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Antique Safes/Yale Safe Combination


I have a Yale safe that I'm unable to open. The safe has been placed into the wall of a closet in my home.

The combination is as such:

## - Left, 3 turns
## - Right, 5 turns
## Left, 1 turn

I have opened safes before, but I am dumbfounded why I can't get this one to open. Is the combination that I have for another safe? Thank you for your help.

Hi Jonathan

there are only three reasons that a safe lock won't open, in order they are:
1.   Incorrect dialing sequence, operator errors
2.   Incorrect combination, wrong numbers
3.   Mechanical problems

I don't know where you got that combination, but it isn't even close to being correct.   The dialing sequence for a standard Yale, 3 wheel lock is:

4 times right to the first number, ##
3 times left to the second number, ##
2 times right to the third number, ##
1 time left until the dial stops (should be around 5-10)

Note:   Left is counter clockwise, right is clockwise.  DO NOT count the revolutions of the dial, count the individual number as it arrives at the 12 o'clock index mark.

For instance if your first number is 50, you would turn the dial clockwise (right), stopping the fourth time the number 50 ARRIVES at the 12 o'clock index.

Yale had quite a variety of locks over more than 100 years of lock making, and there are variations depending on the lock installed, however NONE of them operate the way that you indicated in your combination.   Your combination is not for any safe lock.

Note:  many times combinations are passed on the way that a previous owner understands it and NOT necessarily the way that the lock works.

If this dialing sequence doesn't work, then I will need more (better) info about your safe and/or the lock to provide you with the actual dialing sequence for THAT lock.

If it still doesn't open, then you possibly need to have it checked out by a safe technician from a local safe company.

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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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