You are here:

Antique Safes/Help with opening and old Safe

Advertisement


Question
Lock pic
Lock pic  
Safe pic
Safe pic  
QUESTION: Hello Andy,

I would like to ask for your advice.  My grandmother has and old  Remington & Sherman Co. safe in Guatemala.  Unfortunately she had a stroke and sadly her mind is not the same.  She was the only person that knew the lock combination.
What would be your recommendation for having the safe opened without damaging it or destroying it?  By chance do you know any safe & vault experts down in Guatemala?
I would greatly appreciate any input you may give me.  
Sincere thanks,

Al

ANSWER: Al,

The lock that I would expect to be on this safe, based on your photos, and the patent dates, I would suspect it to be a Yale 062-1/2 model lock.

The dialing sequence for this lock would be:

5 times right to the first number,
4 times left to the second number,
3 times right to the third number,
2 times left to the fourth number,
1 time right until the dial stops.

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

Note:  If you don't have a combination, with a 4 wheel lock, there are a potential 100,000,000 possible combinations.   Testing 500 every day, would only take about 553 years to test them all.   If you have some numbers from your grandmother, you can test them, using the above sequence.


I'm sorry, but I don't have any contacts to refer you to in Central America.   You may want to check some of the larger cities to see if there are any safe companies (NOT locksmiths).    See if they have a safe technician who can work on your safe.


Sorry I don't have a better solution.    Hopefully your grandmother will recover some of her memories.


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

QUESTION: Thank you so much for the answer!

I was afraid it was not going to be easy.  If I manage to ship the safe to someone like you, how much would it cost to open it and having the safe back in working order?

Again thanks for your help,

Al

Answer
Al,

In the shop, total cost for opening the safe, and recovering or resetting the combination (including servicing the lock and bolt work) would be $375 US.

I have no idea what the shipping costs would be, but it might be more than the safe would be worth.

One of my Safe Techs is from Mexico.   He goes back on vacation every year or so.   I'll discuss the work with him, as he could do it also.

Send me an email with your contact info, and I'll talk to him about it.    If we can work something out, that might be a solution for you - but no promises!

Send the email to me at:   andy@securitysafeusa.com  

Antique Safes

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Terry V. Andreasen (Andy)

Expertise

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.

Experience

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

Organizations
Safecrackers International and the National Antique Safe Association Safe & Vault Technicians Association

Publications
The Coffee Table Guide to Antique Safes AllExperts.com

Education/Credentials
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

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.