You are here:

Antique Safes/Meilink safe locked.



Grandmother died.  We have safe...459073
Re locking device group 1      420924
Was open but had combination. Or so we thought...
We left door open but locked check...
Now combination doesn't work..
Though she had written 4 numbers....
Here's her paper written
L 80 - 4
R 28  - 3
L 81 - 2
R 91 - 1

I'm's from bottom up.  Hence the 1234. But. Why another number?
It's old and I'm sure not been serviced in feels tight to turn...
Any ideas?  We've tried from info online. To turn.... Maybe   There's a way to reset it?   There are no red buttons inside..but I'm sure. It's before the red button option... He took the inside plate off to look inside..but we really have no clue....thank you..
Any help would be appreciated

Hi Annmarie,

Happy 4th of July Weekend!

The good news is that you have the door locked open - worst case if you can't get it to operate correctly you simply have it checked out be a safe technician from a local safe company.

The dialing sequence for your safe is in the correct order - problem is your interpretation of it.   Also, the "red button" you mention ONLY is a reset for certain model imported safes from China, Japan and Korea.   Your safe is a Meilink from Toledo, Ohio.

Warning - DO NOT disassemble the safe or lock, any further than you already have!

Dial it as:

4 times LEFT to the first number, 80
3 times RIGHT to the second number, 28
2 times LEFT to the third number, 81
1 time RIGHT until the dial stops (should be between 90-95).

NOTE:   Left is counter clockwise and 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 for the first number, you would turn the dial counter clockwise (left), stopping the fourth time the number 80 ARRIVES at the index mark - this would be Left to 80 once, continue to 80 the second time, then 80 the third time, stopping on 80 the fourth time it arrives.
Next proceed to the second number (28), following the instructions above.

If it still won't unlock, then YOU are either making a dialing error, or the combination isn't correct.

If you don't have a local safe company (I don't recommend using locksmiths for safe work), let me know where you are located (zip code) and I'll see who I might know in your area.

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 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

©2017 All rights reserved.