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I am a Locksmith and have encountered a first for me. I have never worked on a safe like this one before. I have attached a picture of the safe needing to be opened. There is a legible code on the safe but no markings as to the maker. Any thoughts of who made it? The owners do not want to keep the safe but do want to know what is inside if anything. It has been in their basement since the purchase of the home. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you, Chris.


This is a Diebold Single bolt lug door, usually using a Diebold 900 lock.   The mounted lock can be either right hand or left hand.    The lock is key changeable, however the position of the change key hole will vary depending on the handing of the lock.    The door also has a relocking bolt, mounted opposite of the extended lock bolt.

After the combination has been dialed, the door will rotate clockwise to open - then pull out.

There are several opening methods available, however they will all depend on your capabilities and the tools available.    First and non-destructive would be to manipulate the lock open.    If you don't have this skill or the lock won't talk to you, then drilling is acceptable.   First would be to scope and decode the change key hole, with the less acceptable alternative being to drill for the fence.

Note:   parts are no longer available for these doors, so any method that results in ruining the safe should not be considered.    Regardless of whether or not the customer wants to keep or use the safe - your goal should ALWAYS be, to be as professional as possible.    You wouldn't take your car to someone, to have the oil changed, if they indicated that they could change the oil but would ruin the motor in doing so - and the same holds true for locksmiths and safe technicians, opening safes or locks.

Unfortunately due to the nature of these website, as a general forum, and as I have no way of verifying who you are and/or whether or not you have authorization to work on the safe, we do not give out any opening or drilling information, other than identification and/or correct dialing procedures for the lock that I would expect to find on this container.

The proper dialing sequence for a Diebold 900 lock is:

4 times left to the first number,
3 times right to the second number,
2 times left to the third number,
1 time right until the dial stops - rotate the door to the open position and then pull it out.

Note:   Left is counter clockwise, and right is clockwise.

If you have numbers written down by a previous owner, then you can test dial these numbers to see if they might still open the chest.

good luck, 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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