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Locksmithing/Herring Hall Marvin Safe


I tried to open my safe and the dial felt like it was sticking.  Almost like it was still able to be opened from the last entry.  I turned it left and right and it loosened and felt smooth again.  I then attempted to put the combination in and it will not open anymore.  Normally, it opens when going past the last combination number.  Turning the dial unlocks it.  There is no handle to open it.  Just the dial.

It is a very old safe, passed down through the years.  I have no manual and can't find anything on the internet.

On the top of the safe by the dial it says
Spec B1
Number Y12789
It is approx 2' by 12" by 12"



There are three reasons that a safe lock won't open, in order they are:

1.  Incorrect dialing sequences (operator errors)
2.  Incorrect combination (wrong numbers)
3.  mechanical problems,

Sounds like your safe has NOT been serviced in years.   At this point, there isn't much I can help you with as you actually need to have a safe technician check it out and repair or open it.

As far as manuals, manufacturers NEVER released information about their safes for obvious security and liability reasons, this includes serial numbers, combinations and manuals.   There are no manuals available.

Bottom line you are at a point where you need hands on diagnostics, which means having a safe tech, from a local safe company.   If you don't have a local safe company, let me know where you are located (zipcode) and I'll see who I know in your area.


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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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