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Antique Safes/J. Baum safe


Safe, Denise
Safe, Denise  
My grandparents have a J. Baum safe that I am interested in transporting to my house.  Do you have any idea how much this safe might weigh?   I am also interested in finding out more about the value of the safe.  Please let me know what other pictures you will need to estimate the value of the safe.  I have tried to research the J. Baum safe company but haven't found too much information.  If you have any general information about the company that would be great!  The safe works beautifully- we have the combination as well as a key for a small compartment inside the safe.  The dimentions of the safe are:  23" wide, 24" deep, and 32" high.  There are nine patent dates listed on the inside of the door, ranging from 1906-1908.  Can you tell me why there would be so many patent dates?  Thank you for your help with this- I am really excited to get some more information about this safe!

ANSWER: Denise,

Based on the size that you have given me, the weight of your safe is probably going to be around 800 lbs.   Over 600 / less than 1000 lbs.

The reason there are several patent dates on the safe, is because they reference DIFFERENT patents that apply to the safe, the lock, the insulation material, etc. etc.

I would be more than happy to look at the safe for you.   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, artwork, 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.  If your safe has a unique historical perspective, you should be able to document this with letters, newspaper articles or photos, if not it is simply a story and will have no bearing on the value of 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 10mb 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.

Our informal evaluation is at no charge, however if you feel you need a formal evaluation or appraisal for insurance, estate sales, donations for tax write offs, or to establish it as an antique, there is an administrative fee for this service.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you for your help.  Do you have any suggestions about how to safely move this safe?  It will have to be moved from the basement of my grandparent's house to the first floor of my house.  We live about 300 miles from each other.  Thanks again!



I always recommend using someone who is trained to move heavy equipment, and has the proper equipment.

Generally people have no concept of weight, over a couple hundred pounds.   Once it gets heavy enough that they can't move it easily - it doesn't matter if it is 500 or 5000 lbs, they just can't grasp that much weight.
Where the problem comes in, is when trained movers make the job look relatively easy, everyone thinks that they can save money and do it themselves.   When a heavy safe decides to move the wrong way, you aren't going to be able to stop it, and by nature - people have the inclination to try to grab it to "save the day"!   This is where hands, arms, legs and feet get crushed, and the heavier the object the faster they move, and the more damage they cause.    Even professionals can get hurt if they aren't paying attention.

Contact your local safe companies to find out if they move safes, what is the limit of their capabilities, and how much do they charge.   If you have a trailer, you could have a company load it for you, then you transport it, and have a second company unload it and put it in place.

Because of the inherent dangers of moving heavy objects, I never recommend moving safes as a DIY project.   Especially as you have to move this one up a flight of stairs.   Special equipment (stair climbers) are used for this part of the project.

Hope this helps

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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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