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Locksmithing/open 4-drawer Meilink Hercules 4-drawer fire safe file cabinet


The subject above explains most of my question.  My Church has inherited a 4-drawer Hercules file cabinet made by Meilink.  I is rated at 1 hour and the lock is missing.  I am a 25 year locksmith and have never run across a Hercules file safe.  I have opened many 4-drawer file cabinet either by lifting the locking bar or by making a key or picking the lock.  This safe has no lock and looking inside the lock hole, I see a small slot that looks like it is in the locking bar.  Nothing moves in any direction by prying the bar or lifting or depressing the small slot.  Would turning the safe upside down release the locking bar?  Any help you can give will be apreciated and by the way, thank you for your service.  Retired USAF here

Hi Ed,

"Hurcules" was simply one of Meilink's brands - NOT a separate manufacturer.

The lock on the majority of the containers that they built the key lock pushes straight in.

While the gang lock moves up and down, there is a pivot in the top drawer which the lock acts on.   When you push in, "IT" lifts the gang lock.    The gang locking bar is 5" back from the front of the container, though the pivot mechanism will be slighty closer.

NOTE:   If the lock is missing and the gang lock has not released, you may have a jammed mechanism.

while you have been prying, lifting and depressing, you should have been pulling.   This doesn't mean simply stick a wire in and start grabbing everything - if you don't know what, or can't see what you are trying to pull, then you may be wasting your time.   If you don't have a scope to look into this area, then you may not see the pivot device.

As the gang lock is spring loaded, if it isn't unlocking now, then turning it upside down is not going to work either.    It may be rusted or jammed in place.

removing the cap (screws should be in the rear) may give you top access.   drill a small hole over the gang lock, and use a wire probe to fish it "UP" into the unlocked position.

If it still won't open, then you can probably guess WHY your church "inherited" it.    Free isn't necessarily always "free".

Hope this helps.


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Terry V. Andreasen (Andy)


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.


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".

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

The Coffee Table Guide to Antique Safes

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

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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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