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Locksmithing/Mosler safe door removal


Dear Sir,
 I have an old single door Mosler. Dimensions are 29" tall, 19"wide. 18" deep.Serial #159825. All of the combination mechanisms work as they should. [it opens every time]. I would like to lift the door off its hinges to take it to an artists shop to paint the details back on it. I am hoping that you can tell me the process to remove the door so that I won't damage anything.
         Thank you for your reply

Hi David,

Your Mosler safe would have been manufactured between 1900 to 1902, based on your serial number, so that Would make it an antique safe.

As small as the safe is, you should be able to lift the door off the hinges.   Open it to 90 degrees, and lift.   You may have to wiggle it back and forth to get it off.   One off, make sure that you clean and lubricate the hinges so that they work correctly when you reinstall the door.

PROBLEM WITH PAINTING A DOOR OFF THE SAFE - there are fairly small clearances between the door and door jamb.   if the painter doesn't keep paint in this area fairly thin, then either the door won't close properly when you reinstall it, or the paint will be chipped off.

Generally, I do all of my maintenance and repairs before I take the complete and operational safe and door to the painter, so that it can ALL be done at the same time.   This way the painter can verify that the door opens and closes correctly after painting.    If you do it with the door off, all he is doing is guessing.

As this door will be heavy, even for as small as it is, use at least two guys and any necessary safety equipment.    I have specially made door pulling equipment so that I can remove safe doors up to several thousand pounds, with little effort.    The equipment also allows me to reinstall the doors, correctly aligned for easy installation.

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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