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Thread: Unlocked or not

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Posts
    16
    Country: Spain

    Default The Alphabet dials

    I am now answering my own question ! hopefully it will help someone else in the future.

    Having now taken off the combination plate holding the four dials I can understand why I could hear no clicking while turning the dials and it is because the inside part of each dial has only one groove. Thus in order for the combination bar to drop, one must enter correctly the four ( secret ) letters which on this lock happens to be ROSA. Once the bar has dropped, the safe can be opened with the key.
    If the bar is then pushed down a little further, 4 circular leaf springs are raised thus retracting a pin on each and thereby the lettered dials are disengaged allowing one to change the combination letters. Simple but jolly clever and still in good order after perhaps 120 years.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    614
    Country: Bulgaria

    Default

    Is that a rather nice leather case as well?

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Posts
    16
    Country: Spain

    Default Leather case

    Hello Chubby

    Yes, it is a nicely tooled leather case and there were some interesting papers inside where we found the army ''call up'' papers for the owner of the safe in 1935 ( just before the start of the Spanish Civil War, plus various Pharmacy Diplomas from the University of Granada for the same person.

    My wife has started making enquiries in the village in the hope that we can return the contents to the family of the original owner and I have spent today working on the keylock which is in a very poor state. I originally though the key was in good order but now I find is is so worn that it is simpler to make a new one from scratch, so I made the key today and will be doing the final fit tomorrow. 5 of the 6 leaf springs are broken or missing so I need to replace those but I enjoy this sort of work now that I am retired

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    614
    Country: Bulgaria

    Default

    Please let us know what happens.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Posts
    16
    Country: Spain

    Default Progress

    Hello Chubby

    The look on a Spanish ladies face when I told her today that the safe was open was a joy to behold and enquiries are now being made in another town some 20 miles away where we think the relatives or friends of the original owner may still be alive.

    I have now made two new keys and the main lock and also the interior compartment lock are working well but I now want to replace all the broken leaf springs.
    Today I asked a local ''locksmith'' if they could supply me with some leaf springs but they just looked surprised and said '' the only springs used in locks are coil springs''. Needless to say I wrote them off! I am quite capable of finding some suitable leaf springs or indeed making them myself if I have to, so that is the next stage.

    I had said earlier that the hole in the centre of the back must have been drilled by a locksmith, but I now think that is incorrect because there was a large nut inside the safe and the hole was no doubt where it had been bolted to a wall.

    Last job today was to clean the combination plate with the 4 dials and then I could see where someone had hammered on this plate, presumably in the hope that something might happen to allow them to open the door however, not too much damage, and I am not going to grind/file/polish them out for it all adds to the history of this safe which was all hand made and which will now be functional as well as decorative.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    614
    Country: Bulgaria

    Default

    It is very good that you are so pleased at your discoveries.

    So often opening a safe consists of blowing it with an OA torch, and then scrapping the remnants. Contents are rarely of any interest to anyone.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Wild West Woolwich
    Posts
    103
    Country: UK

    Default

    [QUOTE=Sid;28624]Hello Chubby

    The look on a Spanish ladies face when I told her today that the safe was open was a joy to behold

    Always a good thing!

    Thanks for sharing your adventures with this safe, you have described it all very nicely. And lovely that you found something really interesting inside. I have learned quite a lot from this thread.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Posts
    16
    Country: Spain

    Default Maker

    There are plenty of youtube videos of people destroying safes in an attempt to open them - hardly an intelligent approach - but I am interested in the history of this safe, the history of this area of Spain and also the Company who manufactured this safe, for I like mechanical things that last and which can be kept working in this modern ''throwaway'' society.

    I can find no makers name etc anywhere inside this safe and enquiries on the supplier Viladot of Barcelona have returned nothing, but I have found several safes by Verstaen ( Paris France) with similar features but the French are very guarded indeed about giving ANY information, even with regard to safes which now are certainly ''antiques''.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Posts
    16
    Country: Spain

    Default Hello

    Hello Parautoptic

    Delighted that you find it all of interest and I will post more photos as and when.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    614
    Country: Bulgaria

    Default

    Little bit of vegetable oil is excellent for reviving tired leather.

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