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Thread: Victor Cannonball Style Safe

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Wisconsin
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    12
    Country: United States

    Default Victor Cannonball Style Safe

    After a long search I have finally purchased a cannonball safe. It is a Victor, post 1908, bought open with a lost combination. While a little rough on the cosmetic side it is an excellent canidate for a restoration. I have retreived the combination, inspected the mechanics, and searched under the repaint for the original lettering and stripes. It had the common paint scheme for the period. I have a few questions.

    Does anyone have a paint code for the light golden green that was used on these safes. I can always have the Dupont computer read the paint but maybe somebody already knows?

    That brings up the question... Original color or custom. Here is your chance to voice your opinion, lets hear it!

    This Victor seems to be the smallest of the production units standing at 43" with no compartment in the base. I have read that there were 5 sizes, can anyone expand on that?

    Are the door and crank nickel plated? If I polish on them I get a steady black residue, so that is what i assume. Would it be more practical to have them replated in chrome? The door also has (engine turning) as does the time lock plate. Is this done on or under the plating? The time lock plate has the pattern much deeper than the door.

    I just love this safe. it will make a nice companion to my Briggs & Son http://www.antique-locks.com/showthr...ghlight=briggs. I hope to keep this project on the fast track and finish it this summer. Thank you in advance for your help. Ray

    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
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    Mar 2010
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    Wisconsin
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    Country: United States

    Default

    I forgot one other thing. This safe has a Bankers Dustproof three movement time lock with a solid door. Unfortuneatly the latch is missing. Can anyone provide a picture or information about this latch? Or better yet, a parts doner? I have been on http://www.my-time-machines.net/ but the one pictured there does not show the latch. Help!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Cleveland, Ohio USA
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    817
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    Default

    Ray here are a few picture that may help. I think the paint you are referring to is called aluminum bronze. It was pretty popular on bankers chests and cannonballs back then. It is the lightest color door in these pictures. That is a good question about the turning and I will ask a local guy Doug Seybold, who does this on antique car dashboards. He is currently doing the plates on an Ely Norris that NatSafeMatt and I are working on. Doug
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 041_41.JPG   DSCN1389.jpg   DSCN1395.jpg   IMG_0022.jpg   IMG_0023.jpg  

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Wisconsin
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    Default

    Thank you for the reply, Doug.

    That door in the picture is the same as my time lock door. I don't understand how they make it slide back and forth when the hole that it is in is round. Have you ever been inside one?

    You pegged the color with the door picture. Have you painted that color and do you have a number? I am eager to hear more of the "engine turning" pattern.

    My safe read on the side: MANGANESE STEEL VICTOR PATENTS, but did not list the patent numbers like some did. Does anyone know the numbers that were listed? Thank you. Ray

    For those who are curious here is a picture of the ring & pinion gear assembly under that glorious plated cover. Note the brazing on the pinion gear and gate timing wheel. I never realized that the screw style door closes until it is wedged solid. The pinion gear takes on tremendous forces to move the hundreds of pounds of steel from the closed wedged position as does the gate timing wheel when the crank is attempted to be turned while the combination is locked. The keyways were worn and a poor repair was done. The shaft will have to be built up, remachined, and a new gate timing wheel made.
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    I dedicated my engine stand to this project and modified it to be adjustable to move the heavy door. I have done several mock installations to make sure the replated door will not get scratched.

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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Cleveland, Ohio USA
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    Default

    Ray, I don't do any painting so I can't help out there. I made a mistake on your safe as it is the fine thread model made for only a few years (roughly 1905 to 1908) prior to the coarse thread. All of the pics I posted were coarse thread. So the patent list is little different and less of them. I will try to find a picture with it. And it shouldn't be too hard to get a sample of the timelock catch to make a copy cause there are a lot of Victors out there.

