Locksmithing/Cary safe


Hello Terry,
I live in buffalo, N.Y. and have a cary safe. Recently the lock/tumbler was not working, fortunatly it was not locked. I took apart the tumbler for 2 reasons 1 was to explore why ther was no response when turning the dial and found that where the dial would normally activate the tumbler on the inner side of the door seems as if a piece has sheared off, although there were no small pieces of metal(brass) within the door. The second reason I was curious was that my father had forgot(misplaced) the combination, I was able to figure out the combo and showed it to him and then he went oh yes those numbers are familiar. My main question is do or can you refer me to someone to purchase a new or working dial. The serial number on the handle is 199507, if you could give me an approximate date of production and any assistance in parts it would be greatly appreciated. I would love to forward some pictures, my email is .


NEW?????  are you kidding???   The Cary Safe Company has been out of business since 1929 and parts have not been available since around that same time.    There is no such thing as "after market parts" for antique safes - the market is simply too small.
The ONLY parts which may be available would be salvaged parts off of safes which were scrapped for one reason or another.   These are few and far between, and generally most companies salvage these parts for their own usage and NOT for sale.   

Bottom line, what this means is that in order to actually "FIND" parts, you have to know what you are looking for, and you would have to scour every safe company around to find someone with the parts that you need.

Lets start with your serial number and date of manufacturer.   based on my records (which are occasionally updated as I get new information), your safe would have been made around 1927 - towards the end of the companies history.    At this time the lock that was being used was the Yale M16 lock.    Within about 2400 safes, Cary changed over to a new style lock - the S&G M6720 lock.   These locks are not compatible nor are they interchangeable.

Now before you spend a lot of time looking for a replacement lock for your safe, which could run you $500-$650, you might want to look at having your lock repaired.   Chances are if the fixed fly on the drive wheel has sheared off, you DO NOT need a replacement dial.   
Obviously without actually seeing the lock, I'm going on your description of the problem, but based on that description this is possibly a very minor - repairable problem.    simply fabricate a new fixed fly and attach it to the drive wheel.

If you don't have the mechanical capability, and/or tools to accomplish this task, then you may want to use a safe technician from a local safe company.   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 to recommend - worse case send the drive wheel to me for repairs.

While this safe is currently NOT an antique, it is still a collectible.   I'm happy to see that you are interested in keeping it operational for two reasons - first it is a small piece of the Buffalo areas history, and you are keeping something from your father in working condition.    Hopefully you will eventually have the safe fully restored.    In about 14 years this safe WILL be an antique.

Hope this helps,  


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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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