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Locksmithing/keep safe made by John brush co.


I saw your response about a lost combination. I have one too. am trying to call but can't get thru yet. I heard that back in the day, that if you take the first number and place at the end, then use the 6 numbers in that order, that is your combination. Any truth to that? might try it while waiting.

My safe was left by former tenants and I have always wondered what if anything was in it. A locksmith would charge $300 plus in my area just to drill it open with no new combination.


I'm not sure where you heard the rumor about switching the first and last number of the serial number would be the combination - I've been in the business for over 40 years and I've never heard that.   If it was true, it would have gotten out pretty quickly  and manufacturers wouldn't have used it for very long.
Safes wouldn't be very safe if it was that simple, and manufacturers would have been liable for any loses suffered by customers whose safes had been compromised by a stupid policy like that.

Feel free to try it out, but I wouldn't recommend holding your breath why trying it!  :)

Cost to open safes similar to this, in the field are normally in the $350 to $500 range.   The cost to get the vehicle and all the tools, the service tech, the thousands of dollars worth of tools and all the years of training most safe techs have, justify the cost.

While it doesn't seem fair that it probably costs more to have it opened than the safe is worth, you have to remember that you are NOT buying a product, you are purchasing a service.

Generally you can save some of the money by taking it into their shop to have it opened. and if you don't plan on having it repaired, would save a few more dollars, but that is up to the lock or safe company.

I generally don't recommend using locksmiths for safe work.  As they usually do not have the training, knowledge or tools to work on safes, they can cause excessive damage or charge exhorbant fees, so it might be worth checking around.

Your other option would be to try to open it yourself.   If you aren't going to have it repaired, then destroying it isn't a problem.

Sorry, I'm sure this isn't the answer you were looking for, but it is the answer.


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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

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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