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Antique Safes/opening procedure


I recently acquired a large Taylor safe from a local pub....they have the combination for it I'm just not too sure the opening procedure is it left first? right first? how many turns for each number? and am I supposed to be using the star or the straight line around dial as my mark? also after taking the door panel off I found that half of the fire proofing material is missing, is there something you can buy to redo it?..... any info would be greatly appreciated

Dustin, if it is a 3 wheel S&G it is 4L, 3R, 2L, then R to stop.  The 4 wheel model is 5R, 4L, 3R, 2L, then right to stop.  Use the top Star mark for opening.  Lockmasters used to sell insulation but I don't know if it is still available.  Otherwise fire brick, fire clay, Perlite, plaster of Paris and even concrete will work in a pinch.  Doug

Antique Safes

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Doug MacQueen


This unusual and highly innovative safe from the later 1800's is a Corliss. William, the much younger brother of George Corliss of steam engine fame, spent several years perfecting this design and it was first displayed at the 1876 Philadelphia U.S. Centennial Exhibition. I do extensive patent research helping me in the study of antique U.S. safes and safe locks. Repairs and part making for antique U.S. safes of the early to mid 1800's, both key and combination. Also the study of early round door chest designs up to and including cannonball safes of the early 1900's.


40 years in the lock and safe trade with a stint in bank service work. Openings, repairs and moving of safes of all types.

Charter member Safe and Vault Technicians Association SAVTA, National Safemans Association NSO, National Antique Safe Association NASA. No longer current.

SAVTA monthly magazine

CMS (Certified Master Safecracker- NSO) and CPS (Certified Professional Safe Technician - SAVTA)

Awards and Honors
2nd place national combination manipulation contest 1986 and now in 2016 1st place

Past/Present Clients

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