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Antique Safes/Migh-T-Safe


We have a Migh-t-safe floor safe, serial 5257, in a 1930's house, and we have the combination.  It has been many years since we opened it, and now it doesn't want to open.  I feel the "click" at the last number, but when I then turn the dial left, it stops, but safe won't open.  Feels like it wants to, but perhaps there is dirt on the bolts, or?  Dare I squirt WD-40 or something around the edge of the cover?


I doubt that you have ever had it actually cleaned and serviced.   Mechanical items need regular maintenance to keep them operating.  Due to the unique mechanical arrangement in this particular door, and its "friction" actuator, dirt & debris or old lubricant can cause it to cease operation.

WD-40 is a water displacement and/or penetrating type fluid and NOT a lubricant.   It should never be used in locks.  Even if you tried to flush the door, the majority of the fluid would only make its way into the bottom of your safe, ruining any documents you might have.   Very little would find its way into the lock.

As far as it being in a 1930's house, this company appears to have been in business from the mid 1950's until around 1970.   I haven't found any references earlier than 1955 or later than 1970, so it only appears to have been around for about 15 or so years.  So your safe could be between 40-60 years old.

You can try "rapping" on the safe door at the point where you feel it trying to "click" (engage), to see if it will unlock and retract the locking bolts.   Use a deadblow hammer or rubber mallet - you are hitting it for effect - if you are causing damage then you are hitting it too hard.

If you still can't get it open, you may need to have a safe technician from a local safe company check it out.

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Terry V. Andreasen (Andy)


Safe and Vault related Questions; Antique Safe Repair and Restoration; With over 40 years in the Safe & Vault industry, if I can't answer your question I know where to get the answer. Current Project: Restoration of two Tilton & McFarland Safes from the 1860'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.


40 years in the Safe & Vault Industry. 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. 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

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 - 2013 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

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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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