You are here:

Antique Safes/Trying to open an old in floor safe



G logo on safe dial
G logo on safe dial  
Hi Andy,

I have a long shot question for you: I recently redid the flooring in my retail store and found a cylindrical safe in the concrete. No discernable marks on the safe except the letter "G" on the dial. It has some surface rust and the cover to the safe was completely rusted over.

My question is: How would I go about opening the safe? It does not bother me that there is a safe in the floor as it adds to the motif of my store, but would also like to use it if possible. If this is a pipe dream of mine, that is fine. But it is worth a shot to see what I can do. I have attached a few pictures to see if that would help.

Thank you,



The door is a "Gary" Safe Company, round liftout door, probably the C-50 series.   This company was in business from the late 1950's through the early 1980's when it was acquired by Allied Security of Seattle, becoming Allied-Gary International.  around 1990 Allied-Gary was acquired by NKL group, which was acquired in 1995 by FireKing International.   While FireKing DOES still manufacture under the Gary logo, this is NOT the same company and parts are not available for your door.

While I'm sure that the safe can be opened and returned to an operational status, parts are not available, which means replacement parts would need to be fabricated which may make the restoration of the door cost prohibitive.   There may be a few old doors laying around, however finding them may be a problem.

Cost to have the safe opened should be in the $300 to $500 range, but repairs and/or restoration including parts might be extra.   If you can find a replacement door, it may cost $300-$400 as well.

As you are in the California area, there are a number of safe companies that I would recommend to take on the service (including mine), just let me know where you are located and I'll see who I can recommend.

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.