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Locksmithing/Vintage safe questions


Inside label
Inside label  

Door open
Door open  
Hi Terry,

I hope you are well. I recently purchased an older home and found what's left of what looks like a protectall possibly molsner protectall wall safe missing the lock mechanism. Below I have attached some photos. I was wondering if you could share some information on the safe and if it is possible to put a new lock on it and use the safe again.  I look forward to your response.  I can provided more photos by email if necessary.

Thank you,

Hi Rick,

Unless your safe was harvested or bottled as part of the wine making process - it has no and/or is not "vintage" - you simply have an older safe.

Basic History.

Protectall Safes were built during the 1930's into the early 1940's.   About this time it was acquired by the Mosler Safe Company who successfully ran it until 1949 when it was decided to close down the factory and merge everything into the main facility in Hamilton, OH.   The name was still occasionally used up through the very early 1960's, though it had little to do with the original Protectall Safe Company or product line.

Your safe is one of the later model Mosler wall safes using this logo (late 1950's early 1960's).

The SMNA "Group 9" Robbery resistive containers were one of the lowest burglary/robbery ratings provided by SMNA to manufacturers.   These containers could have either a combination lock or key lock installed.

As far as finding a "new lock" for your container - good luck!    The locks on these containers haven't been available in around 50 years and Mosler has been out of business since 2001!

"IF" you find any locks for these doors it will either be a used lock which was removed from another similar container, or the door will have to be retrofitted to a currently available lock.

As these containers are not collectible or antique, it really doesn't matter if the lock is original or not as long as the container is functional.

I do have some ideas for a couple locks that may work on this door, however modifications may be necessary AND missing parts which allow the lock to actually secure the door, will have to be fabricated.   If you don't have machine shop capabilities, then you would need someone who can fabricate the necessary parts and adapt the lock to the door.

If you don't have anyone, and assuming that the door can be removed from the hinges - you can send it in to me to retrofit it.

Sorry there aren't any quick easy answers for this container - but the good news is that it can be repaired.  


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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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