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Antique Safes/Reliable safe


I have a Reliable safe from Anton F. Muller & Co. Newark,Nj.have since lost the combination there is a patent number 12237 from August 17 can't quite make the year looks like 1957.There has been two previous holes i see drilled and filled. I guess my question is... how can I get the safe open should I try to re drill the holes?

Hi Ron,

The Reliable Safe Company was only around from 1916 to about 1941.   It was acquired by the Mosler Safe Company in the early 1940's and manufacturing ceased.

So, I'm not sure what patent date is, or is for, as it would not have been for this safe if it was post 1941.     I looked at photos of numerous Reliable safes that I have, and none of them had a patent date that I could see, so I have no comparison to check.

As far as re-drilling the door I NEVER recommend this type of work as a DIY project for the same reason that I never recommend using locksmiths.    Lack of training, knowledge, etc. can result in damage to the lock that may be non-repairable, and with the fact that these parts are NOT available, damage should NOT be an option.

Obviously as it is your safe, you can choose to proceed, I would just caution you to do so with all caution, so as not to damage anything.   

I also always have some trepidation when I find out a safe was previously drilled.    Many times locks are ruined or damaged when drilled, and then replaced with something else, so for the following two reasons I can't give you any info on drilling and opening the safe yourself.
1.   As we have no idea who you are, your relationship to the safe and/or authorization to work on the safe - we never provide ANY opening information other than the proper dialing sequences for the lock we would expect to be on the safe.    I hope you understand that we have to have this policy for obvious security and liability reasons.
2.   As the safe has been previously drilled, I have no way of knowing how it was repaired and/or if the lock was replaced.  

My recommendation, as always, would be to have a safe tech from a local safe company open it for you.   If you don't have a local company, let me know where you are located (zip code) and I'll see who I might know in your area.

hope this helps.  

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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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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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