    On the gearing, normally there shouldn't be too much pressure on the pinion when the door is properly ground and hung, but once this is no longer true it can get excessive and left unattended will do some damage. Rust is most often the cause for extreme pressures to be put on the gearing teeth. That's a great idea using the engine stand by the way. Doug

  6. #6
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    Mar 2010
    Location
    Wisconsin
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    Default

    Thank you again, Doug.

    What did Victor put on the sides of the safe? Patent numbers or dates. I just happened to think... there is a patent plate on the rear of the door. I had wrapped it up and set it aside. So, if they used dates, I have them. The plate has a Dec 1, 1908 date so the safe must have been made after that. I was under the impression the course threads were first. Please elaborate if you have more information.

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    I checked my door alignment more carefully breaking out the feeler gauge to do so. I improved it slightly mostly by adding more preload on the threaded door pins. I don't think I had the top one tight enough. The door and bore surfaces have been polished and it turns fine until the door closure alignment marks are about 3/8" apart. At that point there is no space around the door, it has to wedge into place to align the marks which confirm the time lock is aligned. I have used chalk marks on the door and on the bore to check for interference and it looks good. What is the proper procedure for door alignment? What do you use to protect the metal surface from rusting and should the threads be lubricated? If so, with what?

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    For the curious, here is how the door is adjusted on a Victor cannonball. The door pivot pins are threaded for height adjustment and pointed for centering and low friction.

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    The door hinge is adjustable horizontally by rotating an offset bushing in the upper and lower hinge mount on the safe body. The hinge pin is held tight by nuts on each end to make sure the pin does not turn in the bushings (which are very soft) and that the hinge pivots on the pin.

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  7. #7
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    Sep 2010
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    ohio
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    Default

    Where is the "like" button on this thread?...cool project!!
    We would not long for Heaven if earth held only joy.

  8. #8
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    Oct 2009
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    Ok here is the corrected patent list as I see it.

    622,753 Apr 11, 1899 but marked Apr 1, 1899 on the tag

    629,764 Aug 1, 1899

    635,291 Oct 24, 1899

    645,448 Mar 13, 1900

    676,061 Jun 11, 1901

    706,877 Aug 12, 1902 but marked Aug 12, 1904 on the tag. In this patent is the first mention of "non workable steel or alloy" in other words manganese steel

    750,792 Feb 2, 1904

    905,180 Dec 1, 1908 this shows the coarse thread model

  9. #9
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    Oct 2009
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    Cleveland, Ohio USA
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    Default

    Ray, yes it would appear that yours was made just before they started the coarse thread model, assuming as is usually the case that production corresponds to patent. There is another patent 903,800 Nov 10, 1908 that shows the fine thread. Regarding door alignment, the slightest nick or high spot on the thread or jamb edge will cause problems but you have probably taken care of that. Was the badly rusted? The only thing I can think of is to try moving the side adjustment screw as you torque easy on the door. You may need to loosen the vertical screws slightly prior to trying this. You want to make sure that the door isn't fighting against the hinge as it moves inward. But don't force it. Good luck and great pics. Doug

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Nevada
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    3
    Country: United States

    Default Looking for more info on these safes

    Hello, I saw the thread you posted about your restoration ofthe cannonball safe. It has been helpful and answered some of my questions. Ipurchased an identical safe on ebay a couple months ago. I found this threadwhile looking for info on it. I purchased it unlocked and open ,but the combowas lost. I want to restore mine also . Do you have more pictures of the innermechanics under the front cover and also under the rear plate covering thelocking lugs . Would you be willing to share them with me? I want to make sure everything is workingcorrectly. Where did you find your info on this safe ? I cannot find any infoon these anywhere. Do you know if there is an old owners manual ormanufacturers prints out there and available? I would also like to find out howthe properly wind the time lock, I was told they run but haven't messed with itdue to my lack of knowledge. Any help would be very appreciated . Here is alink to pics of my safe on photobucket .http://s1280.photobucket.com/user/j1...nonball%20Safe Thanks for your time . James .

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