You are here:

Antique Safes/Antique safe restoration service


Since the passing of Bob Stabley, L.A. Safe and Vault.  I understand his business is being liquidated.  Do you know of any other antique safe restoration companies in the So. Ca. Area?  I checked the web and there are several spread out around the U.S. But I did not see any for So.Cal.

Thx Wayne

Hi Wayne,

Sorry, but Bob was pretty much the only company in Southern California.   We do a little bit in Northern CA, however as it is NOT the mainstay of our business, they pretty much take a back seat to all other projects.

That isn't to say that I don't want them done and out of the shop, there simply are too many facets of restoration work requiring coordination between our service dept., fabrication, and off premise's services like polishing, plating, painting and graphics.    It would be nice to have one man dedicated to the projects, but it simply isn't cost effective.

I generally don't take on more than one or two projects each year, as time and other work permits.

Hopefully in a couple years I can semi-retire to take on more restoration projects, but it is what it is for now.

The best restoration artist that I'm aware of and would recommend would be:

Matt Lamborn     419-606-3168     Ashland, OH

You can check out some of his work by going to his Facebook site or googling -  Matt's Antique Safe Restorations.

Another slightly closer individual that I recently came across, though I haven't had a chance to really check out his work would be:

Bob Bond     816-554-1800     Lee's Summit, MO

Your other options would include:

1.   Taking it on as a DIY project, or
2.   Finding a local college art department that might be interested in taking it on as a restoration project.

Problem with utilizing something like a college art department - if they do take it on, they are going to do "THEIR" version of restoration, which may not coincide with yours.    You could also hire some of the better art students to help you out.

Doing it yourself, would possibly entail hiring outside help for areas that you are not capable of doing.   For instance:
1.   Local safe company to ensure that it is operating correctly and there are no mechanical problems.
2.   Local paint company (possibly automotive) to paint the safe.
3.   Sign company or graphics artist to do the pin stripping and lettering.
4.   Cabinet maker to do the interior cabinetry.

Sorry I wish I had a better answer, but at this time, I'm simply not aware of anyone in SOCAL, who has stepped up to fill Bob's shoes (so to speak).    If you do find a company or individual that has begun doing antique safe restoration work, I would be happy to get their contact info to add to my listings.

Good luck with your project.

Hope this helps and gives you some direction.  

Antique Safes

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


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

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

©2017 All rights reserved.