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Antique Safes/lock replacement


QUESTION: where can I find a lock that would replace the old dial type combination locks? Safe is an old herring hall marvin.


you will have to be a little more specific!

Are you looking for a direct replacement, or were you interested in something much newer???

HHM was in business from 1892 until it was acquired by Diebold in 1959 and subsequently shut down.    During that 68 year period, they used a lot of different types of locks, some of their own design, and later from different lock makers.

My answer WILL depend upon "WHAT" you are planning, and secondly by "WHAT" lock you have installed.

So first question - what exactly are you trying to do???  

Second question - what lock do you currently have installed on your safe???    if you don't know then I will need to see photos of the safe, lock and bolt work to help answer your questions.

You can send photos to me at:

sorry I can't be of more help, but I will need more info.

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

QUESTION: Just trying to lock the safe. Thought I could remove the existing lock and replace it with new lock and mechanism.


Again, I'll need to know more about the lock on your safe, to answer the question.

Next question,   Why are you thinking about replacing it???   Is there something wrong with it, or are parts missing???

You may not need to replace the lock, it may only need service and/or to have the combination recovered or reset.

As far as replacing it with a "new" lock - it WILL depend on what you actually have.   When the safe was built and what lock is installed.

I would like to answer your question or provide you some direction, but without more info or seeing the lock, the best I can offer is to have you contact a local safe company to have their safe technician check your safe out to see what can be done for you.

If you don't have a local safe company, let me know where you are located (zipcode) and I'll see if I know any one in your area.

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

QUESTION: Hey Terry, Thanks for your time so far.
I actually have four different safes at present. It is my intent to refurbish all at some point. I was hoping you could guide me to a parts source. I thought replacing old locks maybe more simple than recovering combination. All safes are open but I do not know if the locks are ok or not. I really don't have much information on the safes.
Again I was just hoping you could lead me to a source that handles all kinds of parts, locks, etc. My zip code is 36301.
Thanks again.

Hi Tex,

While I can see the direction that you are "heading", I have to say that you are probably off track.   Unless the lock is actually missing, or has an actual, unrepairable problem, then it probably only needs service.

Sorry but there is no "source" for old locks.   The safe industry is not like the old car industry.   There simply is not enough interest for safe companies to list or compile what old parts they have available.    That and the fact that any unique or good lock is probably in someone's collection.    Also there is no such thing as an "after market lock maker", producing "new" versions of old locks, for restoration work.

Simply put, if YOU are looking for something in particular, then you had better have a really good description of what you are looking for, so that when you go knocking on various safe company doors, they can tell you specifically that they do or don't have the part.

Safe company owners are NOT going to spend time rooting through boxes of old parts looking for items that "might" work for you, on the off chance that you "might" buy it.    If you aren't a serious buyer - and we could easily be talking hundreds of dollars for some old locks, and you aren't prepared to drop the cash on the table when the lock is brought out, safe companies simply aren't going to be of any help.

In general, the "old parts" that may be hiding in boxes at the safe or lock company, are parts that the owner is saving for HIS use, and not necessarily for sale to a customer.

I have talked with several safe company owners about starting up some type of parts clearing house, for exactly the thing that you are looking for, unfortunately, this would require a lot of work, with no guarantee that any of the items would ever sell - bottom line is that it isn't going to happen in my life time!

Possibly the nearest company that I would recommend your calling would be:

American Lock & Safe
2835 Glenview Ave
Panama City, FL  32405

While they are about 75 miles away, they should be able to look at your safes to determine whether or not the locks are useable, and whether or not you actually need to look for parts or not.
You will need to have a competent safe technician inspect ALL of your safes to determine WHAT condition that they are in, and whether or not you actually need to look for parts or not.    Ultimately, this WILL keep you from wasting a lot of your time and money, looking for parts which you may not need.

You may have a local safe technician closer than the one I've listed, but if so, I don't have any knowledge of their capabilities.

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

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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