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Antique Safes/Weight of antique Diebold Safe


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I need to move the antique Diebold safe pictured.  The safe will be donated to a local heritage society.  I do not know if it is a fire safe but pictures are attached.  The dimensions are: height 70 inches; depth 30 inches; width 40 inches.  Can you estimate its weight?  I am also interested in its value.  It has some very nice paintings.  I can send more photos if needed.

Thanks very much.

Hi Vince,

You didn't get me enough "good" measurements to try to be accurate, so I ball parked some numbers to come up with a "rough" estimate.

The safe by itself is probably around 4000 lbs, however the jewelers chest inside is also going to weight around 800 to 1000 lbs.    So at a MINIMUM this safe is probably at 5000 lbs (plus).

If you figure at least this much weigh, then you probably will have large enough equipment.   There aren't a lot of companies that are equipped to move safes this size in California, so it really depends on where you are, who I might recommend

As far as its construction - this would have been a business safe.  With the upper area for books, records and other important documents.   The lower chest is where the cash would have been stored.

If you want to see a really good example of a much larger version of this safe, check out the museum at the Columbia State Park, Columbia, CA (just north of Sonora, CA).    The safe was from the original bank of Sonora.    We found a hidden compartment in the bottom of the Jewelers Chest on this beast.    The hidden compartments were not a standard feature, but more of a special request.

Of interest, as your safe is in California.    Prior to California becoming a state and the US Government taking control of the currency, California had a LOT of residents here from various countries including, Spain, Mexico, China, Russia, Japan, as well as US settlers.  In fact into the 1880s there were as many as five private mints in California, making money or currency.   There really wasn't a COMMON Currency as everyone had their own money.    The ONLY common currency at the time was gold, hence the need for the big chest in the bottom of your safe.    Many businesses also conducted business converting gold into some sort of cash, or storing it for their customers.
These interior jewelers chests WERE the high security safes of the day.

I would be more than happy to look at the safe for you, but I will need much better photos to evaluate it.

In order to answer specific questions, identify, evaluate or appraise your safe, I'm going to need photos.  They should include full exterior and interior.  Detail photos should include pictures of the dial, handles, hinges, artwork, locks, bolt work, castors, cabinetry and any special details or damage.  Note:  You may have to remove the back panel on the door to gain access to the lock & bolt work – I will need these pics.
If you have a particular detail that you have a question about, I will need a photo of it along with your question.

I will also need to see any documentation that you have in regards to your safe.  If your safe has a unique historical perspective, you should be able to document this with letters, newspaper articles or photos, if not it is simply a story and will have no bearing on the value of your safe.

Please use as high a resolution as possible so that I can examine details of your safe.  Pictures which are low resolution, out of focus, or from a distance don’t help when we try to evaluate the container.  Note:  with higher resolution, you may only be able to send 2-4 pictures per email, depending on the size of the file, I have a 12mb limit per email.  If photos are larger than 2mb each, you may only be able to send 2 or 3 photos per email, requiring several emails.

Please don’t send me “cell phone” photos, unless they are very clear and of sufficient resolution.   Also, please don’t use online, internet photo drops as most of these also don’t allow me to easily access the photos for examination.   Send the pics directly to me, while this may be more work for you, it will make my job easier.

Please send all of the requested photos to:

Note:  As I am in the field several days each week, covering a huge service area, I may not get back to your photos immediately, but I will respond as soon as I get an opportunity.  Due to field work, emails may tend to get backed up which means I may not answer them immediately.

Our informal evaluation is at no charge, however if you feel you need a formal evaluation or appraisal for insurance, estate sales, donations for tax write offs, or to establish it as an antique, there is an administrative fee for this service.  

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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

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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