Locksmithing/Old bank safe


My husband used an old bank safe in his bar.  He has since purchased a newer one and had the old bank safe moved to our basement for our personal use.  It has 2 top drawers that open by a key and the bottom is the safe that also opens with the same key. The safe has a combination lock also.  The safe can be opened and closed with the key only, therefore not having to open it with the combination every time.  Sure enough, I lost the key.  It has Sargent & Greenleaf on the dial of the combination lock and embedded in the circle of the key locks is 016 .
My husband says I will have to call the locksmith.  I have found alot of replacement items on ebay and the internet.  I don't know if that would be safe though.  I thank you in advance for any advise you may give us.

ANSWER: Yvette,

Sounds like it is simply an undercounter cabinet, NOT a safe.   Safes are built for either fire resistance or burglary resistance.   These cabinets were built for cashiers to use during the day, NOT for overnight storage of cash.

I would recommend that you take the cabinet to a local locksmith shop to have them pick the lock or make a key for it.   While we can probably make a key by code, cost would be more than you would pay a locksmith and without having the lock here we can't guarantee whether or not it would work.

I'm not sure WHAT "replacement items" you are referring to, but if you are comparing a safe to your cabinet, it is like apples and oranges.

If you are looking for a safe, then you need to decide on what kind of protection you are looking for fire, burglary or both???

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

I would say this is not a cabinet, because it is extremely heavy. My husband said it is a safe used in a bank by tellers and it would take at least 2 strong men to move it.  The banks these days probably have electronic locks besides the key.
The replacement items I was referring to was possible finding a key on ebay.
I will call a locksmith to our home and go from there.
Sorry, I cannot attach an image, because this is an old desktop computer.
Thank you so much for your response.


I would be more than happy to look at your container to establish what you actually have.

I only deal with facts, as in WHAT it actually is, as opposed to what it is claimed to be.  If you can't attach any photos, you can always print one out and snail mail it to me.   I get photos in the USPS on a regular basis from people who can't email them.

I'm not sure I would buy a key off of EBay.   You would have no idea if it actually works for your container before paying for it, and if you did receive a key with the markings that you requested, the seller would have met his side of the bargain, regardless of it works or not.

The locksmith approach is really probably the best.


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.