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Cole file cabinet with safe

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RobertJames

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Posts: 4

Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:35 pm

Post Thu Jun 28, 2018 4:38 pm

Re: Cole file cabinet with safe

Can anybody send me instructions on how to decode the combination?
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Orion4

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Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:29 am

Post Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:42 am

Re: Cole file cabinet with safe

Hello all,
My name is Ryan and I'm new to the site. I acquired a Cole Steel company filing cabinet safe from a rummage sale. No combination though. The hand written number behind the middle drawer is N-603880 or N-603860. The door is open and the bolt is locked open. When I set the dial at 60 a pin appears in the holes in the wheels. I don't know anything about retrieving the combination, but any help would be greatly appreciated. I can upload pictures of the safe and what I'm talking about if that helps. Than you again.
~Ryan
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geissepeter

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Location: Honolulu

Post Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:01 am

Re: Cole file cabinet with safe

Orion4 wrote:Hello all,
My name is Ryan and I'm new to the site. I acquired a Cole Steel company filing cabinet safe from a rummage sale. No combination though. The hand written number behind the middle drawer is N-603880 or N-603860. The door is open and the bolt is locked open. When I set the dial at 60 a pin appears in the holes in the wheels. I don't know anything about retrieving the combination, but any help would be greatly appreciated. I can upload pictures of the safe and what I'm talking about if that helps. Than you again.
~Ryan


Some members might be able to decode the number written in your cabinet and provide a combination. I can't though, but since your safe is open, it should be fairly easy to get the combination.

-Turn at least 4 times L (counterclockwise) then stop when you see the gap, write down the number
-Turn R (two times clockwise) till you see the second gap, this gives you the second number
-Turn L till the fence drops, that gives you the last number
-Then turn R to stop to retract the bolt

The dial sequence is 3L - 2R - 1L (drops the fence) then R to stop (retracts the bolt).

This is how I got my combination, I hope it works for yours too.
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czunit

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Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2018 2:01 pm

Post Mon Dec 17, 2018 4:01 pm

Re: Cole file cabinet with safe

Hi all!

Well I'm taking it upon myself to try and open this old Cole safe in a file cabinet. Security is technically zero (it's sheet metal) but this was my grandfathers, and I'm curious as to what opens it.

The handwritten code inside the safe is a number, if someone knows how to decode can you pm me, I'll post it, and I'll try a combination.

Otherwise we do it the old fashioned way: There are two holes in the cabinet already to view the inside. I used a borescope camera to take a look inside, there's nothing there but I can see the combo lock is mounted by two holes with a peephole. Using a coat hanger from the side, looking through the hole in the upper left, and drilling a small hole right behind the peephole I can catch the camera with the coat hanger, move it to the peephole, and see what's going on inside/see the lock moving.

Question is how do we find the combo? When I have my son turn the wheel counterclockwise I can see the little holes in the outer ring, and when he turns CW I can see holes in the inner ring turning. The outer ring has an area where there are no holes, holes spaced evenly, a notch, then holes. I assume the notch is the first number, correct?

Once I have the notch in the window is it a simple matter of turning CW until the second notch appears, then ccw to the third to drop the gate?
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MartinHewitt

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Location: Germany

Post Mon Dec 17, 2018 4:26 pm

Re: Cole file cabinet with safe

If you have the camera, then that is an easiest way. 4xL, 3xR, 2xL, 1xR to open. Because the wheel pack is in the back you just have to stop whenever a gate appears. In this process you can take notes on the numbers.
In case you wonder ... Martin Hewitt is a fictional detective in stories by Arthur Morrison:
Martin Hewitt, Investigator Chronicles of Martin Hewitt
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czunit

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Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2018 2:01 pm

Post Mon Dec 17, 2018 5:30 pm

Re: Cole file cabinet with safe

Got it. The hard part is threading the camera through and holding it while the daughter turns the wheels. You can bend a little U shape in the coat hanger, but it can't be too sharp or it won't fit through the side hole. And the camera will keep falling off the coat hanger, annoying!

The solution to that is to use a small amount of jewelers tacky stuff behind the camera head. This stuff is weird, we use it all the time when we need something to stay put. Lasts forever, always slightly tacky, never leaves a residue. With that, the camera is held to the hanger, and you can get it up against the peephole.

