Locksmithing/Mosler Vault Door


QUESTION: Hello Terry,

I work in an old bank building and we have a walk in vault with a Mosler Door. I can't find a model/serial number anywhere to help identify it. When the bank moved, they removed the tumbler internals making it inoperable. Also the brackets mounted on the wall that allow the safe to be sucked in tight to its encasement. How would I go about finding replacement parts to get it working again? I'm thinking an S&G tumbler and a locksmith to switch that out, and then getting a machinist to make the brackets, although I have no dimensions or idea of what they are supposed to look like. Any ideas? Thanks.

ANSWER: Hi Kyle,

As Mosler has been out of business since 2001, having the model and serial number are pretty much useless, as it doesn't mean anything to anyone but the factory.

As you have indicated that the "brackets mounted on the wall that allows the door to be sucked in tight" have been removed - this would indicate that this is a Crane Hinge Pressure Bar door.   These doors haven't been made since the late 1920's or early 1930's,  so basically you are looking for parts which haven't been made in around 80-90 years from a company that has been out of business for almost 15 years!

While there may be some Mosler Locks available, it will be necessary to get accurate foot print measurements to look for a lock.    Don't assume that parts can simply be switched out between different locks, and REALLY don't assume that this is a job for a general locksmith.

Most locksmiths simply don't have the training, knowledge and/or tools to work on safes or vaults, much less a possible antique vault door.    You need a safe technician who is trained in vault door servicing.

You have correctly identified the two main problems has 1.  finding locks and 2.   having new knuckles made for the pressure bar system.

1.   We need a very accurate foot print drawing / measurements to see what locks may be available.
2.   I can provide some photos of what the knuckles should look like for each side, but I'll need to know what is missing to get some good pics.    

You may also have other items missing from the door, which were removed to make it inoperable, so I would recommend having it fully inspected by a trained safe tech to get a better idea of its functionality.

Please send any photos that you would like me to look at to:    andy@securitysafeusa.com

make sure that they are clear, in focus and of sufficient resolution so that I can zoom in to look at details.

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

QUESTION: Thank you for your answer. I have a follow up question to 1. What exactly do I measure to give you an accurate foot print? Like edge of door to edge of door? Or is it the box that houses the tumbler internals that I am measuring? Just want to be clear. As soon as I can get that I'll send the pics as well. Thank you.

Hi Kyle,

similar to your making a "footprint" in a room - I don't need the measurement of the room to figure out your shoe size.

I need the mounting "footprint" of the lock NOT the door of the safe.

As you indicated the box that houses the "WHEELS" (Tumblers are in the circus, not in your lock).   There should be several holes in the door, at least 3 or 4 mounting screw holes, to mount the lock case to the door, and a hole that goes through the door for the dial spindle.   I also need a measurement from the mounting holes to the area of the bolt work, that the lock bolt, blocks their movement.

If you send an email directly to me, I can possibly send you a "blank" drawing so you can get measurements and fill in the necessary areas.     

Don't forget to remind me what I'm looking for, for you, and it's not a bad idea to send photos of areas that you have questions concerning.  


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


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)

©2017 About.com. All rights reserved.