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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    3
    Country: United States

    Default Cant open very old york huge safe

    Hello everyone I come to you in the need of help, I have a very old YORK Safe that came with my house, the house was build in the late 1800's by a wealthy attorney and for a while it was the largest house in town, the house came with many safes all of which have been opened throughout the years apart from this one. The previous owner told me that the safe was opened only once VERY long time ago. He did give me a set of little notes with combinations, but I cannot for the life of me open it up, could someone shed some light onto how to open this safe up, it would be greatly appreciated I could use detailed baby step by step instructions since I am very very bad with all types of locks I am including a picture of the safe and the little notes . I am really excited to see whats inside the safe hopefully lost/stolen national treasures
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails WP_000100.jpg   WP_000099.jpg   WP_000097.jpg   WP_000098.jpg  

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Eastern United States
    Posts
    45
    Country: United States

    Default How to dial a safe combination open

    Hi Trot,

    The following is how to dial a safe combo...baby steps.

    We will start with the four number combo you have.

    You will be using the mark at the top of the dial ring as the indication point, this is at the 12 o'clock position.

    Turn the dial to the right (clockwise) until the number 10 has passed the mark on the dial ring four times. As it approaches the mark for the fifth time slow down and come to a stop at 10.

    Now turn the dial left (counter clockwise) watching the number 35. Each time the number 35 passes the top mark, that is considered a full turn. You will note that the first turn is very short due to the numbers 10 and 35 being so close. You should pass the number 35 three times, stopping the fourth time that 35 comes to the mark.

    Turn the dial right watching the number 50 as it comes to the mark. Pass the mark two times, stopping at 50 the third time it comes to the mark.

    Now turn the dial left watching the number 75 as it comes to the mark. Pass the mark one time, stopping at 75 the second time it comes to the mark.

    Finally, turn the dial to the right slowly, as it approaches the 0 mark you may feel what is known as drop in, keep turning until the dial comes to a stop. You shouldn't be able to turn to the right anymore. If however, the dial makes it a full turn without stopping, you don't have the correct numbers, or a dialing error has happened.

    Now how to dial a three number combo.

    Turn the dial to the left, using the number 20 as a reference. Stop the fourth time 2 is at the top indication point.

    Now turn the dial right, watching the number 95 now. Stop the third time 95 is at the mark.

    Turn the dial to the left, watching the number 60 now. Stop the second time 60 is at the mark.

    Turn the dial to the right slowly now, as you approach the 0 mark you may feel the drop in. Keep turning until the dial comes to a stop and you can't turn it anymore. If these are the correct numbers your lock is now open. You can turn the safe handle and see the great things you have just set free.

    Best of luck to you.

    If you have any questions at all, just ask... I'm sure one of us on here will have the answer.
    Last edited by Dean Nickel; 29-05-13 at 12:53 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Eastern United States
    Posts
    45
    Country: United States

    Red face big oops

    Sorry Trot....

    I goofed, on the second dialing sequence that should have been a 20, instead of a 2.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    3
    Country: United States

    Default

    Thank you will try now!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    3
    Country: United States

    Default

    UPDATE: No dice, tried both of the combos neither of them seemed to work. I tried them several times, I even let two other people try it. Im guessing the numbers left for this safe arent for this safe at all!! Now what are my options of opening it up without damaging the safe, is it possible? I would think it would be easy since its over 100 years old.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Eastern United States
    Posts
    45
    Country: United States

    Default

    Hi Trot,
    Well you gave it a great try. As for your options, you should hire a qualified safe/vault tech. to open it for you. I wouldn't say that it would be easy to open, even as you say it's 100 years old. You are asking that no damage be done to the safe, that my friend, just limited you to a very few of us in the industry. The talent needed to open the safe by feel is rare, and those that truly can do it, charge appropriately. From my point of view, you do not have a rare safe on your hands. If you find a good safe / vault tech. with a fiber optic scope, they should be able to open it with just one little 3/8" hole near the dial. That hole could then be patched and you would have a fine working safe. You can look up a safe tech on the SAVTA web site.

