Old safe with Yale combo lock

I am hopefully getting an older safe with a Yale combo lock. Probably
from the 30s or 40s.
Is there any information online about changing the combination?
Thanks
Bob AZ
Reply to
Ace
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dial and separate handle?
I would SUGGEST, that after you get this.. make a call if there is someone near you..
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find a safe man around you to come look, and CHECK it.. sometimes these old safes got parts loose and missing, that the 'public' would not know is a potential problem.. I have seen some really fubared up dials on these things.. failures just WAITING to happen, which if they did take place, cost a lot more to undo than the 'check' beforehand.
--Shiva--
Reply to
--Shiva--
Bob
I just saw the safe today and they had to clean the storeroom for two days to get where they are. No way was my digital camera going in there.
But I will post a picture when I can. The safe is a two door with a separate handle and dial/combination.
I got another safe a few months ago and have everything working well but it has a S&G combo which has been easy for me to work on. I have never done any safe work before and hope to be successful with the Yale combo as I am with the S&G.
Thanks for yours and the other prompt replies. Bob AZ
Reply to
Ace
The safe has separate dial and handles. And the door is open and the combination is locked so there is no danger, now, of a lockout. I know there are a few safe folks in my town but I am going to do this myself. I am really not interested in being an observer. Will post again when I get the safe delivered. All 1000 pounds or more. I checked the two links you posted and there is no one within 100 or more miles Bob AZ
Reply to
Ace
BRACE the door open before you do anything else. Test the lock repeatedly before you even consider letting it close again.
A pro will not only reset the combo, s/he will inspect the lock for wear. That really is worth doing beore you put a used safe into service for the first time, to make sure you don't have a malfunction waiting to happen. S/he can also demonstrate exactly how to change the combo on that lock, which is likely to be a better learning environment than us trying to talk you through it. It really is a decent investment this time around, even if you insist on mucking with it later... unless you really know what you're doing (which you obviously don't or you wouldn't be asking the Internet).
Here's a VERY brief summary of a few of the possible issues, making the rash assumption that the lock is starting in perfect mechanical condition.
In general, there are two categories of mechanical safe lock: Hand-change and key-change.
Hand-change locks have to be disassembled to reset their combination, with all the risk of lost/damaged parts that entails. Most commonly, each combination wheel is made of two parts - inner and outer wheels -- that lock into each other; changing the wheel's number involves disassembling these, rotating them relative to each other, and re-assembling them. There may or may not be markings to tell you what number you're setting it to; if you can't find them, you have to go by estimation and then get the lock to tell you what number you've actually set. Note that, depending on the lock, you may need to know the old combination before you can disassemble it; back covers may be "locked on by combination".
Key-change locks have a similar inner/outer concept, but these parts can be disengaged/re-engaged from each other without opening the lock... though you still have to know the old combo. In this type, dial the existing combination -- usually to a secondary index on the dial ring -- fully insert the special tool (known as a "change key"), and rotate it (DO NOT FORCE!) to disengage. Clear the lock and CAREFULLY!!!! dial the new combo (again, to that secondary index). Rotate the change key back to its original position, remove it, and test the lock. If you haven't botched the process, it should now respond to the new combination. If it doesn't, and you can't guess what you did wrong and undo it, someone with a Clue now has to deal with it, especially if the back cover is locked on by combination (see above).
Note that most mechanical safe locks have what's known as a "forbidden zone" -- a small range of combinations that MUST NOT be used, because they are extremely likely to cause malfunction and lockouts. The exact details vary by specific lock model. Again, this is something a safe technician can explain to you after seeing the lock in question; I'd be somewhat uncomfortable trying to deal with it remotely even if I was fairly sure I knew the exact model.
Reply to
Joe Kesselman
sure you're "not interested in being an observer" however, you should really take a closer look at Joe's news:L-ednZzNStwk9QfenZ2dnUVZ snipped-for-privacy@comcast.com and Shiva's advice. news: snipped-for-privacy@4ax.com
its a good chance that you WILL experience a lockout in the future if you don't.
my2¢
Reply to
Key
All
Got the safe home. Had a wrecker friend transport it.
It seems to be a Mosler safe and a Shawn-Walker combination lock. As before it is a double door with the dial and latch handle separate. About 72" tall, 30 wide and 30 deep.
Rolled it in the shop and opened up the combination door. First took off the small panel behind the dial on the front. There is no doubt it is manual or hand set. 3 small brass wheel assemblies with indicators probably indicating the combination. Just checked the function of the three brass wheel assemblies. All seems well. But there is a lot of residue so I will disassemble the wheels and clean completely. I have an ultrasonic cleaner that should get it all. Lube and reassemble after that.
The combination dial is sloppy so I will take it apart, clean and reassemble using shims as necessary to take out the slop and wander. It does turn smoothly though.
The right hand door latch operates smoothly but lots of dirt and crud. Probably do some R&R with this also. The left hand door latch is stiff. I have to push on that real hard. More R&R.
I hope to remove the doors so I can clean up the hinges as well. There is a bushing broken off on the RH door latch shaft. Pot metal. I will make one on my lathe. Probably from stainless steel.
I hope to find some "Mosler Green" paint to touch up things. Probably would be better to paint the whole works. The present shelves are so dirty I will toss them and make new. There are clips to mount shelves almost anywhere. Sort of dates the safe. I will guess 1950 or so.
Thanks for everything. Will keep you posted. Bob AZ
Reply to
Ace
Bob
Can you post a picture somewhere online?
Where do I post a picture? I took several of them. Apparently a Mosler safe with a Shawn-Walker combo.
Take care Bob AZ
Reply to
Ace
OHHH CRUD...
mosler has a reputation.. if ANYTHING makes you feel odd about that, DO NOT LOCK IT..
Moslers are 'fun to drill' if its got the good hard plate in it..and if it gets messed up..
--Shiva--
Reply to
--Shiva--
Be EXTREMELY careful about safe lock lubricants. Anything that introduces drag as it ages or accumulates dust can cause malfunctions. Even the manufacturers don't agree with each other on which lubes are best. I'm not sure offhand what would be recommended for yours.
My "if you have to guess" suggestion tends to be the silicone-microsphere-dust lubes (some of which apply as a liquid or gel, but the liquid completely evaporates away). Those may or may not stay where you need them (which is of course the other part of the equation), but they're far less likely to cause any harm than most guesses would.
Remember: A safe is pretty near the ultimate in user-hostile equipment. If you make a mistake, it will be significantly hard to undo... and you lose use not only of the safe but of anything stored in it for the duration of the lockout. It *is* possible for an amateur to work on safes, but remember the risk; if you lock yourself out you will NOT get help here.
Depends in part on whether you're restoring this primarily for use or as a collector's item; many collectors prefer original finish.
Reply to
Joe Kesselman
Set up a Yahoo account if you don't already have one. Upload the photo to "My Photos" on Yahoo. Make the album "public". Then post a link to alt.locksmithing.
Example:
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Reply to
Bob DeWeese, CML, CJS

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