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Antique Safes/Herring Hall Marvin class 3 bank vault door


I have a customer that wants to look into removing their existing class 3 vault door and replacing with a new one. The reason they want to do this is because they were told by someone with Diebold when they bought the building back in 1989 that the door was worth about a million dollars in precious metals. I don't believe it myself but told them I would look into it further.  What identifiers do you need from me and have you ever heard if this before?  I have always understood that it would cost more to replace a door of thisagnitude than the door is worth. Please let me know what you need to evaluate this door


Barnum & Baily Circus made their living off the idea that "there is a sucker born every minute" and "a fool and his money are soon parted".    (not that they actually coined either phrase - but you get the idea)!
Also, you may want to re-read the fable of the "Emperor's New Clothes"!

There is no "precious metal" inside of your door.    Other than possibly Steel or some alloy of steel for drill resistance, and possibly brass or bronze which was used for heat dispersion (anti torch).   There are no other metals in the door.

Next item is that I'm pretty positive that HHM was out of business prior to the UL classifications for vault doors, so unless it actually has a "CLASS 3 vault door label, it is NOT a class 3 door, which would be a top of the line door.
HHM has been out of business, since they were acquired by Diebold in 1959 during bankruptcy proceedings.   During an "anti-trust" proceedings against Diebold, they were forced to close both HHM and the York factories.   Both factoriy locations were shut down between 1962-64.

You are correct that removal and installation costs a pretty penny, especially if the current door is grouted in place.   You are going to have the cost to remove the old door, the cost of a new door, and the cost to install the new door (plus any shipping or freight charges).

Until the door has been removed, and cleaned up for sale - it virtually has no value.

My recommendation would be to call an actual safe & vault company in your area and have them discuss the possibilities with you.   It's obvious that the Diebold service rep didn't know what he was talking about.

Call Worldwide Safe & Vault in Miami at 800-932-2278 or call Vault Structures, Inc in For Meyers, FL at 800-226-3990 to discuss your vault door and replacement options.  

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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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