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Locksmithing/Meilink home safe dial is stuck


The dial on my old Meilink home safe is stuck and won't turn. It has not been maintained but worked up until now.  I have the combination.  What should I do to free up the combimation dial?

Can I open the safe by removing the hinges?


No, manufacturers figured out that trick around 150 years ago.   All but the cheapest safes usually have several dead locking pins on the hinge side of the door to keep it from being removed.

This safe has a three way active bolt work, with bolts on the open side, AND the top and bottom, so basically ALL four sides are secured.

The hinges don't do ANYTHING other than carry the weight of the door when it opens.

You might try to spray some lubricant (NOT WD-40) under the dial.   If the dial is what is stuck, it might free it up enough to get the lock to work.

If the lock is the problem (frozen), lubricant under the dial won't help.   Unless you plan on destroying the safe to open it, you will need a safe technician to open it for you.   As this is a smaller safe, you can save some of the cost, by taking the safe into their shop.

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, or charging exhorbant fees.

NOTE:  Locks for these safes are getting really hard to get.   It was a small foot print lock, so standard locks won't work.   Opening the safe by any means that will damage the lock, may also mean a ruined safe.

Hope this helps, 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.


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Terry V. Andreasen (Andy)


Safe and Vault related Questions; Antique Safe Repair and Restoration; With over 40 years in the Safe & Vault industry, if I can't answer your question I know where to get the answer. Current Project: Restoration of two Tilton & McFarland safes from the 1860'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.


40 years in the Safe & Vault Industry. 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

SafeCrackers International and the National Antique Safe Association

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 - 2014 - 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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