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Safe Chronicles, Part II - Beyond the Lockroom

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MartinHewitt

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Post Sun Dec 25, 2016 11:20 pm

Re: Safe Chronicles, Part II - Beyond the Lockroom

Neilau wrote:Do you ever offer to replace the" older" locks with "Newer - more up to date" locks?

Never know, some people might prefer that.

Yup, but it makes IMHO not much sense:
1) Old safes are not secure against modern tools. So the security is not reasonably improved.
2) Old safes have no mounting points for modern locks. That in creases the costs to get not more security.
3) Old safes are historic objects which are much more beautiful with their historic locks.

Martin Hewitt
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Oldfast

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OldddffAASSTT the Spin Master Extraordinaire and American Lock Slayer
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Post Mon Dec 26, 2016 5:30 am

Re: Safe Chronicles, Part II - Beyond the Lockroom

Neilau wrote:Really enjoying this thread. :hbg:

Do you ever offer to replace the" older" locks with "Newer - more up to date" locks?

Never know, some people might prefer that.

Nothing shady, but worth an ask.

Neilau!!! Thanks so much.

After opening a safe I will always make the offer to service it. You guys know how obsessively
meticulous I am, lol... so this is a minimum 1-2 hour commitment on my part. Sometimes more.

Honestly, I've been rather surprised at the number of people who pass up this offer, apparently
content with the now open safe. I may not think this all too wise but I'm very careful not to make
them feel that way. I simply supply them with the facts that will at least give them an opportunity
to make an informed decision. My suggestions, concerns, and recommendations are noted and
acknowledged with a signature. Entirely up to them what they want to pursue. I'm good with that.

As to your question: Of the locks I have serviced, I've yet to see anything concerning enough
to warrant replacement. If and when I do come across one that should be replaced, I'm likely
to make the recommendation but not the offer. For a couple reasons. 1) retrofitting a modern
lock to an old door may, at times, bring me far outside of my comfort zone. 2) to be honest,
I'm thinking it could quickly turn into too much work for me to be doing for free. lol

There's always exceptions. But for the most part I'll stick mainly w/ opening & servicing for now.
" Enjoy the journey AS MUCH as the destination."
http://www.youtube.com/Oldfast911
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BenWo

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Post Tue Dec 27, 2016 10:01 pm

Re: Safe Chronicles, Part II - Beyond the Lockroom

New member, just wanted to post to say wow and thank you, Oldfast, for posting all of this. I've read through both of your chronicle threads and have to say it has been fascinating! I've already started checking on ebay for a lock to give manipulation a try myself!
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Oldfast

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OldddffAASSTT the Spin Master Extraordinaire and American Lock Slayer
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Post Wed Dec 28, 2016 12:47 am

Re: Safe Chronicles, Part II - Beyond the Lockroom

A big WELCOME to you Ben... I'm Mike. Thanks for letting me know you've enjoyed
some of what I've posted here! And you're very welcome. Many people around here
have inspired me in many ways! I like to think I've done the same for some others.
All that's left to say is... I'll see YOU on the battle grounds of ebay!! :evil: :axeem:
HAAA! JUST KIDDING, lol. I haven't been hunting all too much lately. Although,
I'm thinking you might do well right about now... I imagine many peoples' bank
accounts are a bit drained after Christmas. If you can catch one for $25 - $30
you're doing, mmm, ok. Catch one for around $10-$15 and you're doin' great.
" Enjoy the journey AS MUCH as the destination."
http://www.youtube.com/Oldfast911
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BenWo

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Post Thu Dec 29, 2016 1:20 am

Re: Safe Chronicles, Part II - Beyond the Lockroom

Oldfast wrote:All that's left to say is... I'll see YOU on the battle grounds of ebay!! :evil: :axeem:
HAAA! JUST KIDDING, lol. I haven't been hunting all too much lately. Although,
I'm thinking you might do well right about now... I imagine many peoples' bank
accounts are a bit drained after Christmas. If you can catch one for $25 - $30
you're doing, mmm, ok. Catch one for around $10-$15 and you're doin' great.


