Locksmithing/Walk in safe


It looks like I may have a safe from the hall safe co.
It is a 6' door with a walk in small closet size room.
It is In the basement and the house was built in 1920.
It looks like it was put In place at the time it was built.
For the couple of years we figured out the comb and it seemed to work good.
But just recently we are not able to in lock the comb.
It has 4 # s. See the attached photo can send a photo .
It may be we just forgot the rotation procedure. ? Not sure

Hi Mike,

If you have a "walk-in" room - then it would be a "vault", not a safe.    Safes are "reach-in".

Unfortunately, neither of your photos attached - so I can't see what you have or are trying to show me.  Sorry but this site isn't "photo" friendly - not my site - I only volunteer here.   you may need to send the photos directly to me.

There were two distinct and different "Hall's" safe companies, so we will need to ID what you actually have to come up with an idea of the lock installed, and/or dialing sequence for it.

First question would be - When was the last time you had maintenance done on the lock???   Locks are mechanical objects, which require routine maintenance to ensure that they work correctly all the time.    Assuming that your door and lock go back to the early 1900's (or possibly older), it could easily be 100 years or older.   Grease and lubricants aren't made to last this long.
"SO", assuming that YOU are dialing it correctly, you may have mechanical issues that are not allowing it to function correctly.

Let's start with "step one" and determine what you actually have.   While you aren't looking for an appraisal the photos that I need to ID and/or evaluate your door are the same things, and are necessary.

In order to answer specific questions, identify, evaluate or appraise your vault door, I'm going to need photos.  They should include full exterior and interior.  Detail photos should include pictures of the dial, handles, hinges, artwork, locks, bolt work, and any special details or damage.  Note:  You may have to remove the back panel on the door to gain access to the lock & bolt work – I will need these pics.
If you have a particular detail that you have a question about, I will need a photo of it along with your question.

I will also need to see any documentation that you have in regards to your door.  If your door has a unique historical perspective, you should be able to document this with letters, newspaper articles or photos, if not it is simply a story and will have no bearing on the value of your door.

Please use as high a resolution as possible so that I can examine details of your door.  Pictures which are low resolution, out of focus, or from a distance don’t help when we try to evaluate the container.  Note:  with higher resolution, you may only be able to send 2-4 pictures per email, depending on the size of the file, I have a 12mb limit per email.  If photos are larger than 2mb each, you may only be able to send 2 or 3 photos per email, requiring several emails.

Please don’t send me “cell phone” photos which do not meet the above resolution criteria .   Also, please don’t use online, internet photo drops as most of these also don’t allow me to easily access the photos for examination.   Send the pics directly to me, while this may be more work for you, it will make my job easier.

Please send all of the requested photos to:  andy@securitysafeusa.com

Note:  As I am in the field several days each week, covering a huge service area, I may not get back to your photos immediately, but I will respond as soon as I get an opportunity.  Due to field work, emails may tend to get backed up which means I may not answer them immediately.

As soon as I get an opportunity to see what you actually have, I can hopefully offer some solutions.

If you do need access to the vault right away, then you may want to contact a local safe company (NOT a locksmith company) to have their trained, safe technician check your door out.   If you don't have a local safe company, I'll need to know where you are located (zipcode) to see who I might know in your area.

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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