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Locksmithing/Tower Sears and Roebuck Co


QUESTION: My husband has a locked fireproof safe (file cabinet) in his basement that was his ex-father-in-laws
His father inlaw saved coins and stamps and silver
He didn't want to drill out the lock so I'm trying to find out if there is a way to get a key made
There are various metal plates with numbers but can tell if these would be for the key code to remake a key
Any ideas would be helpful
Bill thinks the safe is from the 60a

ANSWER: Hi Diane,

While the container may have some fire resistance, it is NOT fire proof.    Ratings of these containers are based on standards or testing times,   Generally these would be 1/2 hour or 1 hour ratings for filing cabinet type containers.

Tower was simply a "label" or logo used by Sears & Roebucks, it was not a manufacturer.    Sears & Roebucks bought or obtained equipment from various manufacturers and simply relabeled them with their logo.   Also, file cabinets are NOT safes.   This type of equipment is ONLY designed to keep general documents protected from "heat" for a specific amount of time - based on the container rating.

As far as the "metal plates" on the container, these don't apply to the lock itself.   If there is a "key code", it would be on the face of the lock cylinder.

So what are your options?

1.  if the lock has a code on it, you should be able to have a key made by any reputable locksmith shop.
2.  if the lock doesn't have a code on it the locksmith should be able to pick the lock open, and then make a key to it.    It is also possible to make a key by impressioning the lock, however you may not have a local locksmith that is trained or good at this technique.

As this lock does not have to be drilled out, and as replacement locks may not be available, anyone who indicates that they are going to drill it out probably isn't a good choice to help you make keys for it.

Hope this helps you out.

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

QUESTION: Thank you
I took a picture of the 'lock' but here is no number etched into the lock
I will search for. Locksmith who can pick the lock

Hi Diane,

Check your local yellow pages under "safes & vaults" and/or locksmiths".

Generally you want someone that has an actual shop and not one who is strictly mobile.    While there are some fairly good mobile only lock & safe guys out there, the majority tend to be someone to whom this is simply a hobby that they are getting paid to do, by people who only have slightly less knowledge than they do.

People that actually have shops or businesses generally put more time and effort into training and tools, so that the work they do is usually more "professional".

This doesn't mean that some one strictly mobile, can't be professional as well, it just means that there is a much smaller percentage who make this career more than a hobby.

If they know what they are doing, they will tell you up front, and generally have a flat fee for the service, and not a "ball park" number, or vague idea of what the charges "MIGHT" be.

If you can't find someone, let me know where you are located (zip code) and I'll see if I know anyone in your area that I can recommend.


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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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