Locksmithing/SAFE

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Question
safe
safe  

safe number on top hindge
safe number on top hin  
hello Terry, I was given this safe so I can restore it, but don't have combination, or the money to pay a locksmith, is there such a thing as a default number or someway to open and then I can buy a new lock and dial, also can you tell what year or info w/looking at this picture, thanks, mike

Answer
Mike,

Sorry, but your photos aren't useful in ID'ing your safe.   I would need much better photos to try to ID your safe, however in many cases until the safe is open and I can see the bolt work we can't ID the safe.   A lot of manufacturers copied or made there safes similar to others to sell more.    Even logo's don't guarantee that you have what you think you have.    Names were often replaced by distributors for advertising purposes.

As far as a "Default" combination - I have no idea where this idea came from, but there is no such thing as a default combination.    In general, a standard 3 wheel lock, with a 100 number dial, has the potential of 1,000,000 possible combinations.   As most manufacturers have NEVER even approached making this quantity of safes, it is easy to see that they could use a different combination on every safe without duplicating one.   And as many distributors would change the combinations when they sold the safe to the original customer, this exacerbates the problem in that there are no records anywhere which document what any particular safe might have as a combination.

basically this leaves you with TWO choices.   You can either try all of the 1,000,000 possible combinations which might potentially be on your lock, or you can contact a local safe company to have their safe tech open your safe, to recover or reset the combination for you.

Sorry, while I do understand having to make economic decisions, if you don't have the money at this time, then I suppose the restoration project may have to wait until you do.

Testing 500 possible combinations every day, would only take you about 5.5 years to test them all.   So if money is a problem, then I guess that this is going to be a long term project for you.

Without having a better idea about your safe (sorry your photos didn't provide any help), I would have to assume that this is a standard type S&G lock with three wheels.   The dialing sequence would be:

4 times left to the first number,
3 times right to the second number,
2 times left to the third number,
1 time right until the dial stops (should be around 90)

Note:   Left is counter clockwise, Right is clockwise.   Do not count the revolutions of the dial, count the individual number as it arrives at the 12 o'clock index mark.

If you decide to use a safe technician, contact a local safe company - NOT a locksmith.   If you don't have one, let me know where you are located (zipcode), and I'll see who I might know in your area.

Hope this helps, or at least list's your options.  

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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".

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)

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