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G. & H. Bauche safe
G. & H. Bauche safe  
Hi Andy,
I have a G. & H. Bauche safe, which I can not open. Since I have been stripping the paint off, I have discovered that the key hole has been drilled out, and there are 2 holes on the side that seem to enable you to trigger the mechanism. But none of this helps with the combination.
I also do not have instructions on how to open the safe.
My question is, can you give me any hints on making it easier to open the combination.
I am about to repaint the safe, as my wife is threatening to grow it out, (like to see her try), if I don't do something with it.
Thank you Ian

Hi Ian,

Basically these safes were not that hard to open.    Simply dial the correct letter for each dial - in order, then use the key to operate the key lock and retract the bolt work.

If you are having trouble with it, then either you don't have the correct combination or there are issues with the locks.    Generally mechanical issues require hands on diagnoses and repairs.

As far as the holes drilled in the safe, they were probably done to bypass part of the locking mechanism.    If the locking mechanism is repaired correctly, then these holes can be patched up and the safe restored.

to recover the combination, there should be four small holes in the rear of the door, or possibly behind the back cover of the door.
Turn all four dials clockwise to stop - or possibly "A".   

I'm pretty sure they have to be done in a counter clockwise pattern, so starting with the top left dial turn it until you see a small red (or colored) dot, in the matching hole in the back.   Note the letter this wheel is on - it is your first letter.   Then moving to the top right dial, begin turning it counter clockwise until you see the red dot in the small hole in the back of the door - note the letter on this wheel.

Continue until you have recovered all four letters for the combination.

After the combination is done, insert the key into its hole and rotate to retract the bolt work.

As you have indicated that this has been drilled out, it may not work correctly.

With the amount of damage you have listed and the fact that it is having trouble, it wouldn't surprise me that you will need a professional safe tech to look at your container.

The ONLY real expert that I know of, on these safes, especially for restoration work is in Singapore.    Check out:

David & Desmond Siah are 2nd and 3rd generation safe experts specializing in restoring this type of antique safe.

If you need locks repaired, or parts, they would be my first recommendation as a source.

Again, as far as the holes drilled in the safe, lock damage, etc., this would require hands on inspections to determine the damage and repairs.

Sorry I can't help further.  

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Terry V. Andreasen (Andy)


Safe and Vault related Questions; Antique Safe Repair and Restoration; With over 40 years in the Safe & Vault industry, if I can't answer your question I know where to get the answer. Current Project: Restoration of two Tilton & McFarland Safes from the 1860'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.


40 years in the Safe & Vault Industry. 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. 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

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 - 2013 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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