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Antique Safes/safe opening


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Our client needs an antique safe opened, death in the family-lost combination. Attached pic is of a single door safe marked SECURITY LOCK & SAFE CO. HAMILTON, OHIO. The handle is in the center of the dial. There are no other visible markings or serial numbers on the unit. We are thinking it could be manipulated, but the client is even ready to drill it open because they "need in yesterday". Any manipulation tips, drill points, documentation, or words of wisdom? We have not encountered this type of dial before. Thank you so much Andy!

Hi Paul,

The manufacturer of this safe is more than likely Victor Safe & Lock company.    The Security Lock and Safe Co., was probably just a seller of used safes, a distributor or agent for the manufacturer.    The safe appears to be prior to the 1920 merger of Victor and The Safe Cabinet Company, so parts are not going to be available.

As far as "TIPS" to open the safe - sorry but for obvious security and liability reasons we do not give out ANY information other than the correct dialing sequence for the lock we would expect to find on this safe.

While it is possible to manipulate the lock on this safe, it may not happen for a number of reasons - some times the locks simply don't talk, you may not have a trained safe technician in your area, etc.    With manipulation, you are paying for the service and not necessarily the result.
Drilling when done correctly by a trained safe technician, can open the safe without ruining it, and the single small hole can be easily repaired.

Check your local yellow pages under safes & vaults for a nearby company.   I generally don't recommend using locksmiths as they may not have the training, knowledge or tools to work on safes without causing excessive damage or charging exhorbant fees.

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

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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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