Locksmithing/antique safe


QUESTION: I have an antique safe that has "The Standard safe & Lock co. Cincinnati OH. Painted with a beautiful scenery.  The serial number on the ball of the handle is 78067. Have yet to find a lock smith that is able to open it without me leaving them the safe for weeks on end. Is there anyway to open the safe without damaging the actual safe?

ANSWER: Hi Lorretta,

There was no company called "The Standard Safe & Lock Company".

Chances are your is from the "Hall's Safe Company" or possibly its processor company "Hall's Safe & Lock Company", though I will need to see the safe to ID what you actually have.   Both companies used the term "Standard Safe".

As far as having the safe opened - generally Locksmiths don't work on safes.   Locksmiths who are trained to work on safes are called safe technicians.    You need to check your yellow pages under "safes & vaults" for a local company.    If you don't have one, then let me know where you are located (zip code) and I'll see if I know anyone in your area or that I might recommend.

While manipulation is very possible - you may not have anyone in your area that is trained to open safes this way.   Drilling, when done correctly WILL NOT damage your safe, and the usually small hole (1/4" or smaller) hole can be easily repaired, and shouldn't damage the safe or lock at all.

Total time for a trained safe tech to open AND repair the safe shouldn't take longer than 1 to 2 hours.    Anyone who indicates they need it for "days" probably doesn't have any idea what they are doing and should probably be avoided.

hope this helps

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

QUESTION: Thank you so much for your quick response. I will be sure to send a picture of the safe. My zip code is 49506.
Have a great night.

Hi Lorretta,

I have a couple companies that can probably help you out - though some of them are a distance away.

Hoogerhyde Safe & Lock
616-458-6365          Tom Ziemer

Mark's Lock Shop, Inc.
517-482-5809          Mark Blum
2107 South Cedar Street
Lansing, MI 48910-3129

Anchor Safe, Julius Bing Safe, & Metrpolitan Safe Co's
586-755-3570         Orest Kalba
2627 E. 8 Mile Rd.
Warren, MI 48091

If one of these three guys can't help you, they may know of someone in your area they would recommend.

Orest is probably my number one recommendation, though he is furthest away, and Mark would be #2.    Tom shouldn't have any problems though, I would still discuss pricing and what his plans for your safe would be.     

If you have any questions concerning pricing or how they plan on opening / repairing the safe, feel free to run it by me.


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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 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)

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