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Locksmithing/cary hand change safe box


hey, we ran across a cary hand change 4 wheel, wondered if the dial would be rt, lft, rt , stop on the last number going lft. i have a tech on site who is not familiar with hand change and i am trying to recall the turning order and number of turns?


First item - I NEVER, EVER, EVER recommend lock disassembly as a DIY project for the same reason that I never recommend using locksmiths for safe work.   lack of training, knowledge and tools can and do result in expensive lockouts.   While I'm happy that you are working on this safe, and allowing a locksmith to learn (at your expenses) - the fact that he is NOT familiar with hand change locks and/or cannot figure out the dialing sequence of the lock would be a HUGE RED FLAG!!!

That being said, I'm sure that you are going to continue with the project, and hopefully both of you can learn from this experience.    Also hopefully without the expense of a locked up safe!

Cary used a number of different locks on safes made between 1878 to 1929.   In fact they only used a couple key change lock, which include the S&G C62 series (pre 6800 series) and during the last couple years they used the S&G M6720 series locks.   All of the other locks were hand change locks, and depending on whether or not they were straight tail piece and/or the number of wheels, they could have been LRLRL or RLRLR.

So bottom line, if you don't know which lock you are working with, I can't be of much help.   As you also didn't provide me with the serial number of the safe, I can not provide you with which lock that I would believe you are working with.

Early model Cary's with serial numbers below 18000 probably had the S&G C62 or C66 Roller bolt type locks.   This was a key change lock, so I don't think this would be your lock.

The next series would have been serial numbers between about 18001 to 23343, using a Yale 062-1/2 series 4 wheel lock, and the final 4 wheel locks used would have been between 89501 to around 166000 which used the Yale Y-6 series lock with 4 wheels.   Most of the Yale M-16 locks (Y-6 w/internal relocker) used, were in the three wheel version.

Dialing sequence for both the Yale Y6 and 062-1/2 would be:

5 times right to the first number,
4 times left to the second number,
3 times right to the third number,
2 times left to the fourth number,
1 time right until the dial stops.

Note:   Left is count clockwise and 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.

During the combination recovery or resetting phase, if ONE single item is reinstalled incorrectly, the lock may not work.   These older locks also may not dial up exactly to the numbers chosen, meaning that numbers (+/-) may have to be added to give you the desired result.

Hopefully this will help you out, if not, then you need to have a trained safe tech check the lock out for you.   Good luck.


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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

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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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