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Locksmithing/Specifics on Meilink safe

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Meilink Safe 1
Meilink Safe 1  

Meilink Safe 2
Meilink Safe 2  
Greetings Andy,
Have a safe in the wall of our 1918 home that hasn't been opened in who knows how long.  I applied to pull the code from FireKing (apparently they bought the company) but the safe is too old and they didn't have records.  My husband gave me a "certificate" (he wrote on a piece of paper with a promise) to have a locksmith drill and scope it to see what's in it.  But, I don't like the idea of destroying the front that's been preserved for so long and not end up with a safe we know the combination to. I'm willing to keep trying combinations--a couple a day--till I get it, but want to make sure I have the sequence correct.

How do you "clear" the code to start over?
I read something about stopping at 0 at the beginning of the sequence--can you confirm?
Are all the models from this era of Meilink safes 3 number sequences?
It doesn't have a handle, so what's the procedure for swinging it open if I do prevail and reveal the code?
Also, how big do you estimate these types of safes to be.  I don't want any dead bodies or Uncle Albert's urns unturned.

Thanks for your patience with my rain of questions! It's like a mini-mystery in my basement and I'm excited!

Thank you,
Monica

Answer
Hi Monica,

Yes this safe is large enough to hold a VERY small body inside - maybe Minnie Mouse, or so!

These wall safes had 22 series, yours is #19 in the series.   The serial number is the  5872.   There were a possibility of 22 codes listed for each series.    Unfortunately no one ever responds back to let me know if it worked or not, so I'm giving you this info with that idea - the info may not work!

Worst case, you aren't any worse off than you currently are, however I WOULD NOT recommend contacting a locksmith to open the safe.   Unfortunately, while MOST safe techs are also locksmiths, very few locksmiths are also safemen.   When dealing with an oddball safe like this, even most safemen may be scratching their heads, so you want to make sure that whom ever you contact should at least have SOME knowledge of these safes.

The dialing sequence for the safe is as follows:

3 times left to the first number,
2 times right to the second number,
1 time left to the third number,
1 time right to retract the bolt work.     The door is on a retractable hinge, so when the dial stops, simply pull the door open.

Note:   Left is counter clockwise and right is clockwise.   DO NOT count the revolutions of the dial, count the individual number as it arrives at the 12 o'clock index mark.

You will need a piece of paper or a spreadsheet to figure your 22 test combinations.   Starting with   8 - 26 - 2    subtract 2 numbers from each number until you get 22 sets of combinations.   Remember that 0 = 50.   So:
8 - 26 - 2
6 - 24 - 0
4 - 22 - 48, etc. etc. etc.

Test dial all of the combinations, hopefully one will work for you.    If it doesn't work then you may want to contact a local safe company to have them open the safe for you.    Check your yellow pages under "safes & Vaults" for local companies.   If you don't have any, let me know where you are located (zip code) and I'll see who I might know in your area.

As far as the safe being destroyed - ANYONE who even indicates that they can open the safe but may ruin it should be avoided.   You wouldn't take your car to a mechanic who indicates that they can change your oil, but will ruin the engine in the process, and you shouldn't accept that type service from a locksmith or safeman.

As far as clearing it - forget that!   The lock was cleared when it was locked up originally.   No more dialing or spinning will clear it any more or less.   Simply follow the dialing sequence above and forget any other "clap trap" like "starting at 0".    If I put you in a round room and told you to go stand in the corner, where would you start???   Exactly - there is no BEGINNING to a circle, simply start dialing, the ONLY thing you are interested in is stopping on the first number the THIRD time it arrives at the index mark.  

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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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