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Question
I have an old sentry safe, purchased at a flee market as a project safe, my goal is to open it without destroying it.I tried
many combinations from the combination the seller said he got with the safe at an estate sale,that hasn't worked so well. I then drilled two holes in the back,so i could see inside.I drilled a third hole in the cover on the inside of the door, i missed the top but got a good hole down about four o clock area.
I then lined up the notches and moved them to the twelve o clock position with the combination. my question is,when i move the dial it moves the wheel closest to the rear, that wheel has a deep notch that the fence can drop into, but it is not the drive cam that will pull the fence over to move the lock mechanism,or push the fence back out when relocking.what am i missing?

Answer
John,

Rule number one of servicing or working on safes - identify, identify, identify.

While you have identified the safe manufacturer, you have INCORRECTLY identified what you suppose is the lock.   There is no lever or fence assembly in this lock.   By misidentifying the lock in your mind, you have wandered down the wrong path to try to open the lock.

As you don't quite know what you have you need to start over (no you don't need to drill any more holes, you have more than enough now).

Basic scientific observation dictates that you determination how an item works through observation.    You have all of the tools at your finger tips, you simply need to use them and make observations AND conclusions.

Because of security and liability reasons, we do not give out ANY information concerning opening safes, other than proper dialing sequences, I cannot discuss the lock and/or its operation for you.   However this doesn't mean that YOU can't figure it out by using the dial, the handle and what you have already observed through the holes that you have already drilled.

While it would be easy for me to simply explain what is going on, I think that you will appreciate what you learn by observation and conclusions, and when you finally get it, it will either be one of those wildly cheering, congratulatory moments, or one of those "DUH" moments!

Good luck, you have all the info that you need, now, you simply need to put it all together.

Antique Safes

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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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