The safe has never been used. I only have the top, no bottom to lock into. I have a Gary Safe Company card with the safe combo on it 85,37,6,56. A Gary Safe envelope with the safe number on it with three keys; two identical with stamped #14294 and a third labeled "Preparatory 4". My problem is that after turning the knob in the sequence and entering the four codes the three locking tabs do not retract. When I turn the knob I can feel the resistance passing each of the code numbers in the sequence. Do you think it just needs service, cleaning and oil? I would like to get the base for it to lock into.


There are only three reasons that a safe lock will not unlock, in order they are:

1.  Incorrect dialing sequence, (operator errors)
2.  Incorrect combination, (wrong numbers)
3.  mechanical or service problems.

ASSUMING, that you have the correct combination, the problem would either be you are making a dialing error of some sort, or as you surmise, the door may need service.   IF the combination was ever changed, then you can dial it all day long, and it won't unlock.

Solution is simple, take the door to a local safe company to have it serviced, AND either the correct combination recovered, or have them ensure that you are dialing it correctly.

Second problem - lack of a safe body.   Good luck with this one.   The Gary Safe Company hasn't been around for years.   Gary Safe, merged with Allied Security (Spokane, WA), in the 1980's, becoming Allied-Gary International.   In the early 1990's it was acquired by NKL Safe, and in 1999 NKL and its subsidiaries were acquired by FireKing International.
FireKing International still manufactures under the logo "Gary by FireKing", (, however they do not make round door safes and/or bodies.

About the only safe bodies that you will find to fit your door, are probably cemented into someone's house, so this pretty much leaves you with three choices:
1.  use the round door as a door stop or paper weight.
2.  have a neck fabricated / machined to fit your door, then it would be a simple task to build a body - size of your choice, with the only limitations of the length of your arm.
3.  Buy a current model new safe, and see choice number 1 for your door.

If you choose choice number 2, to have a neck fabricated for your door, if you do not have a local machine shop to make one for it, you can send the door to me as I do have a machine shop available.   Once the neck is made, we can fabricate a body based on your requirements.

As far as pricing, I would have to have the door, to make all the measurements, to get a fabrication prices.   Obviously before we make the safe, we would get your approval for the work.

Cost for a new model (different manufacture), round tube body with door is around $750-$1000.   Manufacturer is currently redoing their pricing and new prices may not be available for a month.

Hope this gives you some options, and ideas.

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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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