Locksmithing/cary safe


cary safe
cary safe  
QUESTION: Terry, Ive gone to work for a gentleman that has a cary safe that he has no combination for.  Previous owner of the building lost it.  We dont believe anything of value is in there but we would like to try and open it.  Any suggestions where to start?

ANSWER: Hi Rich,

You basically have two options -

1.   you can test dial all of the (up to) 100,000,000 possible combinations.   Testing 500 each and every day, it would only take about 530 years to test them all, or

2.   you can have it opened and repaired by a trained safe technician from a local safe company.

Note:   As locks and parts are NOT readily available, if at all.   And they may be VERY expensive, you don't want to have the work done by someone who causes damage to the safe and/or lock.    Generally anyone charging by the hour for opening safes, is telling you they don't really know what they are doing, and if they can't give you some kind of reasonable expectation that they are not going to damage anything, and if they drill it is easily repairable, then I wouldn't have second thoughts - I wouldn't let them do the work!!!!!

Note 2:   Many of the Cary safes this size had secondary "jewelers" chests inside of the safe.   Hopefully when you get this one open, if there is one it will be open.    If not, then you are looking at having a second safe opened, and as it is the burglary resistive chest, it will cost more.     Same rules though, you need a trained safe technician, familiar with these safes.    I NEVER recommend using a locksmith as they generally do not have the training, knowledge or tools and can ruin your safe or charge excessive amounts for the actual work.

Sorry, I wish there were more options, but locked up safes kind of limit them.

If you don't have a local safe company, let me know where you are located (zip code) and I'll see who I might know and/or recommend in your area.    If you have any questions concerning charges or quoted work, feel free to run it by me.    I don't try to price fix, however I also don't like hidden charges.    Again, if you can't trust the safe company, then you shouldn't be using them.

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Vault 2
Vault 2  
QUESTION: Andy thanks for the detailed response.  Ill be able to find out if there is a secondary safe as a previous owner of the building had/lost the combination but had been in the safe and should remember.

I'm in South Georgia, Albany.  90 minutes north of Tallahassee and 3 hours South of ATL.

Check out the door to the room the safe is in... and how the boss uses it.

Hi Rich,

Possibly the closest individual that I would recommend would be:

Protection Lock and Equipment
770-436-0302          Ron Snively
2347 Beaver Creek Road
Smyrna, GA 30080

Unfortunately he is about 200 miles away from you, up by Atlanta.

Much closer would be Albany Lock & Safe, but I have no knowledge of their skill level or expertise.   You would have to discuss the project with them.

Albany Lock & Safe
702 N. Slappey Blvd
Albany, GA  31701

I like the vault door, though I would have it restored and serviced.

Hope this helps,


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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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