Locksmithing/gary safe

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Question
I have a Gary safe that was given to me. It is a round lift out type door. I was told the combination is right 38 left 20 right 6. The dial seems to be able to push down. Would the combination need to be dialed then push down to retract the bolts? Obviously I haven't been able to get the safe open. Any assistance would be appreciated.

Answer
Hello Gerritfaber,

Unfortunately combinations are usually passed on the way the former owners "understand it", and NOT necessarily the way that the lock actually works.   

While Gary did make a number of types of doors, with several variations of locks, they all had a fairly standard dialing sequence.   Your lock should actually dial:

4 times left to the first number, 38
3 times right to the second number, 20
2 times left to the third number, 6
1 time right until the dial stops.

If you have a "Gary" round door, the dial will NOT be pushed down during the unlocking procedure.   If the door is a "STAR" round door, then it will need to be pushed down at zero.

If you are able to push the dial down on a Gary door, then it may need service, and/or the lock may need some repair work.

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 are still having problems with it, then you may not have the correct combination.   I would recommend taking it to a local safe company to have them check it out and assist you.   If the numbers aren't correct, then they may need to open it up in order to recover the combination and provide you with the dialing sequence for your door.

Hope this helps,  

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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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