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Locksmithing/need source for old safe locks


I am restoring an old Cary double door safe without inner chest.  It appears last owner pulled the safe lock and wheel pack out of the safe and dropped it shattering the open R side of the safe lock into many pieces which if found in an old cigar box in the safe.  You have a splitting image of the lock on your Images site.  It is a Cary Safe Lock set SN200360.  I am in hopes that you have a source for old safe locks.  I am in Salina Ks.  and occ. travel for safes and safe parts;  I have about 50 different antique safes.  Its a wonderful hobby until you come across something like this.  Another problem with the same safe is that the plate on which this lock is bolted has been broken such that the lower apprx. half is in my cigar box with the rest still firmly attached to the R door.  Can this be brazed or welded back together with the break through one of the screw holes?
 I thank you for your consideration of this plight.
   Bill U.

Hi Bill,

Sorry but there is no such thing as a "source" for old safe locks.    Over the years many of the locksmith shops and safe companies MAY salvage locks off of old safes that are being scrapped, but generally these are either for THEIR collections, or work on safes that come through their shops.   There is no CONSOLIDATED listing of parts by anyone - anywhere.

Bottom line, what this means for you, is that you simply have to contact every possible company that MAY have a box of older safe locks or parts.   Second problem is that most of these companies have little interest in digging through their boxes of old parts, and if they do, they are probably going to be asking a serious price for THAT particular part.   So if you need a lock for a safe, be prepared to pay for it, as you may not find that lock again, and if you are price shopping the second inquiry may cause the price to go up again.

Sorry - its just the nature of the business - old parts for old or antique safes is simply NOT that big a market.

As to your supposition of the old owner "dropping" the lock and shattering it!   Sorry, but I'm going to have to be a bit skeptical about that one!    I've dropped a lot of locks over the years and NEVER had one shatter - sounds more like the previous owner may have used a hammer to take it apart.
Also I'm not sure what site you are referring to about "images of safe locks"????    First, this is not my site, I'm simply a volunteer here, and second, I don't have a private site for antique safes or locks.   I've no way of knowing WHAT images you were looking at or referring to.

Now on to your problems.   In order to answer your questions, I'm going to need to see photos of your lock, so that we can match it with the correct lock.    Based on your serial number, I would suspect that the lock is a Yale M-16 series, three wheel, gear drive, friction fence type lock.   If so, I may have a replacement lock, however it may be the Yale Y6 version rather than the M-16.   But we will cross that bridge when we come to it - first we need to ID what you are actually looking for.
Also, based on the serial number, your safe would have been built around 1927, one of the last years Cary was using the M-16 series locks.

Second problem concerning the broken mounting plate - again, I would need to see photos to see if I can come up with an answer.   Obviously the type of welding WILL depend on the type of metal and/or if it is cast or not.   As far as the break being through one of the mounting screw holes, this shouldn't matter, if your repairs are good.   If you align the hole correctly, you don't necessarily need to weld through the hole.   Use the correct mounting screw to align the threads prior to welding.

I wish you were closer to California as I would love to see your collection some day.

In order to answer specific questions, identify, evaluate or appraise your safe, I'm going to need photos.  They should include full exterior and interior.  Detail photos should include pictures of the dial, handles, hinges, artwork, locks, bolt work, castors, cabinetry and any special details or damage.  Note:  You may have to remove the back panel on the door to gain access to the lock & bolt work – I will need these pics.
If you have a particular detail that you have a question about, I will need a photo of it along with your question.

I will also need to see any documentation that you have in regards to your safe.  If your safe has a unique historical perspective, you should be able to document this with letters, newspaper articles or photos, if not it is simply a story and will have no bearing on the value of your safe.

Please use as high a resolution as possible so that I can examine details of your safe.  Pictures which are low resolution, out of focus, or from a distance don’t help when we try to evaluate the container.  Note:  with higher resolution, you may only be able to send 2-4 pictures per email, depending on the size of the file, I have a 12mb limit per email.  If photos are larger than 2mb each, you may only be able to send 2 or 3 photos per email, requiring several emails.

Please don’t send me “cell phone” photos, unless they are very clear and of sufficient resolution.   Also, please don’t use online, internet photo drops as most of these also don’t allow me to easily access the photos for examination.   Send the pics directly to me, while this may be more work for you, it will make my job easier.

Please send all of the requested photos to:

Note:  As I am in the field several days each week, covering a huge service area, I may not get back to your photos immediately, but I will respond as soon as I get an opportunity.  Due to field work, emails may tend to get backed up which means I may not answer them immediately.

Our informal evaluation is at no charge, however if you feel you need a formal evaluation or appraisal for insurance, estate sales, donations for tax write offs, or to establish it as an antique, there is an administrative fee for this service.  


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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

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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