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Locksmithing/Trying To Open Old Meilink Safe

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Meilink Safe
Meilink Safe  
Combo
Combo  
QUESTION: I have an old safe that I cannot open. I have an old hand-written combination, but there is a problem with it.  The 2nd number appears to be "99" but the dial only goes up to "50".

I need better instructions on exactly how to turn the dial and any best guess on the mystery number.

Photos attached. I have other photos of the name decal and dial, but I could only attach 2 photos to this query.

Thanks,
Gary

ANSWER: Gary,

Generally people write their combinations the way that they understand them, and/or possibly in code.   The lock that I would expect to find on this container was manufactured by Eagle Lock and would be easy to distinguish as it should have a stamped on the dial knob of G-1 to 22, or 1 to 22-G, and the dialing sequence should be:

3 times left to the first number, (34)
2 times right to the second number, (99)
1 times left to the third number, (45)
1 time right until the dial stops - should be around 0) - bolt work should be retracted and door will open.   If the dial stops but the door doesn't open, you haven't turned the dial far enough.
NOTE:  If you have to force it - DON'T, there may be something wrong with it, or the door may be jammed.   Forcing it, may damage the lock or bolt work, and as parts are not available for this container, this should NOT be an option, unless you never want to use it again.

Left is counter clockwise, Right is clockwise.   DO NOT count the revolutions of the dial, count the INDIVIDUAL number as it arrives at the 12 o'clock index mark.   For instance for your first number, you would turn the dial counter clockwise (left), stopping the third time the number 34 arrives at the index mark.

I would only expect to see a 50 number dial on the lock on this container, which would indicate that the previous owner may have "coded" his combination.   My first conclusion would be to try all the numbers ending in "9" in substitute for the number 99 in your combination.

Looking through my records, the closest combinations that I can find to yours would be:

Dial Serial number      Combination
3 - G          34-20-46

If you have a different serial number (I can't zoom in close enough on your photo to see the serial number), let me know what you have, and I'll see what other info I can come up with.



---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

Meilink Dial
Meilink Dial  
QUESTION: Thanks for the quick & detailed reply.  I will attach a closeup photo of the dial.  The only number on it is "628"  You should be able to see it in the photo.  I looked very closely at the number to make sure the number "6" wasn't actually the letter "G" and it is not.  The stamp is very clearly a "6"

Since the dial numbers only go up to 50, I can't turn it to "99" as hand written on the card.  That is the main thing that is confusing me.  Either the "99" was written in error, or the "99" is actually something else that I can't make out due to the handwriting.

Maybe the closeup photo of the dial will help further.

Thanks again,
Gary

Answer
Gary,

Well this pretty much leaves you with about five options:

1.  as mentioned earlier, I indicated that I would try all of the various numbers on the dial ending with "9"  (9, 19, 29, 39, 49)   This would give you 5 different combinations to try.

2.  Try the combination as I've written it earlier, however, substitute the numbers 1-50 for the second number.   This will give you about 50 different combinations "as written" to test.

3.  If this doesn't work, you can test all the possible combinations.   Simply make up a spread sheet for all the various combinations and start testing them.   At worst this would be:  about 125,000 possible combinations.   Trying 500 different combinations per day would only take about 8.5 months, but hopefully you would find it earlier than that.

4.  Contact a local safe company to have their safe tech open, repair and recover the safe combination.   As this container is fairly small you can take it in to their shop to have the work done.   This would safe any mobile service charges.

5.  You could also try contacting Meilink to see if they have any records for your container.   As Meilink was acquired by FireKing International around 1990, they may not have records going back far enough, but it doesn't hurt to ask.   Contact them at:   800-528-9900   Discuss your options with Meilink's customer service.

NOTE:   I never recommend using locksmiths for safe work, as they generally don't have the training, knowledge or tools to work on safes without causing damage.    Contact a local safe company to have their trained safe technician work on your safe.   If you don't have a local safe company, let me know where you are located (zip code), and I'll see who I know in your area.  

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Terry V. Andreasen (Andy)

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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.

Experience

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".

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SafeCrackers International and the National Antique Safe Association Safe & Vault Technicians Association (SAVTA)

Publications
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Education/Credentials
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.

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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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