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Antique Safes/I have an old file safe, I'm wondering if it worths anything


QUESTION: Hi there is have a save with 5 drawers I can't find any info on line. It has a tag on the back that said SAFE MANUFACTURERS NATIONAL ASSOCIATION ASSOCIATION. SPEC. F2-ND
CAT. NO. 8195-12.

ANSWER: Hi Jose,

I'm not sure what you are referring to about "if it is worth the job of moving it"???   Are you considering buying a new fire file if you don't keep this one???     Cost of a new fire resistive fire filing cabinet could be in the $1500 to $2000 range.   

Of course I'm not insinuating that your file is equivalent to a new unit, in fact your container was built prior to the early 1960's and doesn't meet ANY current standards for fire resistance.

While it is still probably good for "general purpose" storage of every day documents I would NOT recommend keeping ANYTHING of value in it.    So obviously it would depend on what you are planning on using it for, to determine whether or not it has "value or worth".    This container has NO burglary resistance regardless of the fact that it has a combination lock installed.   This doesn't make it a safe!

As far as it not having a key, any locksmith shop should be able to help you or make a key for it.    They may even be able to swap out the locking cylinder if it still has a current model lock available.   If not they would have to hand make a key for it.

Sorry, but I still can't answer your question concerning it's worth, I can only point out the cost of a replacement container which does meet current standards.

Hope this helps, if not we can discuss what you are actually looking for.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks for your help.
Did you have an idea how much is the current value of it?

Hi Jose,

Old safes and especially fire resistive safes and file cabinets built OVER 50 years ago DO NOT meet ANY current standards and should not be used for overnight storage of any valuable documents, cash or jewelry.

That being said - if you are selling it or someone is buying it with the idea that it has or will provide fire resistance, the value is $0.

If you are selling it and/or someone is buying it with the UNDERSTANDING that it may NOT provide any fire resistance in a fire, due to its age and condition, then you may have some agreed upon value of between $0 to $200.

Basically if I was you, I would be happy if someone took it off my hands so I didn't have to worry about disposal fees to make it go away!    Any money you can get between that and $200 is gravy money.

Generally if someone calls us with a similar question and needs the safe disposed of, we charge then  between $300 to $400 to dispose of it.     Most states and local land fills will accept it as "non-compressible land fill" and charge around $200 to take it.
Scrap metal companies won't take it because it is made of THIN skin, sheet metal and thick insulation materials.

Hope that 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

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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