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Antique Safes/murphy bed wall safe pat'd jan 1922


Hi, I am a locksmith in northern California, most of my work is residential and light commercial hardware maintenance and keying work. A customer brought in a Murphy bed wall safe in the open position asking if I could get a good combo for it. I see that the combo is not changable. I see that in the opening position on the combo a link is allowed to slide back when turning the latch wheel, but I don't understand the spring loaded aspect to the combo dial. Are you supposed to pull on the combo dial to allow the link to retract the 3 bolts? Any info you can offer is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance for your time. Respectfully, Don Bagala: Sebastopol's Lockshop

Hi Don,

My safe company is in Hayward, so we aren't that far apart.

Basic operation for the Murphy wall safe.

Gates are on the "INNER" circumference of the wheels, with a "V" notch on the outer rim which indicates the location of the gate.
When the combination is dialed, all gates are aligned at 3 o'clock.   The dial is pulled outward and the cam knob is turned counter clockwise to retract the bolts.

The spring resets the dial when the door is locked and the cam knob is turned clockwise back to the locked position.    Turn the dial several times to clear the combination.

If you get some good photos of the lock and bolt work, send them to me,    I haven't seen one of these babies up close in a number of years.

I love the variety of safes we get to play with!  

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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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