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Locksmithing/older safe with yale lock


lever and dail
lever and dail  

complete front
complete front  
I have read some of your answers for safes with Yale combination locks. I included some photos of the safe I am trying to open. I have the combination and i have also had it opened before. The "instructions" I have are the first number left 4 times, next 3 then 2 and then the last once. So after that last number, does one stop at that number and then turn to "10" wheres its supposed to stop or just turn til it stops supposedly around 10 as my "instructions" read? Can you start from anywhere or do you have "reset" the sequence? If so, what is the technique for resetting to start reentering the numbers?

Hi Chris,

Generally - instructions are "passed on" the way the previous owner understands them and NOT necessarily the way the lock works.

Most Yale locks dial as follows:

4 times right to the first number,
3 times left to the second number,
2 times right to the third number,
1 time left until the dial stops (between 5-10)

so it would appear that your instructions may not be correct.

Yes you can start anywhere.   There is no "clear" sequence or reset.    Simply start dialing clockwise (right) and stop the FOURTH time the first number arrives at the 12 o'clock index mark.    Then turn counter clockwise (left) stopping the third time the second number arrives at the index mark, and so on.

Hope this helps,


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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

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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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