    Best of luck

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    747
    Country: United States

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Yankee View Post
    Finally, turn the dial to the right slowly, as it approaches the 0 mark you may feel what is known as drop in, keep turning until the dial comes to a stop. You shouldn't be able to turn to the right anymore.
    I beg to differ on this last operation. It is correct for contemporary combination locks, but older ones (e.g. friction fence a.k.a. roller fence Yale), you turn to the right to allow the fence drop into the gate, but after you get to zero, you turn around and dial left until it stops. Try that and let us know.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    165
    Country: United States

    Default Can't open very old york huge safe

    This is something else to try as what i think may work. Turn dial 4 time right stop @ 10. Now as turning dial left three time. Another word as 10 your first number as you are turning the dial left to second number 10, keep going again until you get to the third number 10. Now go pass that 10 to 35. As 35 turn dial right two time. 35 is your first number turning right keep going again until you get to second 35. Now go pass that 35 to 50. As 50 turn dial left until you get to 75 as you get to 75 keep turning left slowing until you no lomger can turn the dial.
    Attached Files Attached Files

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri
    Posts
    18
    Country: United States

    Default Opening that safe of yours

    I have done this stuff for over thirty years so assuming you have the correct set of combinations, you can open your safe. You said there are other safes in the house that you have opened. Be sure these don't work for any others or you are likely wasting your time. Assuming they are the right ones, go like this; The five number combination is probably for the high security compartment inside. Let's wait on that. Start with the four number (four stop) combination first. Start to the left. It does not matter where you start, just start turning left (counter clockwise) and pass the first number at least four times and stop on it. Don't be sloppy. Stop exactly on the number from a continuous steady rotation. If you pass it even by one mark, don't cheat and go back. Go all the way around another time and stop. Once done, turn back the other direction (clockwise). Make exactly three moves toward the next number. Stop on the third time. Don't pass and go back. Don't go around another time. If you miss this one or any of the next, you must start over. Assuming you have done that series of turns correctly, turn back again this time twice to the next number and stop, and then again the opposite direction toward the indicated last number. When you get there, you should feel something different. It may stop. That's good. you're done if so. It may just feel like a slight bump and render nothing. That's not so good, but not so bad. Feeling that bump means it wants to go but it's old and stiff, like getting off the couch after a long movie. You can wiggle the dial a little, no more than a couple marks either side of the bump, and coax it into a stop. The final turn will be the same direction as the last turn was indicated, and open it will be. You may get to that point and feel nothing. Get a rubber mallet or something similar and give the door (not the lock) a couple whacks. Not a lot, just enough to rattle the door some. Then wiggle the dial a bit, always ending in the last indicated direction. Still nothing? Turn the tee handle counter clockwise (for this safe) to be sure the linkage is not cramping the lock, and dial the lock again. Keep doing it at least five or ten times, until you are dead sure what you are feeling and that your dialing process is correct. If that still does not work, the lock is either too stuck with old grease, or you just have the wrong combination. Try the five number combo a few times the same way taking great care to follow the directions (the arrows say which way to go). If it still doesn't go. Don't get a driller yet. Get someone to manipulate the lock. I'll do it if you can't find anyone else nearby. Don't get it drilled because once it is drilled, plugged and painted, someone else can get in the same way. I know. I have done that too. The cover up will never match perfectly and simply announces where to attack. This safe being built in to the wall as it is should be preserved if at all possible. Of course if you just want the stuff inside, have it drilled and leave it open. If there is anything of value inside, it will be behind the heavier door behind this one anyway. Good luck and let us know how things go.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Cleveland, Ohio USA
    Posts
    821
    Country: United States

    Default

    Cerrajero, welcome to the forum, there seem to be very few safe techs who are members, at least based on input. However, I do take issue with your advise on drilling. I too, have been doing this for over 30 years, opening safes both by manipulation and by drilling. The vast majority of my drillings would require both knowledge and equipment the typical burglar does not have. As to the patched up hole, there have been many times where I have drilled a safe only to find that it had been drilled before in a different spot, patched and in some cases the whole safe repainted. Historically, illegal safecracking by drilling has, for the most part, been extremely rare and still is today. However, there are many, many safes out there in use that have been professionally drilled and repaired. In fact, since the York safe here has been repainted, I would not be at all surprised to find it has been drilled open. It is possible to plug drilled holes in most fire safes that would frustrate seasoned safe drillers. It is also possible, in many cases, to paint over a good repair to the point where it won't be noticed. The point is that Joe Q Public (including most safe collectors) already has an unrealistic aversion to drilling. I hope I can convince you to rethink your opinion. Doug CMS CPS

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