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Antique Safes/York Safe


My wife purchased from her great aunts family this safe many years ago.
The dimensions are: 21 1/2" H (not including wheels),17 5/8"W,
17"D and has 4 shelves on left inside. Top shelf has pull open door,next shelf has pull out drawer,next two are open.
The numbers inside door:  Group 1 63675 ,Spec F1-D   1X25194
Exposure# 1713-1.
There are two marks above the dial: 1 at 12 o'clock position,and another at 1 o'clock position. The acorns on the hinge are solid.
The combo we were given is: 70 Right , 89 Left twice, 3 Right,
2 Left.
It will not open if locked which we do not do.
Any thoughts on this will be very appreciated. What good is a safe that can't be locked?
Thanks for your help.
Bob Folsom


There are ONLY three reasons that a safe lock will not open, they are:

1.  Incorrect dialing sequence (operator errors)
2.  Incorrect combination, (wrong numbers),
3.  Mechanical problems.

Many times combinations are passed on the way the former owner "understands" the combination, and NOT actually how it works.   This can easily result in errors which don't allow the lock to open correctly.

It appears from your description and the information that you have provided, that the safe is probably not opening from a combination of #'s 1 and 2.

The correct dialing sequence, assuming that your safe has a YALE lock would be:

4 times right to the first number, (70)
3 times left to the second number, (89)
2 times right to the third number, (__)
1 time left until the dial stops, should be around 10.

NOTE:   Left is counter clockwise, Right is clockwise.   DO NOT count the revolution of the dial, count the INDIVIDUAL number as it arrives at the 12 o'clock index mark.   Do not use the second index mark.

So for your first number, you are going to turn the dial clockwise (right), stopping the fourth time the number 70 ARRIVES at the 12 o'clock index mark.   As you are turning right, count 70 once, 70 twice, 70 three times, and stop on 70 the fourth time.

If this sequence does not work, then simply try reversing the directions or LRLR instead of RLRL.   if it still doesn't work, then you are either still making a dialing error or you do not have the correct combination.   At this point I would recommend contacting a local safe company.

Ray Talton
Talton's Safes
5924 Fayetteville Road  (401 South)
Raleigh, NC   27603

If Ray can't help you, he may know of someone closer to you.

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

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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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