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Stiffel & Freeman Safe
Stiffel & Freeman Safe  
Hi I recently bought a house and found this old safe in the basement. The combo is on it but no one can open it. Curiosity is killing me as to what's inside....if anything. It is a 4 # combo. Attached is a picture of the lock. Hopefully you can give me some insight on how to open this thing!
Thanks!
Jenny

Answer
Jenny,

as you really didn't give me much to go on, the photo doesn't really help much, and you didn't provide the combination that you have so that I can try to "decode" it, I'll just have to provide some basics.

The two main locks that I've seen on these safes are the Yale 026/027, and the Yale OBB series type locks.  Dialing sequences are as follows:

Yale 027 series:

5 times left to the first number,
4 times right to the second number,
3 times left to the third number,
2 times right to the fourth number,
1 time left slowly until the dial stops (maybe around 10)

Yale 026 series:

4 times right to the first number,
3 times left to the second number,
2 times right to the third number,
1 time left slowly until the dial stops (maybe around 10)

Yale OBB series:

4 times left to the first number,
3 times right to the second number,
2 times left to the third number,
1 time right until the dial stops  (maybe around 0 or 100)

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.

If these don't match up with what you have written down, or you have a question, I would be happy to address it, though it would probably be a big help to see what you have written down.   Print it exactly as written.

Generally old owners write down the combinations the way that THEY understand them, and NOT necessarily the way that the lock actually works, so if you are still having problems, it may be necessary to have a safe technician (NOT a locksmith), check the safe and your combination out.

Hope this helps,

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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

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