Locksmithing/old bank vault door


Steel Vault Door
Steel Vault Door  
I recently purchased a vault door online, with tentative plant to install it as a gun vault door in the house I am building.  I know very little about it and will pick it up in a few weeks.  However, I was hoping that from the picture that you might be able to give me some info about the vault door.  Brand? Vintage? Any other interesting info.  I am also curious how much it may cost to recover the combination as the combination has been lost.  Can this type of vault door be opened from the inside?  Thanks.  




First off, "VINTAGE" applies to a bottling of wine or harvest, not to old stuff, especially safes and doors.

As far as the manufacturer and/or age (when it was manufactured), I'm going to need much better photos.

the ONLY thing that I can tell from this photo, is that it appears the lock wheel curb is missing.   The curb is the component which holds the wheel pack together as a unit.   if this is missing, you will still be able to open and close the door, but not lock it.

If THIS is what you are referring to when you indicate "the combination has been lost", this would be like buying a truck with no transmission, and wondering why you can't get it to run.   The bad news is that while millions of trucks may be around to obtain parts off of, the same is NOT true for old doors and locks.
If the wheel pack/curb is missing then the door and lock have limited security value.   I would need a schematic or drawing of the existing lock foot print to see what locks might be available, or upgradeable to your door.

As far as opening the door from the inside, these doors were never planned or envisioned to "lock people inside" and so they were not made to be easily unlocked from the inside.   That being said, as long as you have the necessary tools, you CAN unlock it from the inside.   Tools would include a flashlight (so you can see in the dark), screw drivers, and possibly a crescent wrench.

In order to answer specific questions, identify, evaluate or appraise your door, I'm going to need photos.  They should include full exterior and interior.  Detail photos should include pictures of the dial, handles, hinges, artwork, locks, bolt work, and any special details or damage.
If you have a particular detail that you have a question about, I will need a photo of it along with your question.

I will also need to see any documentation that you have in regards to your door.  If your door has a unique historical perspective, you should be able to document this with letters, newspaper articles or photos, if not it is simply a story and will have no bearing on any value of your door.

Please use as high a resolution as possible so that I can examine details of your door.  Pictures which are low resolution, out of focus, or from a distance donít help when we try to evaluate the container.  Note:  with higher resolution, you may only be able to send 2-4 pictures per email, depending on the size of the file, I have a 10mb limit per email.  If photos are larger than 2mb each, you may only be able to send 2 or 3 photos per email, requiring several emails.

Please donít send me ďcell phoneĒ photos.   Also, please donít use on-line photo drops as most of these also donít allow me to easily access the photos for examination.   Send the pics directly to me, while this may be more work for you, it will make my job easier.

Please send all of the requested photos to:  andy@securitysafeusa.com

Note:  As I am in the field several days each week, covering a huge service area, I may not get back to your photos immediately, but I will respond as soon as I get an opportunity.  Due to field work, emails may tend to get backed up which means I may not answer them immediately.

Our informal evaluation is at no charge, however if you feel you need a formal evaluation or appraisal for insurance, estate sales, donations for tax write offs, or to establish it as an antique, there is an administrative fee for this service.

While you may not need an appraisal of the VALUE  ($$$$) of the door, it does not change the fact that I will still need all of the requested photos to evaluate and ID what you have.


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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 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)

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