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Locksmithing/Model L2436 Pro-Steel Security Safe


I just but a very old used Pro-Steel safe, while transferring it to my home it fell over in the truck face down. It appears a shear pin inside the door handle broke off.  I can't open the door.  Any ideas if this can be repaired?  Will I ever be able to open the door.  I tried taking the door off its hinges to no avail.  Thanks for your advice

Hi Randy,

Sorry if I'm laughing about the hinge thing, and I'm not sure why anyone would think that removing the hinges would allow the removal of a safe door.    Manufacturer's figured out this trick about 170 years ago and have implemented active and inactive bolt work inside the door and hinge frame to keep this from happening, however for some odd reason this happens all of the time.     Safes really wouldn't be very safe if all you had to do to open it, was to remove the hinges, now would they.

Ok lets see if I can help you now.    You haven't indicated whether or not the lock is still working or not - so I have to assume that it is, and that the main problem is that the "handle" is disconnected from the bolt work.

My FIRST recommendation is for you to call a local safe company to have them open the safe and repair it.    They can accomplish this safely and without further damaging your safe.

"IF" you decide to do this as a DIY project, then you need to understand that this will entail some risk to you and/or items around the safe.   YOU need to make sure that you have everything in place and ready to go, BEFORE beginning work.    Even the slightest - oops, forget something - can result in serious injury.    If you decide to do this as a DIY project, you also assume ALL the risk.

If, based on your statements, the handle is the only thing that is disconnected, then we can assume that everything else is basically operational.   If your lock unlocks correctly then the bolt work simply needs to slide to the open position and the door will open.
If you have a mechanical combination lock, this should work successfully, if you have an electronic lock, because of the very small amount of time the lock actually unlocks - I would again recommend that you contact a local safe company to have them open your safe as this trick will not work.

Step one - Please reattach the hinges so that the door won't fall on you if it does open.

Step two - Carefully lay the safe over on its hinge side.

Step three - brace the safe door so that it will not suddenly swing open.

Step four - unlock the mechanical combination lock.     The door bolt work should slide open, and you will be able to open the safe door and lay it down.   The door may be heavy and you will be holding most of its weight while laying it down, so prepare for this!!!!

If the bolt work does not slide open, you may have to "bounce" the safe slightly.    If it still won't open, then you have more serious bolt work problems and you will need to contact a local safe company.    Check your yellow pages under safes & vaults for a local company.

If you don't have a local safe company, let me know where you are located (zipcode).   As you are in California, I have a number of references including my company, that you can possibly use.    You can save money on having the safe opened, if you can reload it into your truck and bring it to the local safe companies shop.

Note:    I do not recommend using locksmiths as they generally do not have the training, knowledge or tools to work on safes and can cause excessive damage.

Hope this works.


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Terry V. Andreasen (Andy)


Safe and Vault related Questions; Antique Safe Repair and Restoration; With over 40 years in the Safe & Vault industry, if I can't answer your question I know where to get the answer. Current Project: Restoration of two Tilton & McFarland safes from the 1860'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.


40 years in the Safe & Vault Industry. 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

SafeCrackers International and the National Antique Safe Association

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 - 2014 - 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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