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Antique Safes/Safe Restoration


I'm looking for the pinstriping, corner art and other markings for a Herring Hall Marvin Safe circa 1920. Is this something I can do myself. The safe is not in that bad a shape but was painted over some time ago.


Sorry, but original decals for various safes, manufacturers, etc. simply doesn't exist.   These items were made specifically BY the safe maker or for them.    Once out of business, any of these items goes with them.

But that doesn't mean that you are out of luck - fortunately in this day and age, you do have a lot of options, and they generally aren't going to be that expensive.

As far as answering your question about whether or not "YOU" can do it - I can't answer that as I have no idea of what your capabilities are as an artist or painter.    This is something that you will have to determine.

What was it Clint Eastwood said in Dirty Harry - "A man's GOT to know his limitations"!

Obviously to get quality graphics or decals, you ARE going to need a really good photo of the art work that you need replicated.    Good digital photos with high resolution and a computer can be used to get art work that is useable.

Once you have the photos or art work ready, you can contact a local graphics artist or one of the many digital sign companies that are around.    These companies are every where though they usually make signs and/or wraps for commercial vehicles.     If you have a good quality printer, you can obtain decal material and print your own.   

Other options include making your own guide (draw the design and cut out the area you want to paint), and then airbrush the design on to the safe.

Most of the basic pin striping is hand done, though you can obtain rolls of pre-made pin striping at most automotive stores.

After the art work and pin striping is completed, clear coat or varnish it to protect it.

Fortunately there are a lot of sources and people available to help you with your job.   For instance, check out the following web page to get some ideas - you might be able to find someone like this in your area.

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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