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Locksmithing/wheel pack locking mechanism operation of a Cary safe


Cary safe locking mechanism
Cary safe locking mech  

Drive cam and spacers
Drive cam and spacers  
We just purchased an antique vintage Cary safe and the safe would unlock by just turning the combination to 14. Upon getting it home and taking the cover off to expose the lock assembly we discovered that 3 of the wheels in the wheel pack were missing so the only wheel we have is the drive cam wheel. It is constructed of brass and is 3 1/32" in diameter with 41 holes drilled in the outside edge of the drive cam that will receive a 6/32 screw. The inside diameter of the center hole in the wheel is 15/16" and the wheel is approximately 3/16" thick. Holding the drive wheel on the shaft are 3 individual spacers with key ways in the spacers. The first and the larger one goes into the drive wheel. The other 3 spacers I am assuming receive the other 3 wheels that I need. There is also a brass nut and washer that hold the assembly on the shaft. On the handle of the safe the numbers 29444 are embossed. The safe also has the acorn nuts on the hinges and they are thin tin like covers. The dial turns a brass gear inside the safe and that gear turns another gear that has 316 embossed on it. That gear drives the drive cam. The cover that covers the wheel pack assembly only has 1 screw to remove it, there are 4 larger screws that hold the main cover on the inside of the door once the door is open. The big question is do you have any idea where we can find the other 3 wheels that comprise the wheel pack?? (I think everything else is there). I will send you more pictures once I have your email address. Any information you can provide will be greatly appreciated.

Hi Rich,

While you DO have an ANTIQUE Cary safe, unless it was harvested from a vineyard or bottled by a Ventnor, you DO NOT have a "VINTAGE" safe!    Vintage is one of the TWO most misused and abused words pertaining to OLD stuff.    It applies to the year of Harvest or bottling of a grape or wine.

As for finding replacement wheels - they are going to have to be made.   "IF" you even find a lock, it will either be attached to someone else's safe or in a collection.    Getting them to part with it could be VERY expensive.

Send your other photos to me at:   If I have photos that I can send you I will.    

If you don't have a machinist that an make the missing parts and/or you don't have the skills to make it a DIY project, then I can make the wheels for you, but I will need the lock to fit the wheels correctly.  


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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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