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Antique Safes/mosler TL30 ?

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Question
as a dealer of antiques and vintage music instruments i have made a lot of friends in the antique business. an elderly lady who has been in the antique business for over 50 years whose husband recently passed has asked me if i can help her open her husbands safe. it appears to be a mosler single round door tl-30. the number on the front of the safe body is, 11196-3. she has the combination that her husband had wrote down for her but i cannot open it with these numbers. he had wrote down five numbers, r-59, l-30,r-49, l-74, r-88. in the early 1970,s i took the course from the locksmithing school of little falls new jersey and worked as a locksmith in cincinatti for ten years until i moved to florida. i had 5 safe books but left them at the shop when i left. i thought you might have the factory preset combination on hand and would appreciate any other knowledge you can pass on to me about this safe. i have been out of touch so long that i just discovered today that mosler went belly-up some years back.
thanks for your time and help.
steve

Answer
Steve,

I'm not sure where this "Factory Preset" or "Default" combination thing came from (other than the movies), but there is no such thing.   While some companies, like Mosler, did set ALL their safes on one of two numbers,  The working combination would be set when the safe was sold to the first customer, or placed into service.   Once the combination had been reset, the original combination is gone forever.   There is no default that the lock reverts back to, or has a back up combination.

All Mosler safes from the 60's through the end were either set on 50-25-50, or simply 50.  While you can try these, chances are the safe would have been set to a combination of the customers choosing.

Based on the combination that he has written down, the lock would have been a 4 wheel lock with the following sequence:

5 times right to the first number (59)
4 times left to the second number (30)
3 times right to the third number (49)
2 times left to the fourth number (74)
1 time right until the dial stops (around 88).

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.   For instance for the first number, you would turn the dial clockwise (right) stopping the fifth time the number 59 arrives at the index mark.

Hope this helps, if not contact a local safe company to have their safe tech check it out.

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Terry V. Andreasen (Andy)

Expertise

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.

Experience

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

Organizations
Safecrackers International and the National Antique Safe Association Safe & Vault Technicians Association

Publications
The Coffee Table Guide to Antique Safes AllExperts.com

Education/Credentials
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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