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Antique Safes/safe hinge

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QUESTION: I purchased an older safe (UNK brand) and while moving it, it fell forward and the upper door hinge hit the floor.  I believe the hinge pin was bent and now the door is approx 3/8" out of line so the door can't close.  The upper half of the hinge bolts to the door via 2 allen bolts on the inside of the door.  the lower half of the hinge is welded to the outer safe case. The pin looks to be approx 1/2" in diameter and is afixed to the upper half of the hinge when I remove the door.   (the safe is 61"H  30" W 24" D) the door is 1/2" thick plate steel.  My question is can that pin be removed from the hinge?  If so where can a replacement pin be obtained? I'm located in Orange County California.  (Los Angeles is approx 30 miles away) Or what would be the best way to fix the problem, Replace both Hinges???  I purchased the safe for $500 as a gun safe, now I'm wondering if it wouldn't just be better to toss the thing and look for another one.  The thing is the door is so close to being able to close.   thanks jim

ANSWER: Jim, it's a bit difficult for me to tell if the pin is removable without seeing it.  Probably a pressed fit.  Removing the hinge and drilling down through top until you hit the pin would allow a punch to used on it to try and remove it.  You could take it to a machine shop to do this and they could fit another pin, which would not be too expensive.   Alternately if you back out the allen screws on the top hinge a couple turns, you should be able to get the door fully shut if the problem is in the top hinge only.  Since the hinge pin is fitted into the top section, a 4 lbs. sledge can then be used against the flat of the hinge, or even directly at the section containing the pin.  Of course hitting the section containing the pin will make pin removal even more difficult.  Here you are trying to tweak the hinge back into position.  Lastly by putting a block of wood into the bottom between the door and jamb and then pushing against the top of the door you may be able to twist the door enough to set it straight.  If it's too hard  to flex the door, a pony clamp set can be used to flex it a bit.  I would try this last method first as it will not do any further damage to the hinge.  Doug    

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QUESTION: THANKS DOUG FOR GETTING BACK TO ME SO QUICKLY.  THE DOOR WEIGHTS APPROX 250 PLUS LBS SO I USED A ROLLING CAR JACK AT THE LOWER FRONT DOOR OPENING, BUT  THE WHOLE DOOR STARTS GOING UP AT THE HINGES. SO THE DOOR COMES OFF EASILY.  BUT I DON'T THINK THE DOOR CAN BE FLEXED.  I TRIED USING AN ALLEN WRENCH TO LOOSEN THE HINGE BOLTS BUT THEY WON'T BUDGE.  I WILL TRY TO HEAT THEM AND SEE IF THAT WORKS BUT IT IS A TIGHT FIT IN THAT DOOR BETWEEN THE METAL RIDGES.  NOW IF I REMOVE THE DOOR I MIGHT BE ABLE TO REMOVE THE HINGE PIN.  WHEN I WENT ON LINE TO SEE WHERE I COULD PURCHASE A PIN, I SAW THAT THEY MAKE A TOOL FOR REMOVING PINS.  (NOT SURE IF THE TOOL WAS USED FOR SAFES OR NOT) ANYWAY, I COULD NOT FIND SAFE HINGE PINS ANYWHERE FOR SALE SO IF THEY DO EXIST ARE THEY A STANDARD SIZE.  THIS ONE LOOKS TO BE A 1/2" X 3" NOT SURE WITHOUT  REMOVING IT. THIS IS MY FIRST EXPIERENCE WITH A SAFE SO OF COURSE I HAD TO DROP IT.  SO WHERE CAN A PERSON BUY THESE REPLACEMENT PINS???      MANY THANKS JIM

Answer
As I said try flexing it first. From what you have described the door fits at the bottom and not the top. A tall 1/2" plate door will flex a bit with enough pressure.  Block the bottom of the door open, back the safe up against a wall and get someone tall and heavy to push at the top opening corner.  Remember the door acts as a lever arm and can be used to bend the hinge/pin back into alignment.  I would definitely try this before puliing the door and searching for a pin.  By the way, any steel rod of the correct diameter can be used for a door that light. Doug  

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Doug MacQueen

Expertise

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.

Experience

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

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

Publications
SAVTA monthly magazine

Education/Credentials
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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