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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    117
    Country: United States

    Default

    I did some disassembly on the door today. First, to figure out how to get the dial and spindle out and also, to go through some practice assembly runs so I know what to expect when assembling with new paint. I had assumed that with a hole through the door perhaps this National is less secure. Never assume.

    Previously I had removed the insides of the lock but the spindle was held in place inside the door somewhere. I removed the time lock and lock case only to discover a 1/2 inch thick steel plate covering door bolt linkage.

    2hye79e 1

    Four slotted bolts and it came off. There are a lot of moving pieces to the door bolt linkage but it is simple enough.

    264qsxy 1

    Next, I removed the 12 3/4 inch bots that hold on the door lug ring. All the bolts on this safe are British Whitworth threads and most have an odd number of threads per inch for their diameter. This revealed what was holding the spindle shaft in place. A threaded bung that is locked in place by a flat head screw in the threads.

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    Once this bung is screwed out it reveals a very stout spindle shaft that has a taper on the shaft that matches a taper machined in the door. This along with the thick threaded bung would prevent nitro from being introduced and would make punching the dial a pointless endeavor. To reduce excessive drag on the taper, it was lubricated with a graphite grease.

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    The dial is just a tight slip on fit. It has a square shaft with one angle corner so it can only go on one way.

    2w2hao6 1

    After removing the door lug ring there were thin pieces of card stock stuck between the the ring and the main door. Some were several thick, perhaps to act as shims?

    ivy15d 1

    Upon closer inspection I noticed printing and writing on them. All together there were 31 of them and they turned out to be cut up employee time cards. Some of them matched up and provide a few interesting tidbits. Most of the time cards are from June 1906 and show working hours of 10 - 11 hours. Here are some fit together to show the top of a National Safe and Lock time card.

    5zgyhd 1

    Two pieces that match have writing on the back. It says:
    Serial 249
    Case 7932
    Move 33197-198-1??
    Motor 1149

    Another piece shows the same case number but has the numbers 33577-578-???

    juelxg 1

    My National is number 32650 which becomes a bit confusing. It is a smaller/earlier number but had to be assembled after these time cards. I can only speculate that perhaps the numbers ran concurrently across all models of safes (Mosler numbers did) and the cannonballs/bank chests took longer to complete than the standard square safes.

    This safe has had some surprises and has been a real joy to work on.
    Last edited by 00247; 05-09-17 at 03:05 AM.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Hartford CT
    Posts
    153
    Country: United States

    Default National Safe and Lock Company.

    Interesting, thank you for the break down. Enjoy seeing the mechanics on these old chests!

    I hope you don't have a fight on your hands reassembling the lug ring? I've learned the hard way and never remove the paper shims when I'm serving a lug door bearing plate. Had a headache of a time trying to re-align a large Diebold money chest so the door would close and rotate smoothly.

    If you need more NS&L pics PM me your email address and I can send them over in full resolution.

    DH

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    117
    Country: United States

    Default

    Thanks for the words of advise, David. I assembled the door completely for practice and adjusted the dial ring, the dial/spindle are quite smooth now. I put the lug ring on without shims and spent a couple hours playing with door adjustments to get the door to turn properly. The biggest issue was worn shafts in the top carriage that the rollers spin on. They are lightly pressed in the casting so I rotated them 180 degrees and that made a world of difference. New shafts will be made. I tried switching the carriages top to bottom as the top one carries the weight but they are not drilled the same for the door cover so it would not fit.

    Once adjusted, the door turned nicely without the shims despite no lubrication. I will have to shim it again as several of the 12 bolts (I numbered there positions upon disassembly) that hold the lug ring on have ground corners on them to miss the inner support for the compartment door. In order to get those bolts to line up I will have to shim .020 to .025 with shim stock.

