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Antique Safes/PlymetL Air-Tite Clothes Vault Lock

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Lock Exterior
Lock Exterior  

Inside view of lock
Inside view of lock  
I have a vintage Clothes Vault with a door handle that has a key lock.  I have been aunable to find anyone who can repair or replace the lock.  The internal mechanism no longer works.  I have a key that fits but the locking mechanism no longer works.It allows you to turn the key but the lock does not work.  Is the anyone I can sent this lock to for repair or replacement.  I live in Columbus OH.  The locksith said I would need to contact the manufacturer however they are no longer in business.

Answer
Hi Jayne,

First let me start by saying that this "clothes vault" is not a safe, and so, kind of outside of my area of expertise.   Using the name "vault" does not make it one.   Oh, and while I'm on it - the word "vintage" applies to the bottling of a wine or harvest of a grape.   The "use" of the word to mean something "OLD", is a yuppie thing trying to make themselves seem "cool".   Sorry, just one of my pet peeves along with the incorrect use of the term "Patina".

Second observation concerning your "locksmith" - unfortunately, while there are many good locksmiths at work, the majority have simply become nothing more than trained monkeys - pull part off, put part on!    With very little actual training, and no real passion for the trade.

While you are correct that the manufacturer is out of business and therefore parts from them are NOT going to be available, this doesn't mean that your cabinet can't be fixed.   You basically have two options - first being simply leave it as it is.   "IF" your cabinet has any collectible value, then you would want to avoid making too many alterations - leave it as is.

If you simply have a desire to be able to lock the cabinet, then you are going to have to change out the handle.   This would be option two.   
Looking at the photos you have provided, it appears that the handle spindle is a square shaft, protruding through the back of the door, through the operating cam, and secured by a small screw.
A readily available (possible) replacement handle, would be a similar type, garage door handle.   Should be available at most hardware stores, for about $5-$10.  (Ace, OSH, Lowes, Home Depot, etc.).
Check to ensure that the spindle size is the same.   You can cut the length to fit.
As the front collar for the handle may require screws, you might have to either drill & tap or use sheet metal type screws to secure the collar to the face of the door.    This handle should have a key lock, though this would be very minimum security.   These cabinets were never designed or considered to provide any real security.

As far as repairing your handle - mechanical issues, require hands on diagnostics and repairs.  If your locksmith can't repair the handle (or is unwilling) to repair it, then you are pretty much left with the above two options.   As I haven't looked at it, I don't know if it repairable or not, or whether or not it is worth repairing (cost vs value of repair).

I'm sorry I can't be of more help, however as mentioned, this really isn't my area of expertise.   Also I apologize about the "vintage" thing - but I really hate that word!

Hope this helps and/or gives you some ideas.

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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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