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Locksmithing/USCAN UC-1310 safe question.....



I have the above mentioned safe I bought new 15? years ago. I open it probably about 3 or 4 times a year. It's probably been 6 - 8 months since the last time I was in there, and it worked just fine then.  (It's hidden off in a closet, so it never gets bumped or anything.)
When trying to open just now, I put in the combination, and then when I turn the key it only goes about half-way around (so a 45 degree turn instead of 90 degree) and then it comes to a dead stop. You can tell it starts to open, as the door "moves" a little, and it's acting like it wants to open - but it only gets half-way there. I've tried going back and forth with the key while I jiggle the dial (it has some room to move a couple of numbers on either side of the last number before it stops), but to no avail. I even tipped the safe up in the front about 45 degrees, on case something had shifted and was pushing on the door - but that didn't help either.

Any ideas on what I might be doing wrong, or what I could do to "finish" the opening?




There are a number of possible problems that could be causing this.   First could be something on the inside that is caught between the door and frame, or in the bolt work.   Second could easily be something worn or damaged in the safe.   Safes DO require regular maintenance to work consistently and problem free.   If you have had the safe for over 15 years, you are probably over due for a mechanical problem.
This safe was built as an "inexpensive", "economical" safe for home owners.   In order for it to be inexpensive and economical, it is not built to be one of the better safes available, which means that they will wear out and/or have problems.

Without having the safe in front of me, I can only speculate on what is causing the problem.   You might try to tip the safe so that the door is on top, if something is caught in the bolt work or door it may move out of the way enough to open the door.   If a screw or fastener on the bolt work has come loose, this may or may not help to move it out of the way.

If you still can't get it open, then you will need to have it checked out by a safe technician from a local safe company.   Bad news is that the service to open and repair the container could easily cost more than it is worth.

Sorry, wish the news was better.


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Terry V. Andreasen (Andy)


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.


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".

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

The Coffee Table Guide to Antique Safes

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

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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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