    I received some pictures of an identical National safe in Arkansas from a member on another forum. It has been redone by the bank that displays it with no respect for originality. He has knowledge of the safe and has access to it. Here are a couple pictures. PMing for the additional pictures. Thanks

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  4. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    117
    Country: United States

    Default

    Here is an update on the National Bank chest. I haven't been breaking any records but have been plugging along on this project as time permits. First the inside was sandblasted as it was a mess of peeling paint. There was a lot of residual mortar left especially in the corners. This body is cast in one piece and it seems they used a wooden plug covered with mortar to create the inner cavity. The inside was very rough where the manganese reacted with the mortar and there were nails fused to the inside surface. The manganese is extremely hard and grinding some of the lumps was a slooow process. The outside of the casting was pretty good although one bad spot was filled with lead.

    Inside after blasting, still some mortar left and nails.

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    Naked and proud. Just like Charlie Rose.

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    Door hinge casting has a lot of flaws.

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    A major flaw in the body casting that was repaired with lead.

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    It took a lot of body work on the body and the cast base to shape them up for an automotive quality paint job. Hours and hours of filler/sanding/filler/sanding and more hours of filler and sanding. Eventually it starts to shape up.

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    Once satisfied with the overall shape, it is time for a substantial coat of urethane primer. Then comes the process of block sanding the surface to get it as close to perfect as possible. I used wet sanding with mostly 400 grit initially. It takes a ton of time to block the flat areas, corners, and the base. Most of the initial primer gets sanded off and the surface is shaping up nicely.

    In primer and some polyester filler touching up pinholes, sand scratches, and other minor flaws. It is just thin filler, most gets sanded off.

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    Wet sanding.

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    Having a fork lift really saves the back at times like these.

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    Once sanded out, it is time for more primer. Then it gets blocked out again. And finally one more light coat of primer and final wet sanding with 600 grit. Wiping down with solvent and checking reflections in the wet surface tells me what it will look like with shiny paint. Perfection is the elusive goal.

    Wet with solvent and looking ready for paint.

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    Hinge parts are ready too.

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    Then it is into the paint room for the color coat. This is always a challenge as Murphy's law is the order of the day. Precautions like a good paint room cleaning, air filter change, proper paint mixing and filtering, spray gun service, and lint free coveralls minimize the chance of Murphy showing up. With a little luck and not screwing up, the paint turns out nice.

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    This week I will pick up the nickel plated parts from the plater. The safe project will then be at a stand still until I get the computer corrected art work from my tracings of the original artwork back from the graphics gal. Once I receive them I can put on the gold leaf stripes and lettering which is the fun part of the project. There are still many hours to go until completion.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    117
    Country: United States

    Default

    Here are the parts with their new nickel plating. It is always fun unwrapping the parts and seeing the new finish.

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    Unfortunately, the plating budget is being blown to smithereens. And there are a few more parts to do. One is the door face plate which is a complicated piece to do. When I picked up these parts I discussed options with the plater. I think I have come up with a plan to restore it to original. Hope so, or it will be an expensive mistake.

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    We also discussed the inner door plate that surrounds the lock and time lock. It is copper plated with a black oxide finish that is polished away in swirls. I will have some test pieces plated in copper to do some tests on before tackling the original.

    jqni94 1

    Hopefully the artwork will be done soon, until then, the project is stalled.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Cleveland, Ohio USA
    Posts
    1,250
    Country: United States

    Default

    Nice! I was down at Matt Lamborn's shop yesterday and we were discussing the possibility of redoing the acid etched parts found on some these cannonballs. I have only tried acid etching once and that was on an axe head, but I think redoing these plates is a feasible project. Now if I only had the space, time and energy to experiment.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    117
    Country: United States

    Default

    When I picked up the parts from the plater, two pieces had issues and they were not willing to plate them unless I would accept pits in the finished nickel plating. The two large door pivot finials (which are also nuts for adjusting the door height) had flaws in the cast material that would require repair before plating. The problem with cast is that these flaws are usually impurities within the cast and if you try to repair without getting all of the impurities out they will keep contaminating the repair and result in a pit in the plating. Sometimes if one tries to drill/grind out the flaw it can become worse underneath. For this reason they would not attempt repairs on these items. Sometimes plating extra layers of copper and then polishing the piece out can overcome the pits but it becomes a very labor intense procedure with no guarantee of the results. This shop does extensive automotive trim restoration so their standard procedure is to solder the needed repairs.

