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Antique Safes/York Safe Y25711


QUESTION: I may get to purchase a York Safe, model Y25711.  It has 2 doors, small upper and larger bottom. I got the combination for the bottom. My question is can this safe be moved with an appliance dolly. How much does it weigh. It is 21" wide, 28 1/2" deep and 45" high. Thanks for any information you can share with me.

ANSWER: Hi Paul,

Sorry, but not enough information to answer your question.    

Safes are made with two ideas in mind - their ability to keep fire/heat out of the safe or their ability to keep burglars/people out of the safe.

Burglary safes and fire safes are built using different techniques and materials to achieve their purpose.    Fire safes generally use thin guage sheet steel surrounding some type of insulation material which may be anything from plaster of Paris, mortar concrete, etc.
Burglary safes generally use thick steel to keep people or burlars out.

A third type of safe known as a composite safe offers BOTH protection from heat and burglaries by utilizing varying layers of steel and insulation to achieve both protections.

OBVIOUSLY the weight of the container WILL depend on what you actually have, the materials it uses and the size and construction.   It's not as simple as indicating a size.

For instance, on my showroom floor, I've got a small bankers safe with a crane hinge door that is only about 21"x21"x21" yet it weighs in at around 2100 lbs.

The first thing that you need to do is to identify what you actually have.    As a rough rule of thumbs solid steel weighs about 42 lbs per square foot 1" thick and concrete weighs about 150 lbs per cubic foot.

After you figure out what you have and how it is built, then you can use these rough numbers to come up with a ball park or estimate weight for your container.   Compare the weight you have to the MAXIMUM weight the dolly can hold to determine whether or not it can move the safe.

Note:   In general safes weigh much more than appliances.   Don't confuse the size of your safe with a refrigerator to determine a weight.   A similar size safe and refrigerator can weigh hundreds of pounds difference.   Most refrigerators only weigh a couple hundred pounds, where as a small fire safe similar to the size you indicated could easily be double or triple that weight.

Also don't think that a normal appliance dolly can be used to move a safe up or down stairs or steps.   Appliances can easily be handled by one person, even going up and down steps, where as a safe the size you indicated will require at least two TRAINED individuals and/or specialized equipment for moving up and down stairs.

Remember that gravity is NOT your friend and the heavier the item is the quicker that it will get out of control and/or injure or kill someone.

Recommendation:   Unless you are ONLY moving the safe on a FLAT surface, contact a local safe company to have it moved safely.

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QUESTION: The only other information I can see is something that says Spec. B1 and something I can't read that has a 4 after it.  Don't know if this will help or not.  Thanks

ANSWER: Hi Paul,

The SMNA (Safe Manufacturers National Association) rating system (discontinued around 1964) indicates that the Specification B1 is a Burglary Resistive rating.   Possibly the second portion of that would be a Group 4 specification indicating the following:

Round door chests, body thickness 1" minimum, door thickness 1-1/2" minimum, exclusive of bolt work and locking mechanism.    Locking mechanism to be a lug or bolt type, protected with drill resistive inserts or pins.   Body to be cast or welded construction or combination thereof, of SAE 1020 or equal steel.   Doors to be of equivalent strength.   Equipped with a combination lock.

With this info and the info (measurements) provided earlier you will need to measure the thickness of the walls and the door, exclusive of the bolt work area.   Measure each side top and bottom and do the math.   So assuming that the container has 1" thick walls and a 1-1/2" thick door/front the following calculations would be done:

Top & bottom = 21" x 28.5" = 598.5 sq inches    598.5/144=4.15625 sq feet each
side walls = 28.5"x45" = 1282.5 sq inches     1282.5/144=8.90625 sq feet each
back wall  = 21"x45"= 945 sq inches          945/144=6.5625  sq feet
front is the same as the back however because of the extra 1/2" thickness we need to increase its amount by that much or:    6.5625x1.5=9.84375 sq feet

add them up:   4.15625+4.15625+8.90625+8.90625+6.5625+9.84375 = 42.84375 total square feet of steel.

42.84375 x 42 lbs per square foot = 1799.1345 lbs (round up to 1800 lbs)

Note:  This is NOT an accurate number and only estimates the weight of the steel in the walls, any interior chests, shelves, concrete (if the safe is clad) WILL change this number.   This weight is calculated based on your measurements with no other considerations for construction.

As your original question concerned the use of an APPLIANCE DOLLY, I think it would be pretty safe to say NO IT WOULD NOT BE SAFE to use an appliance dolly in this case.

If you don't think that this adequately represents your safe, then as indicated originally I will need MUCH more info about your safe to include photos of it, so that I CAN see what you actually have to give you a better idea and/or weight estimate.

Hope this helps.

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

York Safe
York Safe  
QUESTION: I think I found a picture of the safe.

Hi Paul,

This safe was actually built by Diebold under the York Label.    York fell into disarray after the death of it owner C. Forry Laucks in April of 1942.   Because of several important military contracts the US Navy took over operation of the company and brought in the Blaw-Knox company to manage it.   Around 1946 Diebold acquired the company and continued to make safes under the York label until about 1959.     Similar safes were made with both York and Diebold labels.

The upper chest is the burglary chest and the lower compartment is a fire resistive safe for document protection.    These containers were primarily used by smaller supermarkets and similar commercial establishments where large amounts of cash were not normally carried.    As this safe is well over 50 years old, it does not meet current standards for fire or burglary resistance and is considered obsolete.

As far as the weight of this container, it could easily be in the 800 to 1200 lb range, well above what most "appliance dollies" can or should handle.    As mentioned before if you decide to acquire this safe, I recommend that you have it moved by a safe company that is familiar with moving heavy safes.

Second consideration prior to purchase.   As you mentioned that you ONLY have the combination for the bottom compartment, costs to open and repair the top compartment so that it is useable could easily be $750 to $1000.    And as parts for this door are NOT readily available, opening it should be done so that there is no damage to the safe, lock or bolt work.    Damage to the lock and/or components may not be repairable and parts (if you can find them) may be expensive.

I'm not sure what your plans were for using this container, however based on the cost to move it and/or the cost to get the upper chest opened and operational, I would recommend using the money to purchase a newer, modern safe.

Hope this gives you enough information to make a good purchasing decision.  

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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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