Locksmithing/Meilink Safe


I received a  Meilink safe from my grandmother when she passed away. The safe locks, but only locks open. The combination works and I can get it unlocked open, I just would like it to lock closed?  I do believe that is the whole purpose of a safe. Lock shut.. Any suggestions?

Hi Jodi,

If the lock, door and bolt work all work correctly with the door open, then the problem is NOT with them.

If you can't shut the door fully so that the bolt work will full extend, and the lock will operate, then there are a number of possible problems.

1.  First check all of the contents inside the safe to ensure that they are NOT interfering with the proper closing of the door.   It doesn't take much to keep the door from closing correctly, and if it won't, then the bolt work can't function.

2.  Check the hinges.    If they are worn, allowing the door to sag or drag, then - again - if the door won't close correctly, the bolt work won't operate.

3.  If you have removed everything from the interior of the safe, and ensured that there is nothing around the door jamb - ALL the way around the door jamb - and it still won't work, then we have to start looking at the body of the safe.

As Meilink used a "wet pour" insulation material in many of their models, this can cause rust.   As the rust as no where to expand INSIDE of the walls, the walls can be pushed out, interfering with the proper operation of the door.
While the safe may not show any exterior signs of rust, this doesn't mean that your safe doesn't have any.    Any bowing or bulging of the safe walls may be an indication of rust.

While the first two items are generally easy to remedy, any problems with the structure of the container will probably be more expensive to repair it than to replace it.

If you can't figure out what is keeping your door from closing correctly by simple observation, then you may need to have it checked out by a trained safe technician.    It may be a simple fix, or it may be time to replace it.

Note:   these containers were inexpensively built, and not expected to last for ever.   I don't know when your grandmother acquired the container, and/or if it was used at that time, but if it is more than 20-25 years old, it may be time to get a new one.

Sorry, I wish the news was better.    hopefully the problem is a simple fix though.  


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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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