Locksmithing/cole safe


i have to unlock a little cole safe with a dial of 35 number. i dont have numbers but i knew there were a way to calculate the combinaison with the numbers on the side of the safe. but i dont remember how, i dont use it enought. i remember i was calculating it with a chalk because we had to erase some number. but i dont remember how i was doing. Can you help me with that!


I'm not sure "what you were calculating", but manufacturers NEVER associated combinations with serial numbers or any other number that they placed on a container, for obvious security and liability reasons.

If the numbers were written by a previous owner, then while the numbers place there may have association with the combination, they have no reference to the safe.

I'm not sure where you got the idea concerning a "calculation" available for combinations, but someone was simply pulling your leg.

If you are looking for the "dialing sequence", then this is NOT a calculation.   The sequence will depend on how many wheels in your lock.   As several locks were used on these cabinets, the sequence may be one of a number of variations.   All of the Cole cabinets I've seen had three wheel locks and 100 number dials.

I would assume that with a 35 number dial, your container would only have 2 combination wheels and a drive wheel, giving you a sequence of:

3 times right to the first number,
2 times left to the second number,
1 time right to the third number,

If you were working with numbers left by a previous owner, you would need to provide me with the numbers that you are currently working with, so that I can get some idea of what you have, and possibly what you are doing wrong.


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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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