You are here:

Locksmithing/bought safe because it was only 50 bucks


QUESTION: I got this safe because the only wanted 50 bucks and had the combination for. I was Wondering if you could give any info from the picture because I haven't picked it up yet. Any idea on year or brand? Guy said it was bought at an A.j bayless store in Phoenix when he was really young any help would be great.


The safe appears to be a Herring-Hall-Marvin (HHM), Lug door, burglary resistive chest.

This safe has no fire resistance, it is a burglary resistive safe, built during the late 1950's through the early 1960's.

While it is obsolete, it is a really good safe, and some repair parts are still available (locks, dials, rings etc.)

NOTE:  If you decide to get it, AND want to keep it operational for a long time, have it serviced on a regular basis, INCLUDING the hinges.   Don't skimp and it will last a long time.

Good buy.

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

QUESTION: Any idea on the weight of the safe? Can you practice the combination without closing the door because when the door is open the index mark is the 1 o'clock spot not the 12 o'clock?


Generally steel is 42 lbs per square foot 1" thick (round it up to 45 lbs for a safety factor.

to get a rough idea of the weight of the safe, measure the thickness of the walls of your safe, and the length and width of each wall, top and bottom and do the math.

left side = h x d = sq inches / 144 to get sq feet, next sq feet x (thickness x 45).

so if the left wall of the safe is 24" h x 18" d = 432 sq inches / 144 = 3 sq feet.
If the wall is 1-1/2" thick the weight of the wall would be  3 sq ft x (1.5 x 45) = 202.5 lbs

Do the basic math for each wall and the face of the safe (using the door thickness), to get an overall approximate weight.

You will probably be over slightly, but better to think heavier than lighter.

As far as practicing the combination, yes you can.   with the door open, rotate the door and lugs to its normally locked position, the index mark will now be at 12 o'clock.   You can test the combination and all of the door operations.
NOTE:  If the door will not rotate, there may be a detent, holding in the open position.   The detent would be depressed when the door is closed into the body of the safe.  Locate the detent and depress it, then rotate the door lugs.

NOTE:  DO NOT close and lock the door until AFTER you have verified its operation.   If you have any problems or it doesn't seem to work correctly, have it checked out by a trained safe technician.  


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


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)

©2016 All rights reserved.