Locksmithing/schwab safe

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Question
I recently purchased a Schwab safe at a garage sale. It measures 20" 20"26" high.I would like to use it for a living room end table. I don't have the combination.  Is there a way to open it without major damage?
Thank you in advance.
Phil

Answer
Hi Phil,

You have several options, though some are probably not as good as others.

1.  Contact the manufacturer to see if the have any records for your container.   Unfortunately Schwab was acquired by Sentry Group (Sentry Safes) in Aug. 2008.   They WILL require that you have documentation that you own the safe - chances are you didn't get any documentation from the garage sale that will suffice.   You can check out their website to see what other options you have.   You can also contact their Customer service at 800-828-1428.   They also don't keep records must past 10 years, so if your safe is older than 2006 they MAY not have any records for your safe.   You WILL need the serial number for the safe.

Also, "IF" they have records and a combination for your safe, it would be the original combination that was set on the safe when it left the factory - "IF" it has ever been changed, they will NOT have a record for it.    They also have a fairly high "admin" fee for records searching.

2.   You can test dial all possible combinations for the lock on your safe.   Chances are the lock is a Sargent & Greenleaf (S&G) 6700 series lock, which has 1,000,000 possible test combinations.   Testing 500 each day will only take you about 5.5 years to test them all.

3.   Contact a local safe company to have their trained safe technician (not a locksmith) open your safe for you.    While Manipulation is possible you may not have a service tech in your area that is trained in this method and/or competent.   Manipulation is NOT a guaranteed method either.   Even the best safe techs still may have problems or some locks will simply not talk.

With Manipulation you are paying for the service and not necessarily the result.

Drilling, if done correctly by a trained safe tech will NOT damage the safe.   The usually small hole, generally less than 1/4", can easily be repaired.   If done correctly it may not even be necessary to replace any parts.   If done by an untrained safe technician they can possibly turn your safe into "Swiss Cheese"!

My recommendation if you decide not to use options 1 or 2, would be to contact a local safe company to discuss prices and options available.   As the safe is fairly small, if you can take it in to their shop, the prices may be MUCH less than having them make a service call to your location.

Check your local yellow pages under "safes & vaults" for local companies.   If you don't have one, let me know where you are located (zip code) and I'll see who I might know and/or recommend in your area.

Hope this helps,  

Locksmithing

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Terry V. Andreasen (Andy)

Expertise

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.

Experience

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".

Organizations
SafeCrackers International and the National Antique Safe Association Safe & Vault Technicians Association (SAVTA)

Publications
The Coffee Table Guide to Antique Safes AllExperts.com

Education/Credentials
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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