Locksmithing/Locked Mccaskey Safe


I prctice combination lock manipulation as a hobby and have recently started working on an Eagle combination lock that is really stumping me.  I buy or take locked safes that the combination is unknown and manipulate them open to learn and hone this skill.  As a mechanical engineer by trade, learning how each type of combination lock I face works before i start into the manipulation  helps tremendously in my success rate as you can understand.  I have been trying to figure out what type of lock this Eagel is with no success.  the reason I cant figure it out muself is that The dial doesnt turn very smoothly so I am unable to finf the contat points.  it is even difficult to figure out how many numbers are in the combo by listening for the wheels being picked up.  I cant find anything about any other safe made by Mccaskey of Galt Ontario either as they were primarily a cash register maker.  I would really appreciate any insight you may have on what type of lock this Eagle is,  how many numbers are in the combo for it and what the dialing sequence may be.  
Thanks in advance!


Obviously for security and liability, I'm sure you will understand WHY I do not give out any opening information on this "OPEN" forum, to include drilling information or manipulation information.   As I have no way of knowing who you are and/or the relationship or authorization that you have to work on the safe, this is even more so.

That being said what I can provide you with is basic identification of the safe or lock.

Here is the basic history for McCaskey:
MCCASKEY REGISTER COMPANY  (Alliance, Ohio) 1903-1953
While they did manufacturer a small line of safes from 1914 until 1953, the majority of the safes marketed under their label were not made by McCaskey.
The McCaskey Register Company came into being at 321 Rush Street, Alliance, Ohio in 1903.  It was the brain child of Perry A. McCaskey.  He wanted to make account keeping less frustrating for himself and his customers.  When McCaskey bought the building at Rush street, it was simply a blacksmith shop. He converted it to his first factory which later became plant no. 1.  
McCaskey was bought by Business systems Inc. shortly after WWII, but the name was kept.  In 1953 they were bought by the Victor adding Machine Company, finishing the line.
McCaskey had left the company shortly after 1908 to pursue other avenues.
In 1914 the McCaskey Register Company introduced the “fire proof register safe”.  It was insulated and fire proof.  This innovation was brought about by a fire caused by spontaneous combustion of varnish in 1908.  The fire destroyed a large stock of wood registers so a change was needed.
Dates of safe manufacture 1914 until their acquisition by Victor Adding Machine Company, in 1953.

During the time that McCaskey was producing safes, they used a number of different locks including Yale, S&G, and Eagle.   Though obviously if one of the safes was made by a different company and labeled as a McCaskey, it may have had something that they didn't use.

If you have actual training in manipulation, the first item that you would have learned would be identification, identification, identification.   Without knowing the lock, you are simply making educated guesses.   Some of the best manipulators that I know have been stumped simply because they can't identify a particular locs operation.

This safe actually appears to be a Meilink Safe.   Eagle made a couple locks, with a 50 number dial, which were used by Meilink.   Both locks were designed to retract the door locking bolt during the final turn.   Both types were pin change type wheels.   The first was a two wheel lock with the dialing sequence of:
3 times right to the first number,
2 times left to the second number,
1 time right until the dial stops, door should now be open.

The second lock was a three wheel lock with the dialing sequence of:
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, door should now be open.

Second lesson you learn is that not every lock can be manipulated.   Some times factors amount, that are not in your favor.   For instance on older locks that may not have had service in many years, can have hardened grease, or stuck flys, resulting in errors in your readings, and/or inability to simply "count wheels".   Without knowing how many wheels, again you are simply guessing.
While the above locks did not have moveable flys, the old grease, and/or debris could be making your manipulation miserable.   Unfortunately, you won't be able to clean the lock until you get it open.

At the minimum, if you have the two wheel lock, you would have 2500 possible combinations, and on the three wheel version, 125,000 possibilities.  By dialing every other number, you could cut that down to about 15,625 possibilites and probably still get it open.

While I'm sure you understand why I can't give out actual opening instructions or training in opening safes, I hope the information I've been able to give you will help.


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


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 AllExperts.com

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)

©2017 About.com. All rights reserved.