Locksmithing/Opening an Eastern Research and Engineering Wall Safe
QUESTION: Dear Dan,
I recently moved into an apartment that has a wall safe in the master bedroom closet. It says on the dial that it was manufactured by the Eastern Research and Engineering Company and the serial number is 2567. I want to be able to manipulate or find someway to open it without damaging it since it would be nice to use myself. I even bought a stethoscope but am still having a hard time cracking it. I tried calling several local locksmiths but they all said they'd most likely need to destroy the safe in order to open it. Is there any advice you can give me so that I may salvage this safe?
ANSWER: The Eastern Research safe (sometimes referred to as a Boston safe) is not a complicated safe.
However, you're not going to open it with a stethoscope.
We would manipulate this safe open for $295 if you were in our area.
I know a bunch of guys in FL that could do this job for you. Whereabouts in Fl are you?
A safe NEVER needs to be destroyed to open, unless it has already been torched/burglarized.
Give the nearest big city and I'll send you some names.
American Safe & Vault Service
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Dear Dan,
I thought it a bit ridiculous that these locksmiths were unwilling to manipulate it, especially after reading some earlier posts about this type of safe being easy to manipulate. I guess they didn't want to spend the time manipulating it... Anyways, I've read some more about manipulation and want to give another crack at it. However, if I can't do it myself I'd very much appreciate it if you could give me some way to contact a reputable locksmith in the Fort Lauderdale area.
Hi Kurt. A lot of these guys are only after low hanging fruit. Drill'em and bill'em is their credo.
Realistically, if you want to spend the time, you can manipulate this yourself.
First, turn the dial 4 or more times right. Then turn left until you feel a little resistance, turn back to the right until you feel a little resistance.
These are your contact points. The number right in the middle of these will be your last number.
Now you need to progress the other numbers.
Start with turning the dial 3 times left until you get to "0". This will move the first wheel into position.
Now turn right until you pass "0" stopping at 95. Turn left to the drop in, the last number between the contact points.
Does it open? If not, turn right until 90, then back to the drop in. Did it open? If not, turn right to 85 and so on.
When you get all the way around to 5 and it doesn't open, start back with 3 times left to 5. Then right past 5 until you reach zero.
Does it open?
I'm sure you get the picture by now. It helps if you either write down the combos you try or do a spreadsheet of possible combos.
If this is not urgent, I'll be in FL in a couple of months and can stop by.
Otherwise I would go to savta.org and find a safe guy. Just ask him if he manipulates. If not, go the next one. I would recommend Jeff Gater in South Florida.