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Locksmithing/Sargent & Greenleaf combination lock lube


Hi Terry,

I have a Sargent & Greenleaf lock on my ex-US State Dept (Ex US Embassy) Mosler safe.

The combination lock is pretty hard to turn - is this something that is easy to lubricate?  I don't want to get anyone into my home to do this & moving the safe is a bear.


Hi Evan,

I NEVER recommend lock disassembly as a DIY project for the same reason that I NEVER recommend using locksmiths for safe lock work.    Lack of knowledge, tools and training can very easily result in a VERY expensive lockout - ESPECIALLY if you have a GSA rated container.

While I understand your reluctance to have someone in your home, you have limited yourself to then taking the container or the safe door to someone for service.    You can't have it both ways - if its too much trouble to move, then you will need to have someone come to you.

Your other option would be to get some training on disassembly, correct cleaning and lubrication, reassembly and resetting the lock combination.    Generally these classes are anywhere from 1 to 2 weeks in duration, and usually have the pre-requisite that you are already a locksmith or have locksmith training.

LSI Education, lists this course as 5 days and a cost of about $1250.   Their basic locksmith course is 10 days and about $2900.    These of course are on site courses, meaning you would have to travel to Kentucky, USA to take them, and of course does not include airfare or hotels.

As you can see, it would be MUCH, MUCH cheaper to simply have the work performed by a local safe company, unless you are planning on a career change.

While the container is yours, and you can attempt the service yourself if that is your choice, at a minimum - DO NOT CLOSE AND LOCK the container until AFTER you have verified proper operation.    If you don't understand the basic lock operation and/or how each part affects every other part, then I would recommend stopping and having the service done by a trained safe technician.

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 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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