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Antique Safes/Removing tumbler cover


Russo Safe
Russo Safe  
Russo safe
Russo safe  
QUESTION: Just picked up an old safe manufactured by the York Safe and Lock Company, York, PA, circa 1983

The person that sold me the safe never locked the inside safe and is not certain of the combination. The inside safe is currently open and unlocked.  In an attempt to remove the brass tumbler cover, I removed the one flat head screw and the cover slides about 1/8 inch to the right, But it does not come off. How do I remove the brass cover over the tumbler for the inside safe?

Thank You!



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As I mentioned in the previous response - ANY disassembly of the lock, should be done by a trained safe technician.   If the lock is not reassembled correctly, it can result in a very expensive lockout.    On this interior jewelers chest, you could be looking at $1000 plus, to have it opened and repaired if you make a mistake.

The back cover on the lock will be one of three types.    It will either simply come straight off, when you remove the mounting screw, it may slide sideways after removing the screw, or it may be what we term a "locked on by combination" (LOBC).    The LOBC type lock has to have the combination for the lock, dialed to a separate index mark to release the cover.
Based on your description, I would have to guess that you have a LOBC type lock.

If you don't have the combination then you will need to have a safe technician from a local safe company recover it, to allow the lock to be disassembled.

Trying to force the cover off, will result in damage.   Replacement locks are NOT readily available, and for one with the machined brass finish, you could be looking at $1000 - if you can find one.

I recommend that you have a safe tech from a local safe company check it out for you.    If you don't have a local company, let me know where you are located (zipcode), and I'll see who I might know or recommend in your area.

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

QUESTION: Hello Andy,

Thank you  for your advice!

Could you kindly recommend a safe company located near zip code 10549?




Hi Ron,

Fortunately I've got a really good company nearby that I highly recommend, not only are they really good safe technicians, but they also specialize in antique safe restorations, so they should be able to take care of any problems with your safe.

Precision Lock & Safe     about 35 miles
516-616-0854          Dov & Elaad Israeli
240 Jericho Turnpike
Floral Park, NY  11001

I could possibly come up with some other options, but no one better.

Give them a call and discuss your safe with them.

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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