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Locksmithing/lost combination to safe


I have a Cole filing cabinet with a safe.  The combination is lost however the door is in the OPEN position.  Locked open and have access to the back of the door where there is a peephole to view the tumblers held attached to door by 2 studs with acorn nuts .  I attempted to remove the dial mechanism from the door  by removing the 2 nuts to expose the workings  and  could not do it.  I did not force anything and put the 2 nuts back on.  With this situation  were do I go from here?


I'm not sure why you tried to remove the dial & lock from the door - you don't need to take anything apart to figure out the combination.

Simply dial it up using the "peep hole" to line up the wheel gates, and noting the number on the dial associated with each gate.

Dialing sequence for this 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 - this number is simply a reference point for where the dial stops, and is not part of the combination).

Left is counter clockwise, right is clockwise.    Do not count the revolutions of the dial, simply count each individual number as it arrives at the 12 o'clock index mark.

For instance if your first number is 25, you would turn the dial counter clockwise (left), stopping the fourth time the number 25 arrives at the index mark.

If you can't decode the lock, then you will need to have a safe technician from a local safe company, to come out and check it out.

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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