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Antique Safes/Macneale & urban safe dial


QUESTION: I am looking for a replacement dial/lock (everything)for my 1870ish Macneale & Urban safe.  It would have had letters instead of numbers.  The shaft length needs to be around 5 1/2".  Do you know where I might find one?

ANSWER: Randy,

Good luck with this one.    You basically have two choices, you can buy one out of someone's collection, or you can find a safe in worse shape than yours to use for "donor" parts.

There simply are no new or aftermarket parts available, and after the manufacturer closes down, there are no more sources.

Anything thing that is available, is going to be already in another safe, in someone parts pile, or in a collection.

I checked through my old parts bins, and I don't have any MacNeale & Urban dials at all.

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QUESTION: If I find one with the wrong shaft length is it possible to change to a longer one?

Hi Randy,

it would depend on the dial and shaft assembly and more importantly, how they are connected.

Cutting it and welding a "section" in the middle to increase length is an option, however it takes plenty of skill to get all THREE pieces straight and true.

I would recommend using a lathe to center the pieces up before welding or brazing them together.

You might want to consider simply making a new dial and spindle assembly rather than trying to "cut & paste" one together.

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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

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