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Antique Safes/1892 Safe


Inside missing lock hardware
Inside missing lock ha  

Right inside door
Right inside door  
I am having difficulty getting my pictures and messages to you.  I am not sure what needs to be done differently.  I have tried the email address you sent me.  Sometimes it goes and sometimes it doesn't.    I have sent about 10 emails with pictures.  Please advise...

This is the original note I first sent:

There is no history with this safe.  It was abandoned in a warehouse and my uncle's wife gave it to me.  I have had it for 10yrs and it has been sitting in my barn.  I want to make it functional with new parts, old parts, or used parts.  I am having trouble finding parts.  I bought new...Sargent and Greenleaf lock and dial.  I have fabricated a new back plate.  I took the old dial pins out.  I took them to a machine shop and had new ones made, so not to ruin the originals.  I just about have a functional safe, but am not happy with the lock and dial.  They look cheap and in turn operate in a cheap way.

I would like to have a better quality lock and dial.  I would like to know what you can tell me about my safe from the pictures I am sending you like what year, when was it made, its original use, etc.  Just for the folk tale info.  I want to restore it and place it in my home.  It would be great to have a photo of what it looked like when it was new, so I can duplicate the design.  I want to know where I can or how I can get quality parts that will make the safe look like a "real" safe and that it functions like a safe of this quality.  

Can you tell me what the extra knob is for?  I know the D-ring opens it...  combination unlocks it... I don't know what the extra knob is for??  

I understand that you are busy.  Boy, do I understand busy!  So, I look forward to when I receive a reply with answers to my questions.  If there is anything else you need information on or more pictures...just let me know!

Thank you for your time and expertise.  It has been a long journey trying to get quality parts for this beast.



You didn't mention "what" lock (S&G Model) that you are using, which would make a difference.   My recommendation for THIS safe, would have been a S&G 6500 series vault lock.

You were asking about the secondary knob on the safe (where your lock would have been).   The standard lock used by Hall's at this time was a "straight Tail Piece" type lock.   After the combination was dialed, the handle would be turned driving the tail piece into the lock and retracting the bolt work.
In your case the handle turns a cam plate while retracting the bolt work.   The lock on this safe would have a blocking bolt which would have been retracted by the SECONDARY dial, after the combination was dialed.

Without having a serial number, I can't tell you what year it was made, but it would probably have been in the 1860's or 70's.  You can see the shadow of where the lock was to get an idea of how large this lock was.   Unfortunately, it is probably in someone's collection at this point.

I'll look for your other photos in my email - hopefully I can catch up with them before this weekend as I have three separate Memorial Day events I'm participating in, and it will be an extremely busy weekend.

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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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