You are here:

Antique Safes/Antique safe with missing peices


Safe, profile
Safe, profile  

I have a old safe that was in an old school I bought, the previous owner said it was there when he bought the building 30 years ago. The school was built in 1918 and has been out of service since the eighties.
I would like to restore and use the safe but there are parts missing, the dial combination, handle, and misc. bling. My question is, can theses parts be found anywhere and who can I contact to open it?
Thank you

National cannonball
National cannonball  
Doug, finding parts that are specific to a particular model cannonball safe can be problematic.  Yes, your safe has a square body but it falls into the category of cannonball, and in your case a National cannonball. It is entirely possible that it might be easier to have certain parts made. Is the pinion gear and curved rack missing?  Finding a dial and dial ring for your safe is not as difficult, but even then, some minor machining may be involved.  Regarding opening, it will not come cheap.  Not only will the combination lock have to opened, there is a very good chance the door is seized from rust. Does the dial spindle turn freely?  You can contact me at  I know a couple guys in Michigan who might be able to help, if not I am for hire.  Doug  

Antique Safes

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


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 No longer current.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

©2016 All rights reserved.