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Antique Safes/Remove Front Trim Plate


Safe Hamilton Safe Co.
Safe Hamilton Safe Co.  
Preparing to have my safe repainted and want to remove the front plate (see pic) but do not know how to get if off. Didn't want to mess with the tumble box to investigate. Unable to locate the model information but I have a second larger double door Herring Hall Marvin safe and the front plates look identical, hope this is somewhat standard on these safes.

Hi Rich,

The escutcheon plate is actually glued or double sided taped, in place, but to remove it, you will need to have the dial, dial ring and handle completely removed.

NOTE:   I NEVER recommend disassembly of a safe lock as a DIY project for the same reason that I NEVER recommend using locksmiths for safe work.   Lack of training, knowledge and tools can result in a very expensive lockout!

I recommend that you contact a local safe company to have them disassemble your safe, and correctly reassemble it when you are finished.

Once the Dial, dial ring and handle have been removed, you can carefully "peel" the plate off, before painting.    As replacement plates are difficult to come by, you don't want to damage it if you plan on reusing it.

Chances are this was a DIEBOLD safe and not a Hamilton.   If you HHM looks very similar it is because Diebold acquired HHM in 1959 and pretty much everything made at either factory during the late 1950's through the early 1960's (up to 64) were almost identical except for the "name".

While Diebold may have newer versions of this plate available, it won't be exactly the same thing, and trying to get parts from Diebold is sometimes like trying to pull teeth from an alligator!    They aren't very responsive!

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

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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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