Locksmithing/Safe Technician



I notice that you occasionally recommend safe technicians. Are you familiar with Bill's Lock, Safe and Security in Linden, NJ? His website is safecracker.com.

Thanks, Jay


Yes, that would be Bill Kushnick.   He has a pretty good reputation.

What is your question concerning Bill???

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I recently saw a large 700 lb. Mosler safe from the late 1800's to the early 1900's for sale that had a two inch diameter hole drilled in the back. The previous owner forgot the combination and a safe technician opened the safe by drilling a hole in the back to access the dial.

I planned on calling Bill for a price estimate to repair the safe and also pick up and deliver it to me. Everything on the safe works well, and the original painting on the door was still mostly intact.

One aspect I found odd though, was that it was only a three number combination, I thought Mosler locks were four numbers.

From what I see on Bill's website he is highly skilled and provides outstanding service. As someone in the industry, I just wanted to know if you had any firsthand experience with Bill, and if you would recommend him for this type of work.

Thanks, Jay

Hi Jay,

Any one that needed to drill or bore a two inch hole in the safe is NOT a safe technician.   Unfortunately most people don't spend the necessary time and effort to "VET" there locksmiths or safe technicians prior to having them work on their safes.

You wouldn't even consider taking your car to a mechanic who indicated:  "I can change the oil in your car, but I'm going to ruin the engine in the process", so it amazes me that they don't perform the same "due diligence" prior to hiring a locksmith or safe tech.

As far as the quantity of numbers on the lock - you are incorrect.   The standard Mosler lock is a three wheel lock (meaning three combination wheels, AND a drive wheel).   Mosler also used four wheel locks which had four combination wheels, AND a drive wheel.   The dialing sequence for a four wheel lock would be:

5 times right to the first number,
4 times left to the second number,
3 times right to the third number,
2 times left to the fourth number,
1 time right until the dial stops (generally this LAST number is used so people have some REFERENCE as to where the dial (and drive wheel)will stop - this number is generally a constant and does not change when the combination is reset to a new combination).

As far as my having "first hand experience" with him - this would indicate that we have actually worked together - sorry, I can't give that type of recommendation.   Our company has used his company for several work orders in his area, and we have not had any problems or negative experiences to date.

While Bill can possibly do the reconstructive work, my next question would be concerning restoration work and art work.   If you are planning on having the safe restored, I possibly have some better safe companies that specialize in this type of work.    I don't believe that Bill does any restoration work.

So basically as you can see, BEFORE making any recommendations, YOU haven't actually provided me with any useful information for me to make a recommendation.

WHAT are your ultimate goals for the safe???   How much work does the safe actually need and/or do you plan on having done???   What type of budget are you allocating to the safe???

You need to have answers to all of these questions BEFORE you contact anyone to discuss this project with, AND more importantly - before you purchase the safe.

Hope this helps,  


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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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