Haha thanks. And dang I hope I can do that well, seems like most people on eBay think these locks are worth over $100 right now. :-P

:safedial:
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Oldfast

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OldddffAASSTT the Spin Master Extraordinaire and American Lock Slayer
OldddffAASSTT the Spin Master Extraordinaire and American Lock Slayer

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Post Thu Jan 05, 2017 10:17 pm

Re: Safe Chronicles, Part II - Beyond the Lockroom

Image

So this one requires both a key and a combo. The tubular
lock is not an over-ride but a secondary locking mechanism.

The young couple I opened this for had always left the wheels in alignment
and simply used the key to lock and unlock the safe. For whatever reason,
she spun the dial one day; probably not giving it much thought, considering
the key had opened it so many times before. But they were now locked out.

He was joining the Air Force and was leaving the next week to start his training.
Some of the paperwork needed was in the safe. I was happy to be able to help!

Image

So the first thing I did was to open my mouth wide.... and stick my foot directly in it. lol
Claiming I should be able to open it within about 20 minutes or so. Won't do that again.

I was surprised to find this Sentry had 4 wheels (3 wheels+drive wheel) for a 4-digit combo.
As expected, the drive wheel had false gates. But I was unable to determine the true gate.
By parking the other wheels in various areas I was able to narrow it down to 3 possibles.

That was the best I could do though and worked from there. With my laser rig hooked up
gate sigs did appear - but they were rather vague and I had some difficulty tagging them
to wheels. Took me 2-3 Xs longer than I had anticipated. But happy ending - open safe.
" Enjoy the journey AS MUCH as the destination."
http://www.youtube.com/Oldfast911
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Oldfast

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OldddffAASSTT the Spin Master Extraordinaire and American Lock Slayer
OldddffAASSTT the Spin Master Extraordinaire and American Lock Slayer

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Post Thu Jan 05, 2017 10:19 pm

Re: Safe Chronicles, Part II - Beyond the Lockroom

Image

My first encounter with a much older style Sentry. How old? I'm not sure. Do you?

Image

Now, I never thought it possible to OVER-estimate a lock. But that's pretty much what I did here.

Image

Image

While working this safe over with my laser-rig, I found 2 things that were NOT necessary:
1. Extended beam travel and the use of multiple mirrors - not needed.
2. Magnet & spring for consistent pull on the handle - also not needed.

Instead, my graph ended up on the face of the safe itself in the upper right corner by the hinge.
All of maybe 12-14 inches of beam travel worked fine. And as long as I was fairly consistent,
turning the handle manually was sufficient & provided fluctuations necessary to spot gates.
" Enjoy the journey AS MUCH as the destination."
http://www.youtube.com/Oldfast911
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Oldfast

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OldddffAASSTT the Spin Master Extraordinaire and American Lock Slayer
OldddffAASSTT the Spin Master Extraordinaire and American Lock Slayer

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Post Thu Jan 05, 2017 10:22 pm

Re: Safe Chronicles, Part II - Beyond the Lockroom

.

About a month goes by when a call brings me to another old Sentry.
This one is very similar to the previous - barring a few minor differences.
Having learned some valuable lessons from that one - this went smoothly.

Image

Initially I was concerned as the dial spun freely - I felt no contact at all. Almost as if
there was no drive wheel even. However, bringing the dial out while turning pulled
the drive wheel up against the others - the wheels picked up as normal & motion
was transferred. Problem solved. The remainder of the manipulation would just
have the added minor annoyance of continuous pull-pressure when spinning.

Image

She had attempted to change the combo some 20 yrs ago and was never able to open it again.
She no longer had the original combo, nor did she have the combo that she had changed it to.

