Locksmithing/Lefebure safe

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Question
safe door is currently open. Pins seem frozen, so when the door is closed, the safe does not lock.

Answer
Fred,

Mechanical problems REQUIRE hands on diagnostics, solutions and repairs.   Without examining the door, bolt work and lock the only thing that I can do is make guesses.   Sorry but my crystal ball got broken, when my wife killed my money tree.

Generally, many doors include a bolt work detent which holds the bolt work in the retracted position when the door is open.  When the door is closed the detent is pressed in, releasing the bolt work.

When the bolt work is even partially retracted, the lock bolt is not allowed to extend.   The bolt work must be FULLY extended for the lock bolt to fully extend and the dial to turn.   If the door is not fully closed, the bolt work may also be blocked from fully extending.
Items which may have fallen under the lower bolts, or have been placed along the inside edge, may also be in the way of the bolts extending fully.   Shelves which may not be fully against the back wall, may block the door from closing fully, again this will keep bolt work from extending fully.

Lack of service, old grease, rust, etc.  can keep the bolt work from fully extending and/or jamming it up where it seems frozen.   Obviously if the bolt work is partially retracted, the lock ALSO will not operate correctly.

RULE NUMBER 1 - NEVER, EVER, EVER close and lock a safe door if it is not functioning correctly.  Resolve the problem and ensure that every thing operates correctly BEFORE closing and locking the door.   Failure to do so, can and will result in locked up safes and expensive openings.

If the problem is not readily apparant, then you probably need to have a safe technician from a local safe company examine it, solve the problem and repair it.

sorry I can't be of more help, but without examining the bolt work operation, any possible solution is simply a guess.

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Terry V. Andreasen (Andy)

Expertise

Safe and Vault related Questions; Antique Safe Repair and Restoration; With over 42 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.

Experience

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. 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 Author of "The Coffee Table Guide to Antique Safes".

Organizations
SafeCrackers International and the National Antique Safe Association Safe & Vault Technicians Association (SAVTA)

Publications
The Coffee Table Guide to Antique Safes AllExperts.com

Education/Credentials
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 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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