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Locksmithing/Sears & Roebuck Co. Tower safe


I inherited a safe from my grandfather.  It has a outer coating that is brown/rust colored paint with a roughened texture.  In the upper left corner of the door there is a black and silver logo that says "TOWER" with "Sears and Roebuck Co." directly under it on the same label.  On the upper right hand corner of the door is a black and silver label that says "Underwriters Laboratories Inc." with the word "inspected" under that and the word "safe" and a six digit stamped number underneath.  On the same label, but to the right of the UL info, it says "Fire Classification C" and "T-20 Tamper Resistant Door".  There is a silver handle on the left side of the door with a silver plate backing.  The dial is black metal with a gloss finish and white numbers and dial mark.  It look like there may have once been a logo on the dial that was affixed with an adhesive, but it has been lost.  There is an opening index mark and a changing index mark.  The dial numbers face upward and are not visible from about 1:30-10:30 as they are protected or hidden by a shroud around the dial.  The dimensions are: H-27" W-21" D-22.5"

I do have the combination, but I can't figure out how to follow by grandfathers instructions to open it.  He left me a file with this inside: "Left 37. 4 Times Right 55. 3 Times Left. 29. 2 Times Right to 92".  It was stamped into one of those old plastic label strips and left in the file.

I have followed the instructions as written and many other methods I read online with no luck.  I don't feel anything like it "locking in".  I know the safe can be opened as I saw him do it on many occasions.  I am sure it is just a matter of not using the proper procedure.  

Can you help me out?

Travis, TX


Tower Safe was simply a "LOGO" for Sears & Roebucks.   These safes were made by several different companies for Sears.

In general, the dialing sequence SHOULD be:

4 times left to the first number, 37
3 times right to the second number, 55
2 times left to the third number, 29
1 time right until the dial stops,   (around 92)

NOTE:   Do not count the revolutions of the dial, count the INDIVIDUAL number as it arrives at the 12 o'clock index mark.   Left is counter clockwise, right is clockwise.

So for instance, for your first number, you will turn the dial counter clockwise (left), stopping the FOURTH time the number "37" arrives at the index mark.    

Or, left to 37 once, 37 twice, 37 three times, stopping on 37 the fourth time it arrives.

NOTE:  You need to be fairly accurate on where you stop the last time.   Stopping on 36 or 38 will probably NOT work!   If you make a mistake on the first number, simply continue one more revolution to the number 37 again.    If you make a mistake on any of the other numbers you MUST completely start over again.

For the second number, after dialing to 37, you will turn the dial clockwise (right), stopping the THIRD time the number 55 ARRIVES at the index mark.

After using the above dialing sequence if you still can't get it to open, then you may need to have it checked out by a safe technician from a local safe company - NOT a locksmith.

Hope this helps.


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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

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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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