You are here:

Antique Safes/small vault

Advertisement


Question
smaller bank
smaller bank  
I have a weird little bank vault looking safe or? I was wondering what you would know of these I can not find any. I do not know the combo or how it works and I also do not know if anything is in it. I would assume not though. It comes from ohio.

Answer
Hi Edward,

You don't have a vault, and you really don't have a "safe", what you have is a Jewelers Chest.   This container was designed to be built inside of an exterior safe, either a fire resistive type safe, or even a bankers model.
This is what we term a "crane hinged, pressure bar" Jewelers Chest.  The weight of the door is supported by the crane hinge, and the pressure bar helps to shut the door so that the bolt work can be locked.

This would have been the "security container" inside of your safe.    These were NOT meant to be sold as a "stand alone" container.    Someone has salvaged it out of some other safe.

Based on the photo, it appears to be a Diebold Jewelers Chest (Diebold Safe & Lock Co., Canton, OH).   The dial should have a couple patent dates on it - from 1870 or 1871.   This isn't when it was build, its ONLY a reference to when the patents were issued for the lock.

The lock that I would expect to find on this door would be a Diebold, offset, four wheel combination lock.   It may be a Peerless Anti-dynamite type lock, but based on the dial, I wouldn't think so.    Probably just a standard 4 wheel lock.    With 4 wheels, this lock gives you a possible 100,000,000 possible test combinations.    Testing 500 each day would ONLY take you about 530 years to test them all.

The dialing sequence for this lock is:

5 times right to the first number,
4 times left to the second number,
3 times right to the third number,
2 times left to the fourth number,
1 time right until the dial stops (should be around 80).

Note:   Left is counter clockwise, Right is clockwise.   Do not count the revolutions of the dial, count the individual number as it arrives at the 12 o'clock index mark.

Basically your choices are to either test all of the combinations, until you find the correct one, OR to have it opened by a safe technician from a local safe company - not a locksmith.

Hope this helps.    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 or recommend in your area.  

Antique Safes

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Terry V. Andreasen (Andy)

Expertise

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.

Experience

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

Organizations
Safecrackers International and the National Antique Safe Association Safe & Vault Technicians Association

Publications
The Coffee Table Guide to Antique Safes AllExperts.com

Education/Credentials
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

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.