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Locksmithing/re-cycling a heavy safe


We are a 501c3 entity.  Have a very heavy Johnson-Pacific Safe #18334 donated many years ago by a locksmith who could not do anything else with it. Must be 60+ years old, anyway.  We can't use it, we are thinking "scrap metal re-cycle time", only to be told by non-experts that it is very heavy (700-800 lbs?) because the inside is concrete, only the outside & inside case are metal.  It that true?  We have a engine lift, but would rather not go to all the trouble dragging it over there to the re-cycle place and learn our effort won't produce any funds for our non-profit group.   Otherwise, I guess we could smash it up.  Measures 4' x 30" or so (just eyeballed).  Is is really just a concrete box surrounded by a metal case, Aaron?
Bob in California

Hi Bob,

Thanks for writing. MOST of the larger safes that are really old were filled with a concrete mixture that would "dry up" during a fire to protect the contents. If you are absolutely sure you want to recycle the safe, it may be time to cut into it to be certain. The non-experts are most likely correct (unfortunately for you), but if this safe was not a fire safe and it was more of a jewelers or burglarly rate safe it would have more metal because it needed to be "more secure". If you could send a picture of it, I may be able to compare it to something I have on file.

If you have trouble posting to this forum, let me know.

Thanks again for writing.


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Aaron J. Neil CRL, CJS


I can answer questions related to general locksmithing, lock repair, lock replacement, electronic access control, safe operation, safes service and safe repair. I can also answer your questions about security upgrades and I have access to a vast library of locksmith information that I can research to make sure I am answering your question to the best of my ability.


I have been involved in the Locksmith Industry since 2002. I have owned my own Locksmith Service company since 2010. Prior to this I was employed at a large locksmith company where I was able to increase my knowledge of locks, doors, safes and access systems.

Associated Locksmith of America Central New York Locksmith Association Greater Oswego Fulton Chamber of Commerce Greater Oneida Chamber of Commerce

Graduated Professional Locksmith Program in 2002. I graduated the Advanced Locksmith Program in 2003. I attended numerous classes available to members through the Associated Locksmiths of America and the Safe and Vault Technicians Association. In 2009 I earned by CRL (Certified Registered Locksmith) certificate from ALOA.

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