Locksmithing/Safe Technician


Josh wrote at 2014-02-07 22:51:16
Thank you so much for all this great information.I have not considered much regarding service area, It is a variable, if I am able to do the work, or if it's economically feasible I will take the job, If I can refer somebody else through TAOL or SAVTA I do so.

as for repairing, I have done my homework. I may not know it all, but I do know that the repair of the safe must be to or better than factory standards, most importantly I know where my skill set ends and I have no problem with passing on the work to a more experienced safe tech.

Warranty, 90 days sounds reasonable , I will start to integrate that onto my invoices specifying the work I have done is warrantied. I check the bolt work and insides of the safe even on combination changes, unless I've serviced the safe myself recently. If I'm there I might as well take a look inside.

I've heard of the first three and I am looking into a few others. I'll check that list out.

I absolutely agree with knowing before going out, I make game plans before going out, and I usually have backup plans also in case all goes wrong. Like I said, I have no problem passing the job onto a tech that can do the job, If I'm lucky they will let me watch and learn. I had one customer call me for a  bungled safe, I made the job a longer than I should of trying an experimental fix, I made sure the invoice reflected a regular call for that type of problem, not how long I was actually there.  I explained this to the client and they were more than happy with the honesty. Even though perhaps, I may of gotten away with charging for the full time, I had to tell them.

That vault sounds amazing, I'd love to see a pic.

I have great mechanical skills and I am working on a library, I start off with mostly electronic versions , then print them, I also have some older books on the subject. I prefer Hard Copy, the information is more easily obtained for me. On the field, a tablet or laptop maybe best. I have heard a saying "If you do not have more than 2 copies of that file, you don't care about it)

I am a firm believer that one pays a locksmith or safe tech the price they are paid, because, they are in the know, If you do not know, research should not be billed. Neither should mistakes made.

reminds me of this

Steinmetz spent most of his later career working for the General Electric Company in Schenectady, New York. In 1902, Steinmetz retired to take a teaching position at Schenectady's Union College. General Electric later called on Steinmetz to return as a consultant by Henry Ford, after a very complex system broke and the General Electric technicians failed to fix it. Steinmetz agreed to return for the consulting work. He examined the broken system, found the malfunctioning part, and marked it with a piece of chalk. Charles Steinmetz submitted a bill to General Electric for $10,000 dollars. Henry Ford was miffed at the bill and asked for an itemized invoice.

Steinmetz sent back the following invoice:

   Making chalk mark $1

   Knowing where to place it $9,999

Thanks Andy.  


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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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