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Antique Safes/Denio & Roberts


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Hi, we have an old Denio & Roberts key safe but no key. Is there a way to have a key made?


Yes a key can be made for your lock, however several problems present themselves.

First question:   Is the safe open or locked closed???

1.  If it is locked closed, then you will need a safe technician familiar with antique safes and their locks.   Using someone who is not could damage or ruin your safe.  If you find a locksmith or safe technician who can either "pick" the lock, or "impression" it this could solve part of the problem.

If the safe is open:

2.  You will need a locksmith or safe technician that is familiar with working on locks on old safes.

3.  As their are no "blank keys" available for this type of lock, they will have to be hand made.

4.  If you have a locksmith or safe technician available that CAN impression the lock to make a key - you are better off, however most locksmiths these days seem to be little more than "trained monkeys" simply replacing locks with other locks.   Many of the skills that are part of this trade have been lost.

5.  If you don't have anyone available who can impression the lock, then the lock would have to be removed from the safe, in order to fabricate a key and fit it to the lock.   while some of these safes do have access panels on the back of the door, to gain access to the lock, many of them are mortared over.   It may be necessary to remove the mortar to gain access to the lock in order to work on it.   Afterwards the lock would be reinstalled and either re-mortared in place, or I would suggest leaving an access hole to the lock.   This would mean re-placing the mortar, using a dam to leave a hole large enough to access the lock.   A plug can be made of the new mortar to place in the access hole to retain some of the fire resistance.

NOTE:   While these older safes were designed to be fire (or heat) resistant, as old as they are, they meet no current standards, and may have lost all of their fire resistance due to cracks or broken insulation.   These antique safes should NOT be counted on for use as a fire resistive safe.

If you don't have any local lock or safe companies, I can see who I know or would recommend in your area (I need a zipcode).   Unfortunately, in the entire US there are only a handful of safe techs that I would probably recommend to work on your safe.  Fortunately, there are a couple in Massachusetts that I would recommend.

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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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