    The two finials acid stripped and polished out exposing the casting flaws.

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    I brought the parts home unplated to search for a solution. After a number of inquiries with no definite answer, I contacted Paul's Chrome in Pennsylvania. They are regarded by some as one of the best in the country and after sending pictures of the parts they assured me they could handle the job. They were well aware of the issues that can come up trying to repair contaminated cast and use a different process to deal with them. Instead of repairing the flaw they copper plate the piece and then lead the resulting pit. After polishing out the repair it is copper plated again, polished, nickel plated and final polished.

    The results speak for themselves, two perfect door pivot finials.

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    I have to commend Paul's, they squeezed the parts into production and returned them in record time.

    In the mean time two pieces of sheet metal have been copper and nickel plated for testing procedures for the door covers mentioned in an earlier post. I hope to start on that tomorrow.

    I also made a spacer washer for the bottom door pivot finial. This safe only has a spacer under the top finial as it carries the weight of the door. I wanted to add one to the bottom finial so that when the finial is tightened to align the inner carriage into the tracks in the door cover it won't damage the paint on the door cradle or risk chipping the filler. The spacer was turned from a scrap piece of 2.5" shaft, made in the same shape as the top but thinner as the bottom pivot bolt is shorter then the top one.

    Although I have a lot to learn, my machining skills are improving.

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    They will be plated with the door cover once the cover's graphics are finalized. I am still waiting on graphics so that I can start the gold leaf process. The National safe project drags on...
    Last edited by Huw Eastwood; 20-12-17 at 10:51 AM.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    1,321
    Country: Wales

    Default

    Great stuff as always, your obsession for perfection is still making me dizzy.

    With the flaws in the finials I would have given them a proper bath in battery (mild sulphuric)acid, and once thoroughly rinsed clean and dry, fluxed and caulked them with a heavy high melt soft solder like LM15 or Comsol, I've yet to have a failure of LM15 to 'take' to any filling repair, although this is of course only replicating what they have done using Lead. You could remove any really nasty bits first with the die grinder but they didn't look too bad from the pics.

    I've also used low melt Tin/Bismuth alloys to good effect on casting flaws in brass, but I learned long ago from getting stuff nickel and gold plated to go entirely by what the Plater's say, as they always know what's what.

    They have done a superb job on them, far better than when it left the factory. Do you keep a running tab of what all these safes cost you or is it irrelevant and purely for the love of doing it?

    BTW, from the pics it looks like you bored the washer out to size with the round boring bar, and then used it to side turn to outside diameter and face it off, naughty boy :-O
    Huw

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    117
    Country: United States

    Default

    Good catch Huw. The carbide boring bar was oh so sharp and it cut such a nice finish that I couldn't resist. Being ignorant has it's advantages. With the quick change compound angle tool post it was just to easy to change the angle and continue on. The digital readout is also invaluable.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    1,321
    Country: Wales

    Default

    Ah, I see, that was the little catch though, the big one is what looks like a round boring bar clamped in an ordinary square holder! If it's round shank it should be a snug fit in a block holder bored to suit the round shank, as the contact area is minimal when you clamp a round profile down onto a flat surface.

    As you found it did work fine, as boring the thin washer needs only a very small amount of overhang of the bar. If you tried the same setup with the bar projecting 3 or 4 inches to bore out a sleeve or collar, I guarantee it'd chatter your teeth and eyeballs out! Like using a big coil spring as a hammer!

    FWIW you can get all manner of HSS and brazed carbide sizes with square shanks to fit ordinary square holders.
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    Whereas the fancy indexable-bit round shank bars are intended for mounting in block holders like this homemade job.

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    They are easy to make from square stock, and if bored oversize to fit your largest one make a few reduction sleeves and its even more versatile to take smaller sizes plus other tools too.

    You probably know all this anyway, so apologies if I'm overstating the obvious.

    BTW Vibration is never far away when boring deep holes, the big bars used in industry usually have an adjustable tensioned core so they can actually be 'tuned' to the job as it progresses, to minimise/eliminate vibration and maintain fine surface finish- full of useless info me...apologies for the wander OT.
    Huw

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