You are here:

Antique Safes/Time locks


I have a victor cannonball safe patent date 1908 that has three time locks on the back of the door plus a third square spindle the size of the ones on the clocks. When I turn this, two locking lugs opposite each other extend. My question is how do I set these locks so the door cannot be opened until a preset time. Also, can this be done with the door open so I don't accidentally get the door locked and not be able to open it. When wound the clocks seem to run perfectly.


This is an automatic device.   When the time clocks have been set, winding the automatic device will secure the door when it is closed.

NOTE:   As this IS an antique device, I WOULD STRONGLY recommend that you do not use it, until after it has been checked by a trained safe technician, familiar with these devices.   I would also recommend having the movements serviced at the same time.

ONLY AFTER service would I consider locking it.  closing and locking the door without verifying the operation of this device MAY cause a VERY expensive lockout.

Regardless of how the clock movements APPEAR to operate, if they have not been serviced  in the past 2-3 years, then they are overdue.   Normal maintenance schedule for the movements would be one movement every year over a three year period.
Normal maintenance on the locks, bolt work, hinges and operational mechanics would be every year in commercial use, and every 3-5 years under residential (occasional) use.   Caveate to the maintenance schedule would also include, having service schedule as soon as you notice any problems.

The mechanical combination lock on the exterior of the door will secure the door from rotating.   While it is NOT the main lock, it will suffice until you have had the rest of the safe serviced.

Antique Safes

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


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

©2017 All rights reserved.