You are here:

Antique Safes/1930ish I believe Mosler Bank Vault Door


Hi Andy, the vault door in question has a wheel for the bolts and quantity two combination locks that reside above one another. My question is since the current owner does not have the combination for either lock is there a way to somehow go about determining the combinations or a way in which to 'reset' the locks to a default combination for 'reprogramming'? If yes could I locate a local #Florida# locksmith and pay you to instruct him/her as to proper protocol? Or do you ever travel to the Central Florida area where I could pay you to perform such a service? Or would the locks themselves need to be removed and replaced - if yes then I would probably not be interested in the door as it would no longer be original. Based on your answer if I have an additional follow-up question do I enter it here or could I contact you directly since time would be of the essence? Thanks in advance for your expert assistance.


There is no such thing as a "default" combination for mechanical combination locks.   "A" combination would be set on the lock after it was installed, and it could/would or should have been changed on a regular basis for security reasons.

It will require partial disassembly of the lock to either determine what the current combination is set on, and/or to reset it for a new combination.    I NEVER recommend lock disassembly as a DIY project for the same reason that I NEVER recommend using locksmiths for safe work.   Lack of training, knowledge and/or tools can result in an expensive lockout.

The locks don't need to be replaced, assuming that nothing has been done to them to neutralize them - but again, they would need to be checked out by a competent safe technician.

I would recommend that you contact the following company to discuss having the vault door serviced, and the combinations recovered or reset.   At a minimum they will know safe technicians in your area that they would recommend if they can't help.

Worldwide Safe & Vault Company
3660 NW 115th Ave,
Doral, FL 33178

While they do have 24 hour tech support, there regular hours are basically M-F 8am to 6pm

Obviously depending on the overall condition of the door, I don't see why it can't be brought up to fully operational condition, of course this is subject to an actual inspection of the door.

Hope this helps.  

Antique Safes

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


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

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

©2016 All rights reserved.