Locksmithing/star safe



we just bought a car dealership in Norman Oklahoma. only to find a star floor safe in the sales managers floor. in that the installation was done in the 70's, the combination is long gone. what course of action can i follow to open this safe....we have no idea what is in it....description is as follows:
1. single dial with a handle to remove top ( handle attached by  
  metal screws
2. top diameter is app 7 to 8 inches
3. can rotate top but not remove top with out combination.
4. would rather not destroy top to reveal contents...
5. if we have to drill safe to open, can i get a replacement top
  with working combination to replace the damaged top ??

Jim maybes


First lets start with the obvious - contents!    With the exception of a "death", people DO NOT abandon safes, with "stuff" still in side.   While it is a romantic notation of the locked up safe, loaded with treasure, it simply isn't the case.    Very, Very rarely have I ever opened a locked safe in a similar situation, where there was anything inside.

Next item the combination.   Fortunately, The company that owns Star has many of the records still available, as long as the serial number on your safe is "AFTER" 370940!   If it is, send an email request to me, as I have a combination request authorization form that I will need you to fill out, before I can contact the factory on your behalf.

Worse case, if the factory does not have the combo or records for your safe, it will have to be drilled.   This safe uses Star's "manipulation resistive" lock.   If it is opened by a trained, proficient Safe technician, the safe can be opened without any damage, and the combination recovered, the door serviced and repaired, and you are back in business.

If for some reason the door is damaged, or frozen, it may have to be replaced.   Cost of a parts repair kit is about $385 (plus tax & labor), and a new door is about $470.

Obviously having a new door doesn't do any good unless this one has been opened and removed or repaired.   Cost to have it opened should be in the $350 to $500 range, (plus parts).   Prices do vary across the country, but finding what seems the cheapest, does NOT also mean the best service.
Contact a local safe company to have their safe technician open & repair (or replace) your safe.   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 excessive damage or charging exhorbant fees.

If you don't have a local safe company, let me know where you and the safe 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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