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Antique Safes/old safe


QUESTION: I have a floor safe that was given to me it is a Diebold specF1-d  I dont have a combination for it how can I reset it or how do I find the combination for it. There are some numbers in it.  The man who gave it to me said he thought it had to be at least 60 or more years old  
         Thanks judy

ANSWER: Hi Judy,

The label that you got the "Specification F1-D" off of is the Safe Manufacturers National Association (SMNA) label, this specification indicates that the safe was a tested, fire resistive safe.   Also as SMNA quit testing or labeling safes in the early 1960's, your safe would be at least 50 years old, though possibly older.

As far as the combination goes - "is the safe open, or locked shut"????

If it is open, then it is relatively simple for a trained safe technician to recover or reset the combination on the lock for you.    However if it is locked shut, then you will need the safe technician to open the safe first.   Costs to open locked up safes is much more expensive than simply changing the combination.

I'm not sure what you are referring to when you mention "there are some numbers in it", you will have to elaborate some more.

Note:   I never recommend using locksmiths for safe work, as they generally do not have the training, knowledge or tools to work on safes without causing excessive damage or charging exhorbant fees.   if you don't have a local safe company, let me know where you are located (zipcode) and I'll see who I might know or would recommend in your area.

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

QUESTION: Thank u so much for getting back to me so quickly the safe is open and my zip code is 62946 I would realy like to be able to reset the code .


Unfortunately, while you may have a few small lock, key and possibly safe shops in your area, the nearest company that I would recommend is about 130 miles away.   You would basically have two options - him coming to you, and/or your taking the safe to him.    I cover a really large area of about 120,000 square miles, and routinely drive up to 400 miles many days, but you would have to discuss the service with him.    He may know of and/or recommend someone that is closer.

Frank Zykan Safe & Vault
St. Charles, MO 63301

Note:  If the door will lift off of the hinges, you don't have to take the whole safe, just the door in for service and/or combination recovery.

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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