Locksmithing/Schwab vault

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Question
We just moved into a home and discovered a Schwab model R1763 vault door behind a false wall in the basement.  The previous owners were aware of it but never used it as it was installed even before they owned the home. I am in the Chicago suburbs and looking for help to getting it open, hopefully without damage so it can still be used. It is a hundred number combination lock with Sargent and Greenleaf label.

Answer
David,

you basically have two options, you can try all of the possible combinations for the lock or you can contact a local safe company to have their safe technician open th door for you.

While there are around 1,000,000 possible combinations for this lock, you can try the number that it was probably set on when it left the factory, though THIS combination should have been reset when the door was installed for the original owner - other than tracking down the original owner, there will be no record of the combo set on this door.

Some factories set the locks on neutral numbers until the door is installed, and the combo set.  In your case it would have been on a single number - probably 50.  The dialing sequence for this would be:

4 times left to 50,
1 time right until the dial stops (should be around 90).

NOTE:  Left is counter clockwise, Right is clockwise.  DO NOT count the revolutions of the dial, count the individual number as it arrives at the 12 o'clock index mark.   If the dial DOES NOT stop when you are going to the right, then the combo has been changed.

The standard dialing sequence should be:

4 times left to the first number,
3 times right to the second number,
2 times left to the third number,
1 time right until the dial stops (around 90).

If you still can't get it open, contact a local Safe company to schedule up service.   NOTE:  I NEVER recommend using locksmiths for safe work, as they generally don't have the training, knowledge or tools to work on safes without causing excessive damage.
If you don't have a local safe company, let me know where you are located (zipcode) and I'll see who I know in your area.

Hope this helps

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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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