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Locksmithing/safe in our church with no combination available


Good morning:
My church acquired a floor safe in the past.  Presently the door is open, but the lock is frozen.  it appears that the last time opened the combination dial was moved and the lock mechanism remained extended and cannot be closed.  Request information on acquiring the combination from the open door.  The safe is a Major Safe Company of La, Serial #A289896.  it is a floor safe that has been with the Church (St Johns Episcopal Church, Bandon Oregon) for many years.  Can you offer any instructions?

Many thanks

Roy Arnoldt

Hi Roy,

Greetings and salutations,

As long as the safe door is open, the safe can be repaired and/or the combination recovered.   The item in your description which catches my attention is where you indicate the lock is "frozen".   

Generally in cases like this, the lock will probably need replacement.   Mechanical issues are ALWAYS hands on issues.    While it may be a lock problem, it may also be a bolt work issue.    Without having the safe in front of me, so that I can see what is actually wrong, its kind of hard to offer a basic solution to you.

You mentioned that you are in California, but the safe is in Oregon???    Please be more specific, so that I can offer recommendations of a local safe company.

You can also check your local yellow pages under "safes and vaults" to see if you have a local company, or give me a zip code of where the safe is located so I can see who I might know or recommend in your area.

Bottom line - if you are planning on using the safe, it will require hands on service and repairs.

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

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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