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I spoke with Matt from Matt's Antique Safe Restoration, he told me how to get in touch with you.  I have an antique Cary Safe Co. safe that I am having an issue with.  I have the tumbler mechanism out of the safe.  With the door open, I was working the bolt mechanism open and close to make sure it all worked before closing the door.  I noticed when I closed the bolt, there was part of the mechanism that could slip and make it so you are unable to open the mechanism.  I'm not sure what this piece is called but it is a square piece that has a slotted hole in it.  If I put a small bolt in the slotted hole, it would keep that piece of metal from slipping into place where I wasn't able to open it.  So, long story short, I put a small bolt in that piece, closed the door, and am now unable to open the door again.  Keep in mind, I have the tumbler out of the safe and do have the dial turned to the last number of the combination.  Do you have any idea's of how to get the safe open? or know of anyone that could possibly help me?  I'm located in Arkansas.



I would be more than happy to take a look at what you have.   As the Cary Safe Company used 8 or 9 different locks during various periods, I want to make sure that we aren't getting into that whole "apples & oranges" thing.   Let's make sure we are discussing the same item.

Send me a photo of the part that you are referring to so that we are both on the same page.   Hopefully you took some photos before closing the door.    If you don't have any photos, I'll need to know your serial number so that I can look at the lock that "SHOULD" be on your safe.

Several of the locks used during later years had relocking triggers installed, if this is the case, and you have activated the trigger, the safe will possibly have to be drilled to open it.

As far as ideas on how to open your safe, I have plenty of ideas, unfortunately, as I'm in California, that doesn't do you much good.

Send your photos to me at and I'll take a look at them.   Or send me your serial number and I'll see what I can do.

Now you understand why I never recommend lock disassembly as a DIY project.   What seems like a simple item can result in what could be an expensive lock out.  

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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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