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Antique Safes/Crane hinge info


Hi Andy

Just saw for the first time the Crane Hinge safes and would like to build a front panel for a hole in my shop wall 20" by 30"
This will be for display only with just the front panel and door
But I would like to make the hand wheel open the bars on each side of the door
Where can I find some prints or detailed drawings on how the bars move towards each other operated by a bevel gear or ?
Seems like they would have to be one two different planes not to hit each other in the center, that it what I cant figure out with out more info
Thanks you sincerely, Don

Hi Don,

Sorry, but manufacturers NEVER published that type of info for a number of reasons including patent infringements, security reasons and service requirements.

So basically you are going to have to reverse engineer a door that you have found, that you like, and want to use as your example.

As this style of door has not been made in 60-70 years (or more), parts are also NOT going to be readily available.   Which means that you are going to have to fabricated all of the gearing, handles, bolt work, etc. for your project.

My recommendation to keep it as simple as possible, would be to start with a supply company like "Motion Industries" for items like rack & pinion gearing, and other items, which you can possibly use instead of fabricating every little item.

Hopefully you have a friend that has a machine shop willing to help you with parts you can't find.

The best I can offer would be a couple photos of doors which may offer you some ideas, however I'm not going to engineer it for you - the cost could be expensive.

Your project sounds interesting and hopefully you have the time and budget to see it through.    Start sharpening up a bunch of pencils and your drafting skills.

Good luck with it.  

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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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