Locksmithing/Vault Door


Door 2
Door 2  
Door 1
Door 1  
QUESTION: I have this vault door. It is only for nostalgic decoration, it's not functioning as a vault to secure anything. I'm wondering how old it might be or any other info you may be able to help me with. There no markings other than the manufacture, "Dieblod Safe & Lock co. Canton Ohio".


I would recommend that you contact Diebold direct, to find out when the door was actually made.  As I have no access to their records, the best that I would be able to do, would be to estimate when it was made.    based on the style, it could be late 1800's up through the late 1920's.
There may be some patent dates listed on the dials, locks or the time locks.   While these dates ONLY apply to the DATE that the patent was issued for THAT particular item, it also gives you a date that the door could NOT have been made before.

Diebold would need a serial number to do any records research on the door, so I recommend that you not only have every number that you can find ready, but you should also have a photo of every number.   This will ensure that possibly one of them will be the one the factory needs.

The door is what we term a "Crane Hinge, Pressure Bar type, vault door.   While the majority of this style of door would have been used by smaller banks, it could also have been used by anyone wanting or needing a vault, but not wanting one of the higher security doors.

You can contact Diebold by going to their website or calling their customer service at:

800-806-6827   (product info)

Unfortunately, Diebold isn't always the friendliest company to deal with, when doing research, so don't feel to upset if you don't get a lot of info.

I would be more than happy to try to answer your questions, but you will need to be specific with any requests.

You mention that it isn't a functioning vault?   My first question would be "why not"????

I worked on a vault door a couple weeks ago, in a bank, where the door was built between 1889-1896.   If that bank can use their door, I'm not sure why you don't have yours in working order???    Obviously this means that the door would need regular maintenance and cleaning.   I also notice that it is getting a lot of rust.    This is NOT a good sign, and if you plan on passing it on to someone else 50 or 100 years from now, you need to have it cleaned, and maintenance performed.

Hope this helps,

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

Inside dials
Inside dials  

possible number
possible number  
QUESTION: Andy, Thank you for such through info. I attached two more photo's, the one on the front has the #317 just above the lower dial. I'm not sure if that is of any more help. The place this door was located was built into a garage within a home. He thought it was a nice piece of history as do I. He removed some of the parts on the inside of the door so his kids and there friends could not lock themselves inside. Not sure where the man got it but he sold the house and the new owner did not want it. Your right, I emailed Diebold and they have not responded.
How would you recommend I clean it up and where might I find missing parts. Not sure which ones are missing however.
Thanks again,


you might try calling them - if you explain that you have a vault door from the early 1900's that you are trying to get some history on, they might transfer you to someone that has the info.   Emails are "person-less", and will generally go unanswered if they don't go to the correct person to start with.

First thing that you need to deal with is the rust.   There are several chemicals which will stop the rust in its tracks - however, if you don't immediately get it cleaned off and oiled, the rust WILL come back with a vengeance.

unless you can "re-machine" the jeweled or jiggered finish on the door, the solution may simply be to paint it.   It won't look as nice as a polished machine finish, but your door may be beyond this level of restoration.

Most of the items on the door, can be removed, cleaned and polished, or replated to bring them back to a show room finish, but the skin may be beyond help - depends on how much work you are willing to do.

As far as pieces and parts go, because Diebold made so many of these locks and parts, it shouldn't be too difficult to find items, but generally shops having parts are NOT going to part them out, which means that you may be buying complete locks, etc.   Parts which are not available can be fabricated by most machine shops.

I recommend that you have a trained safe technician, who is familiar with this type of door, examine and/or service it.   They should be able to come up with a listing if items that the door needs.

As far as "numbers" on the time lock movements, these have nothing to do with the door, Movements would normally be "swapped out" on an annual basis for service, which means that while these movements are correct, they are probably not original to THIS door.  


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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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