Honestly, I don't know how much this would have helped me anyway. I understand that all the
combinations will be relative to each other - a progression of sorts. Simple enough to do the
math if the drive wheel has only four positions to choose from... but this one has eleven?
Any thoughts on this? I dunno, for me it seemed simpler & quicker to just manipulate.

Image

Image

So this safe and the opening of it is nothing all too special. But my encounter with this lady was.
She was hands down THE most grateful person I've opened a safe for so far. When I first arrived
she had immediately offered me some coffee. Now, as she sifted through the sentimental contents
from within the safe, she asked what she owed. I said that I would absolutely love that cup of coffee.

We sat and talked for a while. She shared with me some of her life, both good & bad. I did the same.
Some of the tragedy and heartache she had endured - quite honestly, if it were me, I'm not so sure I
would have fared so well. And yet, there she was... her calmness, her love and her faith for life still
very much intact and clearly defined. I want that strength. And surely I gained a small amount of it
simply through seeing. Listening. I believe we both left with more hope and passion in our hearts.

I look too deep into things sometimes. But it seems to me....
the two of us met up over more than just a safe that day.
.
" Enjoy the journey AS MUCH as the destination."
http://www.youtube.com/Oldfast911
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MartinHewitt

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Post Thu Jan 05, 2017 10:47 pm

Re: Safe Chronicles, Part II - Beyond the Lockroom

Oldfast wrote:She had attempted to change the combo some 20 yrs ago and was never able to open it again.
She no longer had the original combo, nor did she have the combo that she had changed it to.

Honestly, I don't know how much this would have helped me anyway. I understand that all the
combinations will be relative to each other - a progression of sorts. Simple enough to do the
math if the drive wheel has only four positions to choose from... but this one has eleven?
Any thoughts on this? I dunno, for me it seemed simpler & quicker to just manipulate.


If you know the construction of the lock it is worst case 13 combinations to try out. (The holes are spaced 1/14th of the circle from each other. If it is not known at what hole position the known combination was then there are 13 possible other holes and combinations.) With your dialing skill I would assume this takes you less than two minutes to open.

So how quick was your manipulation?

Thanks for sharing three safes today!

Martin Hewitt
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Fritz the Cat

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Post Thu Jan 05, 2017 11:31 pm

Re: Safe Chronicles, Part II - Beyond the Lockroom

This openning posts came at the right time for me . I just started looking into opening up my Sentry S0410 . Did the lock mechanism for the Sentry direct entrys all look the same ? :safedial: :smile:

Do the Sentry graphs look anything like other manipulation graphs with contact points ? Do they have 12 gates with step like features ?
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MartinHewitt

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Post Thu Jan 05, 2017 11:49 pm

Re: Safe Chronicles, Part II - Beyond the Lockroom

The locks in Safecracking 101 have 5 holes for pins with an offset of 60° and the disks are not perfectly round. Because of the non-roundedness the graph of a gate looks like a cross section of a vulcano.
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Oldfast

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OldddffAASSTT the Spin Master Extraordinaire and American Lock Slayer
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Post Tue Jan 10, 2017 3:50 am

Re: Safe Chronicles, Part II - Beyond the Lockroom

Martin & Fritz, thanks for lookin' :) And sorry for such a delayed response.

MartinHewitt wrote:.....If you know the construction of the lock it is worst case 13 combinations to try out. (The holes are spaced 1/14th of the circle from each other. If it is not known at what hole position the known combination was then there are 13 possible other holes and combinations.) With your dialing skill I would assume this takes you less than two minutes to open.

Yeah, and that (highlighted in green) is really my concern right now - the fact that I'm NOT familiar enough with each lock. I mean, take for example the last two safes; they both look fairly similar from the outside. And yet one of them has 11 hole change positions on the drive wheel, while the other has 12. The time spent figuring the possibilities and dialing them would've amounted to wasted time in this case.

MartinHewitt wrote:So how quick was your manipulation?

Not sure. I really didn't keep an eye on the clock. If I had to guess, probably in the ball-park of 10-20 minutes for that last one.

