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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Country: United States

    Default Help with Safe Identification

    I'm wanting to find out information about an old safe. It was found in an old bank vault. The vault door says "J.J. Deright Safe Co Omaha, NE". It has somewhat similar markings as the vault door. We believe it was put in around the late 1800s to 1917. I have included a picture. We are looking for information in identifying it, as well as how to get it opened. Thank you.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails safe.JPG  

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Cleveland, Ohio USA
    Country: United States


    That would be a Victor screw door using a time lock controlled automatic bolt motor. Odds are very good the bolts are retracted and the door is rusted shut. If there is not the slightest hint of rotational movement, start soaking it with penetrating fluid, continue soaking it daily and then soak it some more. They can be extremely difficult to get open due to the tight fitting very thick door which does not allow the penetrate fluid to break through the rust quickly at all. Vibration helps but don't hit the door edge as that will peen the edge, making things worse. In this case I would hit down on the top of the body back a little way from the front with a sledge to induce some vibration. Not wailing on it more like love taps with a 10 pounder. Can' t remember if the front pan is removable, if so you would have access to the door face. Maybe 00247 can add something. Also over torquing the crank handle when the door doesn' t want move can ruin the stub or gearing, so don't overdo pounding on the crank.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Country: United States


    Following Doug's wise advise on soaking the door joint with penetrating oil is first on the list. I prefer PB Blaster. Do not strike the door cover as it will not transfer any shock and you will only damage it. I am only familiar with the cannonball door but their construction should be similar. It doesn't look rusted bad and if the door was closed tight there shouldn't be much rust in the joint especially if it was in a vault. But it is probably dry. Remember, just like sex, a little lube can get the results your looking for.

    There is a narrow bit of the door that sticks out past the cover. Use a heavy brass punch and a good sized hammer to introduce some gentle shock into the door. If you use a steel punch you will cause dents in the steel. Adding some pressure to the crank while doing it may help. Do not put excessive pressure on the crank as it is cast and can break. Never hit a crank with a hammer. Either can also break a tooth on the ring or pinion gear or shear the key way on the pinion gear.

    If that doesn't work you can unscrew the door pivot finials and remove the square headed lock bolts (top and bottom), you can screw out the pivot bolts. Penetrating oil is important here too. If I remember correctly, Victor pivot bolts are hex head, if they are slotted be sure to use a correct sized slotted socket bit. If the bolts are stuck be careful not to spread the head if it is slotted. Once those pivot bolts are out there are a few small bolts around the side of the door cover. Once they are removed the cover can be removed.

    Then the door will be exposed and you can have some areas to hit will the mall. Be careful not to damage the ring gear. I would hold some thing against the door and strike that. Be gentle! If there is a time lock on the other side you don't want to be sending shock wave into it.

    If you do pull the door cover the door will need to be readjusted with the door pivot bolts. Keep us posted with your results and please add lots of pictures of the door parts, body, inside, and the time lock (if equipped). We like pictures.

    Here is what a cannonball door looks like under the cover.

    2rdx1zs 1
    Last edited by 00247; 19-02-18 at 01:25 AM.

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