Locksmithing/Old Hall sate



I have an old Hall's Standard safe, supposedly made by the Hall Safe and Equipment company, with a decal on the front that is exactly like a decal described in an answer you gave to a person a couple of years ago.  It is about 2 ft high, 1.5 ft high, and 1.5 ft deep.  The combination works fine, although I think you made a comment that it does not satisfy current fire requirements.  The safe is probably 45-50 years old.

Here is my question.  The handle has "play" in it.  It moves when the safe is locked, although it does not open anything.  But it feels like something is loose in the door, and I wonder if it sounds like it is worth repairing, or it is time to buy anew.

Thanks for any help you can give.


Hi George,

If you read the earlier reply to the questioner about a similar safe it was NOT made by Hall's Safe & Equipment Company - this company was simply a reseller / distributor of safes, NOT a manufacturer.    They simply put the label on for advertising purposes.

So the first thing we need to identify is what you actually have.

Second item would have to do with the handle play.   Generally mechanical problems require hands on diagnostics and maintenance.   Without seeing the safe and the problem I can only speculate, and as I'm not rich and famous from my lottery picks, my guesses as to the problem with your safe may also not be correct.    If you can't determine the problem by observation, then I would recommend that you have it checked out by a trained safe technician from a local safe company.

Based on your description, I would have to assume that you have either an issue with the handle, handle cam and/or fastener.    It may also be an issue with the bolt work.   In either case, without proper attention it will get worse, and could easily result in a locked up safe.  As far as whether or not it is worth repairing - I don't know, I have no idea what you actually have and/or what condition it is actually in.

However, if you are using it for more than just general purpose storage (no cash, jewelry or valuable documents) then I would probably recommend its replacement with a much better quality safe designed to meet your fire and security needs - and NO, I'm not talking about the Costco or Home Depot specials!!!!

If you would like me to look at your safe to try to determine what you actually have and/or when it may have been made, I would be more than happy to, but will need to see photos.

As this site is really not very photo friendly - sorry not my site, I'm just a volunteer here - I would need the photos sent directly to me.

Please send any and all photos of items that you have questions about directly to me at:    andy@securitysafeusa.com   so I can see what you actually have.    I'll need good quality photos of the front, interior and any items that you specifically want me to look at.  


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Terry V. Andreasen (Andy)


Safe and Vault related Questions; Antique Safe Repair and Restoration; With over 40 years in the Safe & Vault industry, if I can't answer your question I know where to get the answer. Current Project: Restoration of two Tilton & McFarland safes from the 1860'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.


40 years in the Safe & Vault Industry. 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

SafeCrackers International and the National Antique Safe Association

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 - 2014 - 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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