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Antique Safes/Safe is stuck at the number 50


I do not enter the safe often because it is old and hard for me to open. It is a York antique safe..floor safe with wheels. The last number in the combination is 50 and that is that it is the number the dial stuck at. I guess I did something when I shut the door and please tell me there is something that I can do. The dial won't move a 1/4 inch either way and the knob8o won't turn. Any suggestions?

Kendall, if the dial normally cones to a stop at 50 and then the bolt handle can be opened, it sounds like the door is not fully shut and the bolt handle is not fully turned.  Exactly what you are describing indicates the lock bolt cannot fully extend to its locked position.  Usually this is because the door rubs against the jamb, preventing the door from fully seating.  And if this is the problem, it might be repairable to some degree and should be looked at immediately as it will only get worse.  Doug  

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Doug MacQueen


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.


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

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 No longer current.

SAVTA monthly magazine

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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