I have a Gary safe s# 221920 0181 It is 5'6" high 38" wide and 30" deep I don't have the combination for it . I got it from people who bought a business and the safe was in it I was wondering if it is worth keeping or just good scrap iron
Answer Hi Patrick,
I'm a firm believer in salvaging and restoring most safes - obviously though the restored safe HAS to be worth more at the end of the project than the cost to replace it.
This rusty paper weight has a lot of issues that need to be addressed - is it repairable? Yes it is, but YOU will have to decide if it is worth keeping or not - not me.
Problem #1. Based on your description, it appears that the safe is locked up and you don't have the combination. As the Gary Safe Company has not been around since the early 1980's records are non-existent. This means that in order to even repair the safe it will have to be opened first. You will need a safe technician from a local safe company to open it for you unless you plan on test dialing all of the possible 1,000,000 possible test combinations. Cost will depend on what the safe rating is, but I would say that you are in the neighborhood of around $400-$800. Fortunately, while original parts are not going to be available, there is little on the safe that can't be replaced to keep it operational.
Problem #2. The condition of the safe. All of the old paint and rust can be removed and the safe refurbished. Again this is simply time, material and money. If you can do the work yourself, it will save a lot of this and make the transformation more palatable.
Problem #3. This is a very large, heavy safe - so getting it moved to a location for it to be used will require special equipment and of course money.
So, bottom line the "answer" will depend on what YOU are planning on doing with it. This container was designed for business use, as in a supermarket. It possibly has interior compartments which give you cash tray storage, bulk coin storage and possibly a depository area for money which is held prior to going to the bank.
Cost for a new similar sized safe would be in the $3000 to $4000 range, though similar used units could be 1/2 that amount - $1000 to $2000. If you are planning on keeping it, then you will possibly save substantially over purchasing a similar size safe.
If you are planning on restoring it and selling it, you probably aren't going to recoup your money, time and effort, though you may break even - IF you can find a buyer. Used safes like this tend to be specialty items, so unless you are willing to let it go for a premium discounted price you may wind up setting on it for quite a while.
So, back to the bottom line - what are your plans??? That will pretty much give you a direction.
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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
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