Locksmithing/J & J Taylor Safe


I purchased a building, which has a J & J Taylor safe tucked in a back room. It is locked and does not appear to have ever been drilled. It has two separate tumbler dials and a large bar / handle across the front of the safe. I guess my basic question, is there a possibility for a safe like this to be opened without drilling? I would love to start using the safe.

Thank you for your time. I understand if you are unable to respond.

Hi Nick,

Yes there is always that possibility, however it may not be a probability for a couple reasons.

#1 - you may not have anyone in your area who is trained in manipulation.   There aren't a lot of professional safe crackers / safe technicians in Canada.

#2 - locks don't always cooperate.    Sometimes even the best manipulators don't get any readings, and/or the lock simply won't talk.

#3 - The lock(s) that I would expect to find on this safe would be a Sargent & Greenleaf (S&G), 4 wheel rotary bolt.    This lock has 100,000,000 possible combinations and is much harder to manipulate than a standard 3 wheel lock which has about 1,000,000 possible combinations.     While many safe techs that are trained and competent with 3 wheel locks, the four wheel lock takes it to another level of difficulty.

Because there are no guarantees with manipulation, you may wind up paying for the service and NOT the result.    

Personally I don't like charging customers for work that may not have an "END" result.   If I'm not getting results in a reasonable amount of time, then Drilling may be the preferred method.    You also have to remember that you are NOT the only customer that may be on the schedule for that day.   It's not fair to other customers, for me to waste an exhorbant amount of time on your safe if the manipulation isn't successful.

Drilling when done correctly will not ruin or damage the safe, and the single, usually small holes (less than 1/4") can easily be repaired.    If done correctly it will not affect any potential value the safe may have.

You can begin by checking your local yellow pages under "safes & vaults" to see what companies are available locally.   If you don't have anyone, let me know where you are located, and I'll see who I might know of and/or recommend.   I do have names of a couple guys on the east coast that are extremely good and if any one can manipulate the locks open they can, and they will travel, however they also aren't cheap.

Last item - you mention that "you want to start using the safe".    Hopefully you don't plan on using it for daily operations.    While the safe should be able to be brought back to operational capability, it does not meet any current standards for fire or burglary, and is basically obsolete (repair parts are not available).    I would not recommend using this safe for anything other than general purpose storage or as a display item.


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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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