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Locksmithing/Jj Taylor Toronto safe



Good morning,
Our local town lost its office and firehall to a fire a few weeks ago. All of their documents were stored in the large safe. We were asked to recover the safe from the wreckage and open it. The safe was badly damaged but after methodically dismantling the door we were able to open it and recover everything intact. The safe was a work of art, from reading the history it appears to be of 1920's vintage. Inside the safe was a beautiful bank vault which was unharmed. I couldn't bear to see it scrapped so I set about recovering it. It was a project to salvage it from the fire cement. I did get it out intact.
The vault has two combination locks and I have the large brass key that fits the back of the combination locks. The town lost the combinations for the locks many years ago. I would like to use the vault after restoration so I am trying to find the instructions for the combination locks. I assume that the key can be used to reset combinations or at least help recover the existing combination. I have had no luck with local locksmith companies so I am hoping that there are some archives of information for this lock. Any information or advice you can provide would be greatly appreciated. I can send detailed pictures as required. I am a machinist and I could probably dismantle the locks to figure them out but I hate to reinvent the wheel. I have limited knowledge of combination locks and don't even know the dialling sequence.
Thank you

Gavin Reynolds

Celtic Power & Machining


Sent from my iPad

Hi Gavin,

This isn't a "vault", it is a jewelers chest.    A vault is a walk in type container or room.

As far as the locks go, I'll need more info to determine what you have.   Change key tools may/or maynot be available.

As far as the locksmiths go, I never recommend using locksmiths for safe work.   Generally they do not have the knowledge,  training or tools to work on safes.   You need a safe technician from a local safe company.
I also don't recommend lock disassembly as a DIY project for the same reasons.

If you would like to send photos of the lock to me for identification,  I would be happy to look at it for you.

Send the pics directly to me at :

along with any specific questions.  


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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

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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