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# Locksmithing/Est. Weight of Mosler safe

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QUESTION: What is the (approximate) weight of a double-doored Mosler jeweler's floor safe that was manufactured in 1914 with a handle number of 257720 with dimensions of 68" high, 38" wide, 28" deep?

Any assistance will be appreciated, including any suggestions about other resources for an answer.

Thank you.

ANSWER: John,

Estimating weight is more than simply taking an exterior set of dimensions, and coming up with a number.   Also, just because a "jeweler" may have owned a safe has no bearing on its construction.

Jewelers "CHESTS" were INTERIOR safes and NOT free standing safes.   A bankers model WAS a free standing safe.    Jewelers chests could be found inside of standard cast iron type fire resistive safes or in bankers safes.

As Mosler has been out of business for almost 13 years, there are no records available any longer which might give you the weight or any other info about your safe.

In order to estimate the weight, I'm going to need full dimensions, inside and out, as well as how the safe is constructed, so that I can do basic calculations.   If you don't know (and don't even guess!), then send me photos of the safe (inside and out) along with all off the measurements, so that I can do some calculations.

As far as the safe being "1914", where did you come up with this date???   By my calculations, it would be from around 1920-1925!    If you are basing it off of a "patent issue date" which may be on the safe, then this is not a correct date.    Manufacturers NEVER placed the date of manufacture on a safe, though patent dates were placed there for references to the patents.

If necessary send me the photos to andy@securitysafeusa.com

Your other alternative would be to simply take it to a local rock company and have it weighed.   Take the trailer without the safe (empty) and weigh it, then take the trailer with the safe and have it weighed.   This weight will be more accurate than an estimate.

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

QUESTION: Andy,

Thanks for your initial response.  Here are some answers to your questions:
As previously stated, the outside dimensions are 68" high, 38" wide, 28" deep. New: The interior dimensions are 59 3/4" high, 29" wide, 21" deep.
The 1914 date is taken from a Mosler website for handle #257720: http://boemosler.freeservers.com/serial.htm   Your assistance in estimating the weight will be much appreciated.

John

Answer
John,

There is no "Mosler" website.   This company has been out of business since 2001, and NEVER published any info concerning serial numbers, combinations or similar info for obvious security and liability reasons.
The web page you are referencing is an "Asian" web page, reproduction of a listing of serial numbers which were published by another individual on his site (which has since been pulled), which was a copy of a compilation published in "Will's Safe Facts and Techniques" in the 1980's.   This listing was NOT a release from the factory, and contained numerous GLARING errors, including the years 1887 where instead of the normal average of around 5000 safes, they, all of a sudden made almost 28,000 safes????? and they totally skipped 1922.    This list is NOT accurate, and is full of errors.   This listing is basically just a copy of the "Will's" info, in a slightly different format.

I have a copy of a letter sent to a Mosler Owner in May 1950, who had questions concerning his safe.   This particular safe, serial number 162384 was shipped from the factory in 1903 (per Mosler), which means that it would have been made between 1902-1903.    Using this "known" number and DATE as a starting point, would give us 95,336 safes until yours was made.   Also using a "straight line" average of quantities made (average per year) of 5600, your safe would have been made approximately 17 to 18 years later, which would give you a date of 1920 to 1921.   As there were "short years" during WWI, I've given you a period of between 1920-1925 as my estimate of when your safe "could" have been made.

Just because something is published on the web, does not guarantee its accuracy or relevancy.   The problem with web info, is unless you have completely checked and vetted it, it should ALWAYS be considered as a "suspect" source, and NOT reliable.

Note:   I'm not going into all of this info to "spank you", but as this is a general forum, there are others that read this info also, and I try to use only documented info or info which I believe to be the most Accurate available, to provide you with the best info possible.    Any time that I find info, or question my own records, I completely re-research to correct any inaccuracies.

As far as the weight goes (and I'm assuming that this is a "cast iron" type safe, with 1/4" thick steel walls (inside and out, with approximately 4" thick concrete/masonry type insulation material in the walls, etc.

Based on your measurements, I would calculate this safe to be in the 3500 to 4000 lb range (and I'm leaning towards 4000 lbs.)
Basic steel weight is 42 lbs per square foot, 1" thick, and basic concrete weight is 145 lbs per cubic foot.

If the walls are only 1/8" of steel, and/or the insulation (wall thickness) is less than about 4.5" thick, then the weight of the safe would be slightly less, but for "moving" purposes, I figure you are going to be pretty close at the 4000 lb mark.

Hope this helps,

Questioner's Rating
 Rating(1-10) Knowledgeability = 10 Clarity of Response = 10 Politeness = 10 Comment Andy's responses, and the work and patience that they display, are extraordinarily helpful. Easily exploited amateur meets world-class expert. Expert prevails, with forbearance. I couldn't be more pleased with his thoughtfully calculated answer to my original question -- and learned a lot along the way. Outstanding! Thanks to your service and especially to Andy who transformed ignorance into lemonade. John

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#### Terry V. Andreasen (Andy)

##### Expertise

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.

##### Experience

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".

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SafeCrackers International and the National Antique Safe Association Safe & Vault Technicians Association (SAVTA)

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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.

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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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