Then as you said, turn ccw to find the first gap, then cw to find the second, then ccw to find the third.

One thing we did notice is when you turn it past the third number CCW there is a tiny but audible CLICK from the lock. This is because wheel 3 on this lock is the one holding the gate, and when it drops the gate drops down to either the first or second wheel. And just like a pin lock gives you feedback when you set the pin holding the barrel (by moving the barrel slightly to the next blocking pin) it might be possible to open a lock like this with a stethoscope.

Now to get a stethoscopeb and try this. Good thing I have one for watch and clock repairs....
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BellyUpFish

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Posts: 3

Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:31 pm

Post Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:47 pm

Re: Cole file cabinet with safe

Hey guys-

I recently picked up one of these cabinets and the safe is locked and the owner had no idea where the combo was.

I’ve located the code on the back wall of the cabinet but have no idea how to decode it.

Could someone here help me with that?

Thanks

Jeff
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BellyUpFish

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Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:31 pm

Post Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:05 pm

Re: Cole file cabinet with safe

I thought I’d add a bit of a follow up for anyone in the future who stumbles across this thread, my combination decoder code worked and a member here was able to help.

However, my dial sequence was 3L, 2R, 1L and then right to the stop.
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colestrngbox70

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Posts: 1

Joined: Mon Mar 25, 2019 10:46 am

Post Mon Mar 25, 2019 12:00 pm

Re: Cole file cabinet with safe

Hi I am new here and have a cole file cabinet with key locking door and safe inside. I have the code on the back of the cbinet and need to decode it to get the combination. Please help.

code written in back of cabinet N602375

Thank you
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Cheddarb36

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Posts: 1

Joined: Thu Apr 18, 2019 2:49 pm

Post Thu Apr 18, 2019 2:52 pm

Re: Cole file cabinet with safe

Hey my name is Brian and I am looking for a solution to open my Cole Steel cabinet safe. I have the number behind the drawers but don’t know how to decode for a combination.
The number behind the safe is N202569. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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bitbuster

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Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 8:03 pm

Location: NW Wis

Post Thu Apr 18, 2019 6:30 pm

Re: Cole file cabinet with safe

Cheddarb36 wrote:Hey my name is Brian and I am looking for a solution to open my Cole Steel cabinet safe. I have the number behind the drawers but don’t know how to decode for a combination.
The number behind the safe is N202569. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

If you bothered to research this thread you would have found that these locks came with 2 different size dial diameters. It makes a difference when decoding.
"This squid is so undercooked I can still hear it telling Sponge Bob to fuck off."-----Gordon Ramsay
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Flanker_27K

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Location: France

Post Sat Apr 27, 2019 3:02 pm

Re: Cole file cabinet with safe

Is buying such a safe in this day an age a smart-ish investment, or is it a piece of vintage engineering that should be appreciated as it is and not used actively?

And one of my former colleagues in nearby (well, not that far away) Austria may sell such a cabinet as he's inherited some stuff like that from his grandfather, and he doesn't have much of a need for it.
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bitbuster

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Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 8:03 pm

Location: NW Wis

Post Sat Apr 27, 2019 6:12 pm

Re: Cole file cabinet with safe

These Cole cabinets are only to keep the honest guy honest. Don't use these to store important documents, cash, jewelry. Made of sheet metal and all that is needed for illegal entry is a screwdriver.
"This squid is so undercooked I can still hear it telling Sponge Bob to fuck off."-----Gordon Ramsay
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Flanker_27K

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Posts: 5

Joined: Fri Apr 26, 2019 7:28 pm

Location: France

Post Tue Apr 30, 2019 4:22 pm

Re: Cole file cabinet with safe

Okay, thanks for the heads-up; I did have a doubt about the reliability of the thing and figured I should rather ask.
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oetkenky1

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Posts: 2

Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2019 12:17 pm

Post Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:08 pm

Re: Cole file cabinet with safe

Could someone help me by decoding this N552674 or provide me with the details on how to decode. I've read the entire thread and have some guesses at how the decoding works but I can't be sure as it isn't explicitly spelled out. I need to open this after an unexpected family death. Thanks for any help.
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