Fritz the Cat wrote:.....Do the Sentry graphs look anything like other manipulation graphs with contact points ?

Remember, I'm projecting my laser onto a graph-type card with lines and simply taking mental note of the fluctuations that occur on that card. So I'm really not graphing per se. However, if I were to number those lines and transfer those readings onto graph paper... then yeah, I suppose it would look similar to other manipulation graphs. In this case the peaks would signify gates.

MartinHewitt wrote:Do they have 12 gates with step like features ?

You're not usually gonna run the drive wheel that contains the false gates. Normally you'll park that at one of those gates while running the others. But IF you WERE to run that wheel... you're right.... you're likely to see most or all of those gates (false & true) in your graph, appearing as a series of peaks. But again, it's best to explore the drive wheel and decide where you'll park it while running the other wheels. I'll often do this before hooking up the laser.
" Enjoy the journey AS MUCH as the destination."
http://www.youtube.com/Oldfast911
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Jaakko Fagerlund

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Post Tue Jan 10, 2017 4:31 pm

Re: Safe Chronicles, Part II - Beyond the Lockroom

Reminds me of the Diplomat safe I recently opened. Was just fiddling around the dial to see how many wheels it has and how it feels and tried moving the fence in with the supplied key to see where the last number is. Felt a spot, but then felt another stopping point...and another...and another. Huh...that weird...did it again, AWR, recorded the numbers and then AWL and recorded the numbers. Then back one wheel at a time and noticed what number I found. Little pondering on paper and I had my combination without any manipulation :D I haven't met another Diplomat yet to explore this more to see if it covers all their locks or was this just a lucky one.
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MartinHewitt

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Post Tue Jan 10, 2017 9:43 pm

Re: Safe Chronicles, Part II - Beyond the Lockroom

Oldfast wrote:
MartinHewitt wrote:.....If you know the construction of the lock it is worst case 13 combinations to try out. (The holes are spaced 1/14th of the circle from each other. If it is not known at what hole position the known combination was then there are 13 possible other holes and combinations.) With your dialing skill I would assume this takes you less than two minutes to open.

Yeah, and that (highlighted in green) is really my concern right now - the fact that I'm NOT familiar enough with each lock. I mean, take for example the last two safes; they both look fairly similar from the outside. And yet one of them has 11 hole change positions on the drive wheel, while the other has 12. The time spent figuring the possibilities and dialing them would've amounted to wasted time in this case.

Yes, that is the important IF. I think professional boxmen base their work a lot on this IF because they need to know where to drill. For you it is easier, because a wrongly positioned drill hole won't vanish, but 30 minutes useless dialing. Nonetheless there might come a time where you know the IF and make a shortcut.
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Oldfast

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OldddffAASSTT the Spin Master Extraordinaire and American Lock Slayer
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Post Thu Jan 12, 2017 6:16 pm

Re: Safe Chronicles, Part II - Beyond the Lockroom

Jaakko Fagerlund wrote:Reminds me of the Diplomat safe I recently opened. Was just fiddling around the dial to see how many wheels it has and how it feels and tried moving the fence in with the supplied key to see where the last number is. Felt a spot, but then felt another stopping point...and another...and another. Huh...that weird...did it again, AWR, recorded the numbers and then AWL and recorded the numbers. Then back one wheel at a time and noticed what number I found. Little pondering on paper and I had my combination without any manipulation :D I haven't met another Diplomat yet to explore this more to see if it covers all their locks or was this just a lucky one.

Ha! Nice. Ya know, now that you mention that... I don't why, but it never occurred to me to
tryn' explore AWL or AWR. How silly of me, lol. Those last two Sentrys had no false gates.
And although the drive wheel is usually slightly larger on them, it was absolutely worth try!
If I'd caught even one other gate it woulda been game over. Thanks for chiming in Jaakko.
" Enjoy the journey AS MUCH as the destination."
http://www.youtube.com/Oldfast911
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