Locksmithing/Art Metal

Advertisement


Question
I INHERITED A ART METAL INSULATED FILE SAFE MADE IN JAMESTOWN NY. IT HAS NO MODEL #. IT HAS TWO DRAWERS WITH THE TOP BEING COMBINATION LOCK WHICCH WORKS FINE. BUT I CANT OPEN THE BOTTOM DRAWER. IT HAS A THUMB LATCH WHICH APPEARS TO WORK BUT STILL WON'T OPEN.

Answer
Dean,

This company hasn't been in business for possibly 35-40 years so parts are no longer available for it.   Also, this company was a known user of asbestos for insulation material in their safes and file cabinets.   If you decide not to repair or use it, you may have very specific HAZMAT regulation that you will need to follow to dispose of the container.

Generally, mechanical problems are also hands on diagnostic and repair problems, which means if you can't get it operational, you will need to contact a local safe company or locksmith that deals with this type of container to service it or check it out for you.

"IF" the container is unlocked, and "IF" the latch button appears to work, then the drawer must be jammed shut.

This could be caused by a number of problems including swelling of the insulation and body of the container, or items which are stored in the drawers which have become caught or jammed between the drawer and container, or in the slides.   Sometimes items will fall out of the back of the drawer, and become caught under the bottom, jamming it up.

"IF" the latch is actually unlatching correctly, it may simply need something like a screw driver or small pry bar to unjam and open the drawer.
"IF" the latch is NOT releasing, try pressing in on the drawer to relieve any pressure, and then unlatch and pull.

If you still can't get it to open, you may need to have a service tech check it out.

Hope this helps,

Locksmithing

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


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".

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

Publications
The Coffee Table Guide to Antique Safes AllExperts.com

Education/Credentials
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)

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.