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Locksmithing/Meilink floor safe dial jams


My late husband installed a Meilink floor safe when building our house,.It has no turning handle, but rather a 'bail" to lift the round 'door" up and out .
It is a MEILINK model #M LOC-8 with a serial # M11433.
When I attempt to open the safe , the dial seems to jam tight before completing the required revolutions for each number.
Example L-99 stops before completing the 2nd or 3rd revolution, I can turn back to the R, but again it stops dead before completing the sequence.I can feel the dial beginning to grab or grind before it jams.
The safe is encased in thick cement on all sides.It has been in this place since 1986.
Do you having any advice to help me open this safe?
Thank you for your kind attention to this matter.

ANSWER: Hi Danni,

First question:   has it ever been serviced, since he got it and/or installed it???

Sounds to me like the wheel pack is jammed or "frozen" in place.

Part of the cleaning and servicing routine is to remove old, hard grease and replace it with clean, lubricant so that all of the parts move freely.   Old grease hardens with age and can jam up the mechanism.

Round door safes, installed in the floor incased in concrete, have a propensity to accumulate moisture, whether inside of the storage compartment or inside of the safe door.   Moisture leads to rust and/or oxidation of the metal, which will jam the mechanism.

There are ONLY three reasons a safe lock will not operate correctly or open.  In order they are:
1.  Incorrect dialing sequence, operator errors,
2.  Incorrect combination, wrong numbers
3.  Mechanical problems.

In your case it is pretty apparent that there is a mechanical problem of some sort keeping it from unlocking.   Mechanical problems require "hands on" diagnostics and repairs.   Continued forcing of the dial can result in more damage to the lock and a possibly more expensive opening and repair.    Hopefully you haven't gotten to this point already.

Recommendation:    Contact a local safe company to have their trained safe technician check out your safe.    If they can't get it to open using the combination, then it may have to be drilled.

Problem:   Parts may not be available any longer for this door, or they may be difficult to obtain.

Check your yellow pages under "safes & vaults" for a local company.   If you don't have one, let me know where you are located (zip code) and I'll see if I know anyone in your area that I might recommend.

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

QUESTION: Thanks answer your question, the safe has never been serviced as far as I am aware.
I have not tried to force the dial, however I am not certain if his son and sons friends did or not.
My husband had said he never could get the safe open, but as meticulous as he was, I am positive he tried it before encasing it.He had paranoid episodes sometimes,(Decorated  Vietnam Vet)so sometimes he trusted NO ONE.
After he passed away,  my step son remarked  "that's where the big money is stored." I do not know if it is empty or not...but you know how that goes..curiosity is getting to me.

There is a lot of sawdust on top of the safe, as he built a closet over it, and  put in a camouflaged access panel .No one would ever
think of looking as it is not in the bedroom closet.
Then again, the sawdust tells me he never opened it after it was placed....who knows? Anyway, thanks so much.
That is another reason I think there is something in it.

Hi Danni,

Trust me your story is actually fairly common.

In the majority of cases with locked up safes, I will always tell the customer that chances are there is nothing in the safe other than stale air and maybe a rubber band or paper clip.   The caveat to this is of course a death in the family.   So in your case, I would also suspect that it possibly has "stuff" inside.    Hopefully its not a similar Treasure to what "Poop Deck Pappy" in the movie Popeye, had in his.

This still leaves us with my original evaluation and recommendation.    A jammed lock REQUIRES hands on diagnostics and repairs.  You will need to have a trained safe tech from a local safe company.

If you don't have one, then let me know where you are located (zip code) and I'll see if  I know of and/or can recommend anyone in your area.

Sorry for your loss.


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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

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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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