Locksmithing/victor safe combo

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QUESTION: Hi.  Bought  house and it has one of these Victor Safes.  The door is locked but open (I've taken the back panel off to try and find a combination - no luck).  I can see the dials clearly.  I've been fishinf around for an answer to how I either discover the current combination or create a new one.  THe numbers 533 are painted in the area under that door panel, but I don't think it's actually a combination - no version of those 3 numbers does anything.  

Can I reset the combintation or ascertain what the current combination is by looking at those 4 dials that are in there?

ANSWER: Hi Lisa,

I never recommend projects like this as a DIY item for the same reason that I NEVER recommend using locksmiths for safe work.   lack of knowledge and training can result in an expensive lock out.

The best recommendation that I can give you is to contact a local safe company to have their safe technician inspect your safe, and recover the combination "correctly" for you.

As you have elected to do this as a DIY project, you have to obtain the correct combination by dialing the lock correctly AND observing the numbers that align at the 12 o'clock index mark, as the gates of the individual wheels line up under the lever fence.

The correct dialing sequence of your lock should 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.

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.

Yes, a new combination can be created for the lock, however this requires disassembly of the lock.
Again, I never recommend ANY lock disassembly as a DIY project for the same reason that I Never recommend using locksmiths.

If you can't figure out the current combination using these instructions, then you need to contact a local safe company to have their safe technician check the lock out for you.   If you don't have a local safe company, let me know where you are located (zipcode) and I'll see who I might know in your area.

Hope this helps,



---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I'll try and find a technician - I'm in Canada (Nova Scotia), but it's doubtful there will be anyone in this neck of the woods.  I will try and figure it out by looking at how the numbers line up, as you said.  Thank you!

Any thoughts on what this safe might be worth?  It's in excellent shape.

Answer
Hi Lisa,

I don't do "evaluations" sight unseen, but I would be more than happy to look at your safe.

while there are a couple companies in Nova Scotia - I don't personally know if they are capable or trained to work on safes.   As long as your safe is open, they should be able to figure out the "working" combination for you.    If your safe is small enough, you may be able to remove the door and carry it to one of the local shops to have them check it out.

If none of them work out, the nearest company that I would recommend would be:

Hanover Lock & Safe
781-826-8872          Philip Shearer
990 Washington St.
Hanover, MA 02339

As far as looking at your safe;  In order to answer specific questions, identify, evaluate or appraise your safe, 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, castors, cabinetry 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 safe.  If your safe 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 safe.

Please use as high a resolution as possible so that I can examine details of your safe.  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, unless they are very clear and of sufficient resolution.   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.

Our informal evaluation is at no charge, however if you feel you need a formal evaluation or appraisal for insurance, estate sales, donations for tax write offs, or to establish it as an antique, there is an administrative fee for this service.  

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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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