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Antique Safes/Denio and Roberts Safe


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I read your answer about the Denio and Roberts safe.  I have no key but it opens and closes no problem and the makers mark is barely readable but it appears to have an 1840's date on it.  Who would you recommend to make an impression key in Boston, Massachusetts.



Hi Spiro,

You have a very beautiful safe.

You may not be able to have a key impressioned for the lock on this safe, for a couple reasons which include:
1.   The type of lock installed,
2.   Lack of key stock,
3.   Lack of trained locksmiths or safe technicians.

With older safes like this, because blank key stock doesn't exist, the majority of the locksmiths around are NOT going to be able to simply impression a key as most will lack this simple skill, and more importantly, don't have the knowledge to hand make a key blank to use.

Up through the 1960's (at least), locksmiths were expected to obtain a certain amount of training, and apprenticeships were still common.   After the 1960's and the "hippie revolution", people expected to be able to take a short cut to the president of the companies office, without having to actually do any training, and in many cases without having a clue about what the company actually does.   Unfortunately this spilled over into the locksmith industry until today, where the majority of the locksmiths are little more than trained monkeys.   If you can't pull a part off and put a new part on, they don't know what do to.   I am always stunned by the number of these so called locksmiths that have little to no skills such as picking locks, impressioning keys or fabricating locks and keys from scratch.

So in answer to your question, YOU are going to have to knock on some safe company doors until you find someone who might be familiar with your safe, enough to hand fabricate a key.

Generally, the way it is done, is to hand fit the key TO the lock, which is not quite the same as impressioning.   This may require partial or full lock disassembly to fit a key.

Possibly the only or closest person that I would recommend you contact would be:

Hanover Lock & Safe
Lock Defeat Technology
990 Washington St.
Hanover, MA 02339

781-871-4346          Philip Shearer

Give Phil a call to discuss having keys made for your safe, don't be surprised if this will cost you some serious $$$$'s.   You are looking for someone with a very specific skill set, and very few actually still exist.    If anyone in your area can do it, I'm sure that Phil can.

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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