Locksmithing/Opening a safe

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Question
I have a Gary safe from out of California it is a safe that is i cased in cement. Which I guess they call a floor safe. The top of the safe spins around either way to the left or right while locked. My combonation reads left three times to # rite to times to # then onward to another #  still going rite then  left to # and onward to another # still going left then rite to a # to open. When reached I can feel and hear the dial as if it's ready to open but I can't get it to and beings the top spins how will the top come off unscrewing it or does it just lift off. I've tried everything I know but I can't get it.
Thanks so much for ur input.
Sharon
2146697610

Answer
Hi Sharon,

There are only three reasons that a safe lock will not open, in order, they are:

1.  Incorrect dialing sequence, operator errors,
2.  Incorrect combination, wrong numbers,
3.  mechanical problems.

Generally combinations are passed along the way they are understood, and not necessarily the way the lock actually works.   This appears to be a major part of your problem.   As you didn't actually provide me with your combination, I can't try to "decode" it, but I can tell you there is a whole bunch of "wrong turns" going on in it!

The correct dialing sequence for the majority of the locks used on Gary safes is:

4 times left to the first number,
3 times right to the second number,
2 times left to the third number,
1 time right until the dial stop,  open safe

Note:  left is counter clockwise, right is clockwise.   Do not count the revolutions of the dial, count the individual number as it arrives at the 12 o'clock index mark.

For instance if your first number is 50, you would turn the dial counter clockwise (left), stopping the fourth time the number 50 arrives at the 12 o'clock index mark.

If you still can't get it open, using this sequence, and your numbers, then I would recommend your having a safe technician from a local safe company (NOT a locksmith), look at your safe to figure out what is going on.

As far as the door "turning", I would assume that you have a round, lift out type door.   After the combination is dialed correctly, and the lock bolts retracted, the door simply lifts out.

Hope this helps,  

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Terry V. Andreasen (Andy)

Expertise

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.

Experience

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".

Organizations
SafeCrackers International and the National Antique Safe Association Safe & Vault Technicians Association (SAVTA)

Publications
The Coffee Table Guide to Antique Safes AllExperts.com

Education/Credentials
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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