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Antique Safes/Schwab safe parts


Hello, Andy
I appreciate so much the time and energy you spend helping people with problems with their safes. I have read a lot of your posts hoping to find information so as not to waste your time asking the same questions that everyone else already has asked. I have a Shwab Safe that the safe technician said was probably made in the 1920-1930's. The safe is in very good shape mechanically but looks beat up. I would like to refinish it but am having trouble finding hinge caps. I do not really care if they are the exact ones that are supposed to be on the safe but more concerned with them looking good. Do you have any idea where I may be able to find new ones, or a some place that may sell old ones?

Thanks for your help,

Hi Tony,

Unfortunately, unlike with older cars, there simply isn't any after market safe parts manufacturers.   There simply isn't a big enough demand to make all of the various parts for all of the differnt types and models of safes.

While this means that "YOU" may not be able to find replacement or available parts, it doesn't mean that they don't exist, or that you don't have options.    While finding replacements is going to be really difficult, having new replacement items made is rather simple (though possibly expensive).    Lock & Safe companies which might have them in their stock - keep them for "THEIR" jobs, and not really for customers.     In order to "entice" them to dig through boxes of old parts to look for something which may not exist, you had better be a serious buyer, and be prepared to spend some serious $$$'s.   If it's coming out of someone's "hoard" of old parts, or out of their collection, it isn't going to be cheap.

The only thing that you need is a local area machinist that can make the items for you.    Secondly, you will either need them polished or plated.    Nickel and chrome plating are both popular.

You can also have them made out of various materials.    For instance if you want something to match your paint scheme or pin stripping, you could have them made from polished brass.     On the other hand if you really want them to stand out, and/or match the plating on the handles or dial,  you can have them plated.     Some of the best ones that I had done, were made of polished stainless steel.

Generally depending on the machinist and material, you should probably plan on spending around $150 to $200 per acorn.     When these are done and mounted, they will definitly stand out.

If you can find a hobby machinist, they might be able to make them for you cheaper, though possibly not as nice.

Hope this gives you some ideas, sorry I don't have a better source, but we are all affected by this same problem.

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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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