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Antique Safes/Safe value


I am getting ready to list a safe for value.  It is a Shaw Walker with a changeable combination lock. It functions well and have the current combination. It has all of it's adjustable shelves and I have photos of the inside and out and also the number listed on the plate for UL listing?  (#S50696)
My question is, am I in the right mind to list at $600.00 OBO in hopes to get an offer of at least $450.00?  

Thank you!


While you are more than welcome to list it for what ever you would like, the container has several issues - first would be the age of the container, second would be whether it currently meets any standards, and third would be the overall condition of the container.

Shaw Walker built safes from the early 1900's until the 1960's or early 70's, though they continued to make fire resistive equipment into the early 1990's.   So many of their containers do NOT meet any current standards, and have little value.   In General these containers are considered office equipment, and NOT an actual safe, even though it may have a combination lock on it.   They are designed to protect documents from fire.

Ok, the first thing we need to establish is HOW OLD the container actually is.   Unfortunately the information on the UL plate only applies to the label, and NOT the safe,  as this manufacturer is no longer in business, as "Shaw Walker" (current owner of the label is "SMEAD Manufacturing"), their serial number records for the containers are also no longer available.  So If you don't have some documentation on the container, I'll have to see it to determine its approximate age.

Second, based on its age, we will determine whether or not it meets any current standards for fire resistance.  In general, when a manufacturer goes out of business, UL limits the authority of its standard testing to 10 years.   We actually use up to 50 years as a "cutoff" date, of course based on condition, so at a minimum, your container is easily OVER 20-30 years out of UL date.

Third, obviously condition & size will determine potential value.    I'm not sure where you came up with the $600 "OBO", value, but if someone needs a container of equal protection, you would be surprised  how cheaply, that you can obtain similar containers at many of the big box stores

Ok, bottom line, to be able to evaluate the container to see if the numbers you have come up with are fair, I would need to see the container.  

In order to answer specific questions, identify, evaluate or appraise your safe, I'm going to need photos.  They should include full exterior and interior.  Detail photos should include pictures of the dial, handles, hinges, labels, locks, bolt work, castors, cabinetry and any special details or damage.  Note:  You may have to remove the back panel on the door to gain access to the lock & bolt work – I will need these pics.
If you have a particular detail that you have a question about, I will need a photo of it along with your question.

I will also need to see any documentation that you have in regards to your safe.  

Please use as high a resolution as possible so that I can examine details of your safe.  Pictures which are low resolution, out of focus, or from a distance don’t help when we try to evaluate the container.  Note:  with higher resolution, you may only be able to send 2-4 pictures per email, depending on the size of the file, I have a 12mb limit per email.  If photos are larger than 2mb each, you may only be able to send 2 or 3 photos per email, requiring several emails.

Please don’t send me “cell phone” photos.   Also, please don’t use online, internet photo drops as most of these also don’t allow me to easily access the photos for examination.   Send the pics directly to me, while this may be more work for you, it will make my job easier.

Please send all of the requested photos to:

Note:  As I am in the field several days each week, covering a huge service area, I may not get back to your photos immediately, but I will respond as soon as I get an opportunity.  Due to field work, emails may tend to get backed up which means I may not answer them immediately.

As soon as I get the opportunity to see what you actually have, and to figure out how old it is, I'll be able to answer your questions.

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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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