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Question
QUESTION: This unit has a Yale lock on it
The unit(read door) is open But the lock is locked
where can I find instuctions to unlock it and reset the combo?

ANSWER: Hi Steven,

As long as the door is locked open, you can have the combination recovered.    Safe Cabinet Lab. safes haven't been made since around 1955, so your safe is going to be OVER 60 years old.

The lock will require disassembly to either recover or reset the combination.

NOTE:   I NEVER recommend lock disassembly as a DIY project for the same reason that I don't recommend using locksmiths for most safe work.   Lack of training, knowledge and tools can result in a very expensive lockout.

Note:   As the locks on this safe haven't been available in over 50 years, any damage to the lock done as a result of incorrect disassembly or combination recovery can render the safe useless.    Retrofitting a current model combination lock onto the safe will also be fairly expensive.

My recommendation is that you contact a local safe company to have their trained safe technician service the lock to ensure proper operation, and to either recover or reset the combination correctly.

The cost for this service will be several times less expensive than if you accidently lock the door while trying to reset or recover the combination.

Check your local yellow pages under safes & vaults for a local company.   If you don't have one, then let me know where you are located (zipcode) and I will see who I know in your area that I might recommend.

Final note:   This manufacturer was known to have used asbestos as an insulation media.   As long as the safe is sealed and the insulation is not exposed it does not pose a hazard.   Holes drilled into the insulation can result in asbestos exposure.




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

QUESTION: It looks like I could drill from the inside of the lock to through the back plate.
I could view from behind the rotation of the lock and thus reverse the combination.
is this correct?  Steven

ANSWER: Hi Steven,

Sorry but for obvious security and liability reasons we do not give out any opening instructions other than proper dialing sequences for the lock that we would expect to find on your safe.

Regardless if you are the owner or a licensed locksmith or safe technician - we have no way of verifying what your relationship is to the safe and/or whether you even have authorization to work of the safe.

Sorry that I can't answer your question any further.

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

QUESTION: Heyguys, maybe I wasnt clear
the door is open and I think I can dril the back plate so as to view the internals
if it wasnt my safe it would not be opn and unlocked.
so looking from the back side of the door it looks as if I could open that up with a drill or grinder so as to see the tumblers rotate till the i can read the coresponding nos, when finished the hole is on the inside and the door will be intact. I understand your liability but maybe a smily face if Im moving in the right direction.  your right this safe is over eighty years old.  Steven

Answer
Hi Steven,

between the first posting and second posting the part about the door being open did get lost, so I misunderstood.   Don't misunderstand my previous posting as we have no idea who is asking questions concerning safes and we have to exercise caution not only to protect ourselves but you and your safe as well.

If the lock is a Yale lock, then you don't have to drill a hole in the back cover to recover the combination, most likely the lock is a hand change lock, and you can decode it.

To reiterate what I wrote during the first posting:

As long as the door is locked open, you can have the combination recovered.    Safe Cabinet Lab. safes haven't been made since around 1955, so your safe is going to be OVER 60 years old.

The lock will require disassembly to either recover or reset the combination.

NOTE:   I NEVER recommend lock disassembly as a DIY project for the same reason that I don't recommend using locksmiths for most safe work.   Lack of training, knowledge and tools can result in a very expensive lockout.

If you elect to disassemble the lock to recover the combination yourself, I understand that, as many people are interested in saving money.   HOWEVER, that being said - DO NOT CLOSE AND LOCK THE SAFE, until you have insured that the combination works successfully several times.   The cost to open and repair the safe afterwards would FAR exceed the cost you are saving by doing it yourself.

When you take the lock wheel pack apart, lay out the wheels and spacers EXACTLY the way you remove them off the post.   Even turning one part over can keep the lock from working correctly.

Each wheel is composed of two major parts - the wheel and the hub.    The orientation and alignment of these two items is what sets the combination number for that wheel.    There is a separation ring between the two pieces.   The wheel has the numbers engraved around the circumference.    On the outer edge of the hub is a small index mark, usually set about 180 degrees opposite of the moveable fly area.    THE NUMBER or index line representing a number that THIS index line is adjacent to is the number that is set on that wheel.    Observation of each wheel will give you the numbers that are set on the wheel pack.

Reassemble the wheel pack in the reverse order that you took it apart and reinstall it in the lock.   Test dial the combination that you have obtained by dialing the correct dialing sequence for your lock.    I'm assuming that your Yale lock is a three wheel lock, so the dialing sequence should be:    

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 - or stopping at "0" - then turn the handle to open.

If any of these instructions don't make sense, or you run into any problems - STOP - call the local safe company and have them reset it correctly to ensure that every thing works correctly.

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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