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Locksmithing/Stuck bottom drawer of 2 drawer safe


I have an Art Metal 2, GSA Class 6 safe with two drawers, (?Model CL6-2). The top drawer has a handle that must be rotated clockwise after the combination has been entered and then a button that must be slid to the right to open the drawer. The lock and top drawer open fine. The bottom drawer simply has a button that needs to be slid to the right. The button still moves but the bottom drawer won't open (doesn't even seem to move so I don't think something inside is jamming it shut). I have had the bottom drawer open before (I'm trying to clean everything out from my former boss), but now I can't get it to open. I've tried with the top drawer open, top drawer closed, etc. - is there some interlock or trick that I'm missing on how to operate the bottom drawer?

Hi Michael,

there are TWO different locking mechanism on the container.   The gang lock and the drawer latch.

The gang lock is controlled by the active or control drawer.   When this drawer is unlocked correctly, the others are available to open.

The individual drawer latch is controlled by the "button".

So if a drawer doesn't want to open there are several issues that need to be checked out.
1.   "IS" the gang lock releasing the drawer correctly???
2.   "IS" the individual drawer latch releasing correctly???
3.   "IS" something inside the drawer jamming it or preventing its release???

Unfortunately mechanical issues - like the drawer not opening, tend to be hands on, diagnostics, solutions and repairs.    As you are there and I'm not I can't give you a comprehensive check list of things to look at, you'll just have to check everything out.

If you still can't get it open, then you may need to have a trained GSA safe tech check it out for you.
As these old "Art Metal" cabinets haven't been produced since the 1960's, it could easily be a broken gang lock or other damaged part.    Just because the "button" seems to move, doesn't mean that it is actually raising the latch.

Sorry I can't be of more help, but hopefully this will give you some direction.  


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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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