Locksmithing/Antique Safe


QUESTION: I have an antique safe made by Syracuse Safe CO.  For whatever reason it seems to have a one number combination.  Anytime I close it and turn the dial, I just have to go the opposite way back to zero and it opens.  Am I missing part of my wheel pack?


ANSWER: Hi John,

Obviously without seeing your safe I can't answer the question.    I would assume that something is missing or deactivated in the lock mechanism to allow this to happen, however to answer you, requires an inspection of the safe.

As you didn't provide me with any photos, all I can go off of is your description of the problem.

It is reasonable to assume that either part or all of the wheel pack or lock curb is missing.

My recommendations would include either:

1.   Send me some photos of the lock and bolt work, so that I can get a better idea of what is going on, or

2.   Have a safe technician from a local safe company check it out.

Hopefully if the lock is partially disassembled, the parts are still available, as replacement lock parts are going to be difficult to locate.

Sorry I can't be of more help at this time.

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Inside Door
Inside Door  

Inside Door
Inside Door  
QUESTION: Here are some photos that may or may not be helpful.

Hi John,

The safe is a Yale OB series lock, and yes you are missing the entire wheel pack.

You have the lock body, the dial and the drive wheel, and the gravity lever.

The wheel pack consists of the back plate, which screws onto the lock body (note the two screw holes).

The back plate has a post, which holds the wheels in place and gives them a surface to rotate around.   All three wheels, fixed and moveable flys and isolation washers.    Without the entire wheel pack, you safe will only unlock on the one number "0" which is where the drive wheel allows engagement of the gravity lever.

The Yale OB series lock was a fairly prevalent lock so there are still a few of them around.   I believe that I might have a couple at my shop.   

Unfortunately, we don't "PART OUT" locks, so you would have to buy the entire lock.   Send an email directly to me if you are interested, and I'll send you photos of what I have so you can decide if you want one.

NOTE:   Antique locks are not cheap and there are no aftermarket lock makers.   So while you are more than welcome to look around for another source, generally if you find one, it will be in someone's collection, and they aren't going to let it go for current lock prices.

You can email me directly at:    andy@securitysafeusa.com

I'll be out of the office until Monday or Tuesday, so I may not respond right away, but I will get back to you.


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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 AllExperts.com

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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