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Locksmithing/Major Safe Co. floor safe

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Question
Hi Terry, before I hire someone I thought I'd ask.  I have a Major Safe Co. floor safe in my bathroom.  We've never had anything really valuable enough to put in it.  It was installed by the original owner of our home in ~1953.  Now we could use it.  Over the years I cleaned the floors and water must have poured onto the lid (under a circle of cutout tile). I cannot turn the door/lid of the safe freely as I have been told It should turn even when locked.  The mechanism spins freely.  Should I hire a locksmith to tempt to break into it?  By the way the Co. that took over Major Safe does have the factory combo.  I've tried WD40 Rust remover/penetrant but isn't working yet.

Thanks

Answer
Hi John,

First off, let me say that EVEN if AMSEC has the original combination, that the safe left the factory set on, there is no guarantee that in the past 62 years it has never been changed.   So you basically have a 50/50 chance that it works - either it does or it doesn't!   Even if the combination works, there is no guarantee that the bolt work isn't rusted.

If it does work, then you need to have the door serviced to get it totally operational.   NOTE:   no repair parts exist for these doors.    The repair parts that are available are for more current model doors, and the repair parts run around $400 for a repair kit.   A new door, if it is the same size, cost around $450 - so it may be cheaper to get a new door than to repair this one.

If it does NOT work, and/or open, then you are still no better off than you are now.    You may need to have it opened by a "SAFE TECHNICIAN", not a locksmith.    The last one of these doors that I was called to open - after having a locksmith work on for several days, had 16 holes drilled in it.   I've seen Swiss cheese that didn't have as many holes!

Cost to open the door will vary, depending on where you are located, so you may want to look at other options if you really need a safe to use.

It may be less expensive overall, to simply ignore that safe and get a new one.    I hate saying this, but in this case it may be better.

If you decide you need it opened, and you don't have a local safe company, let me know where you are located and I'll see who I know and/or would recommend.   You can discuss the costs and options with them before making a decision.

Hope this helps,

Locksmithing

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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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