Locksmithing/Stuck Safe Dial


I believe it was my own operator error that seized up my husband's safe. Unfortunately, there are Christmas gifts inside which need to accessed soon. Can you direct me to someone who can service it and save Christmas? My zip code is 73065. My boys and I would greatly appreciate it!

Hi Cammie,

there are several reasons why the dial could be stuck, though some are worse than others.   The first reason is that the door may not be closed correctly or something may be caught in the door jamb.   Push on the safe door and turn the handle all the way to the fully locked (bolt work extended) position.   This is also fairly easy to check.   The door should have some slight play in it.   You should be able to wiggle it slightly, and the bolt work handle, should also have some play.   If these items seem tighter than normal, then this is possibly where the problem is.   Bolt work which is jammed or not fully extended can put extra pressure on the lock bolt and possibly dial, if it was forced into the locked position.

If the door seems normal, with a slight amount of play, and the handle will easily turn slightly back and forth, then the problem lies with the lock or dial.   Loose mounting screws in the lock or under the dial can jam it up.   If this is the case then you will need to have it checked out and repaired by a safe tech.

Unfortunately, the nearest company that I might recommend would be:

Underwood Safe & Vault
Broken Bow, OK  74728

The next closest companies would possibly be in the Tulsa area, or from Dallas-Fort Worth.

There might be some closer, smaller shops, but nobody that I personally know or might recommend.   You can call Underwood's to see if they know of anyone in your area.   You can check in your local yellow pages under "safes & vaults" for any local companies.   Discuss the problems with them to see what they might offer.   Generally anyone that indicates that they can open the safe but might ruin it, should be avoided as they don't know what they are doing.    If you have any questions concerning any proposed work, please run it by me before having someone ruin your safe.

Sorry I can't be of more help.  


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Terry V. Andreasen (Andy)


Safe and Vault related Questions; Antique Safe Repair and Restoration; With over 40 years in the Safe & Vault industry, if I can't answer your question I know where to get the answer. Current Project: Restoration of two Tilton & McFarland safes from the 1860'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.


40 years in the Safe & Vault Industry. 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

SafeCrackers International and the National Antique Safe Association

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 - 2014 - 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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