Locksmithing/Gary Floor Safe


Recently, I was having some flooring installed and the installers realized that there was a floor safe hidden in a closet in my den/office.  I am not sure that the previous owner even knew that it was there.  The house was built in 1947 and it appears to be poured into the foundation, so I would imagine that it is about that old.  It is a Gary Safe Company round safe.  The top label read "Gary Safe Co., Los Angeles (21) with a serial number of 6278.  The bottom label (seems less relevant) reads: "Underwrites Laboratory Inc., Inspected, Tool resisting safe, T-20 Burglary serial number 59453".  
The locksmiths I called suggested that this safe was not manipulatible and would have to be drilled.  True or should I keep looking?  I like the idea of having a safe in the house and would consider drilling and replacing the locking lid if that was an option.
What do you think?
Any suggestions?



Chances are more likely the safe was installed in the 1960's.

Chances are the lock IS manipulatible, however you simply may not have anyone in your area trained in manipulation.   My first recommendation is quit calling locksmiths, they are generally NOT trained and don't have the knowledge or tools to work on safes without damaging or destroying the safe.   As your safe is obsolete and parts are not available, this should NOT be an option.
What you need is a trained safe technician from a local safe company.  While the safe tech still may not be able to manipulate the safe lock, you can be more assured that if the safe has to be drilled it will be done in a fashion that will NOT damage the lock or safe head, and if done correctly WILL be totally repairable.

Not only are parts NOT available for this door, but replacement doors are NOT available, and haven't been for around 30 years.   While parts and or the safe head can always be machined or fabricated, it would probably be cheaper to simply replace the whole safe.

I'm not sure where you got the "Tool Resisting Safe" part.   The "T-20" lable stands for "Tamper Resistant", NOT tool resistant.   If it were Tool Resistant, it would state  "TL-15" on the label, NOT T-20!    Again, if the locksmiths indicated this, it further amplifies my statement about not using locksmiths for safe work.

If you don't have a local safe company, let me know where you are located and I'll see who I know in your area.   Before you hire anyone to open the safe, make sure that you know up front WHAT the charges are going to be for the complete OPENING and REPAIR of the container!   If they can't give you a flat rate opening, chances are they really don't know what they are doing, and may simply rack up charges for the work!   If you have questions concerning there proposed method and/or charges run them by me first before having the work done, as afterwards is simply crying over spilt milk, and I don't have a lot of sympathy!

Hope this helps,


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Terry V. Andreasen (Andy)


Safe and Vault related Questions; Antique Safe Repair and Restoration; With over 40 years in the Safe & Vault industry, if I can't answer your question I know where to get the answer. Current Project: Restoration of two Tilton & McFarland safes from the 1860'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.


40 years in the Safe & Vault Industry. 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. 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

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 - 2014 - Listed in AllExperts Top 50 Experts. All Expert 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 and Western Nevada)

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