Question We have an old company safe that our company purchased in the early 1920's that we would like to have restored. It is all origional except for front dial replacement (who knows when) G&G and one missing drawer an many missing drawer keys. We are located in Bakersfield Ca. And would like to find someone within driving distance (LA - Sacramento) that can perform a complete restoration. Any recommendations?
Answer Hi Ken,
Unfortunately there are only about 1/2 dozen guys in the entire country that do restorations on antique safes, and only ONE guy that does it as a business. In southern California the one man that would take on restorations passed away last year, so that leaves me as the only other company that will take them on in California - HOWEVER, as they are very time consuming, we only work on them as time allows, which means that it could take up to a year to do a restoration. My regular work doesn't stop and does take priority over restoration work. I have one that I'm getting back from my painter (for the second time) on Monday, so hopefully it is completed and I can ship it out next week.
There are several problems with restoration work that most companies don't want to deal with. First being that the "vision" that you the owner have, and the vision that we and/or our painters have may not coincide. For instance if you are expecting a high quality digital animation when you open the Sunday paper only to find the regular, hand drawn funnies, you might be disappointed. Not quite the same thing, but you get the picture.
Generally most companies would rather restore a safe, they own, and sell it before taking on a customers project. The reason being the buyer accepts the safe in "as is" condition. With a project you expect it to be exactly the way that you see it in your mind's eye.
If you would like me to take a look at your safe to discuss it with you, I would be more than happy to. As long as you understand the problems associated with this type of project I think we can possibly work together.
Pricing is a "time and material" type job. Meaning it costs what it costs! Every safe restoration is going to be different depending on the amount of work necessary. For instance the last safe we did had some severe body damage which would have impacted the overall appearance. We literally had to "skin" the safe to repair it. It came out looking very nice, but it added an extra day's worth of time and material to the cost of the work.
Pretty much the next nearest guy that I would recommend (and perhaps the best in the country) is in Ohio, meaning you would have to ship the safe across country.
If you are interested in discussing the project I would be more than happy to, however the earliest start date I would be looking at might be in May or June of this year.
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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.
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Graduate Lockmasters Safe Lock Servicing 1974
Graduate Lockmasters Safe Lock Manipulation 1975
Graduate Lockmasters Safe Deposit Lock Servicing 1985
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