You are here:

Locksmithing/Difficult to shut control drawer of GSA Class 6 safe


I have a 4-drawer GSA class 6 security container with S&G mechanical lock.  For some time (years), the control drawer has been very difficult to shut and have the bolts latch - it takes a lot of effort and coercing to get the drawer to finally shut.  The drawer slides in smoothly, but the locking bolt on the left side appears to be the culprit (not the bolt worked by the lock, but the large bolt mechanism that holds the drawers in place), as the drawer appears to go slightly crooked just before the bolt finally latches.  There does not appear to be anything blocking the drawer.  Otherwise, the control drawer opens smoothly and the lock and locking mechanism are fine.  The other three drawers also operate smoothly.

Any suggestions on what I might try to solve my problem?


Sounds like an alignment issue to me.  A number of things could be causing this, including:

1.  items behind the drawer, keeping it from closing correctly.
2.  items under the drawer, causing a misalignment in the drawer.
3.  Loose drawer slides, possibly "sagging" slightly - enough to cause a drawer misalignment.

You can test the drawer with it "OPEN", release the detent mechanism to extend the locking bolts, and then lock the lock.   
Open the lock to test it, and turn the handle to retract the locking bolts and activate the detent device.

If everything operates correctly, then the problem is NOT in the bolt work or lock.

Next remove the drawer to inspect behind it and under it.   Also check the drawer slide attachment points, to ensure that it held in place correctly.    If the drawer slides are NOT securely attached to the inner sides of the cabinet, they will cause alignment problems.

If you still can't find any thing, it may be time to have a safe technician, who has GSA container training, inspect it to locate the actual issues.

Hope this helps,


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


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

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)

©2017 All rights reserved.