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Safe Chronicles, Part II - Beyond the Lockroom

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Jaakko Fagerlund

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Post Mon Jan 30, 2017 7:32 pm

Re: Safe Chronicles, Part II - Beyond the Lockroom

You want to soak rust eater on that nut a few times, so it soaks in the thread. Other is oxy-acetylene or oxy-anything to give it a quick heatup on the nut so that the rust breaks free. Then grab the dial in a vice with soft jaws (or lathe 3-jaw if you have one) and crank it open with good wrench. And by good I mean one that has been turned/ground so that there is no rounding around the hex-hole, as that nut looks very thin and you want all the contact area (no pun intended) you can.

Otherwise grab a Dremel and grind that peened-over spot until it breaks free. And in the future repair, don't peen over it, use Loctite, far more nicer for the next guy.
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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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Location: Michigan

Post Tue Jan 31, 2017 2:58 am

Re: Safe Chronicles, Part II - Beyond the Lockroom

MHM wrote:It's an odd one isn't it? Is there any chance that the peened-on nut stays in place but the *dial* is removed instead, and then the whole lock assy slips out the back once the three Phillips head screws are removed? Doesn't make a lot of sense but there again the whole lock is a weird beast; almost looks amateurish and home-made...maybe a kind of a small cottage manufacturer making product exclusively for Sears.

I love the whole tone of this episode...I'm gonna call it "Zen and the Art of Wheelpack Maintenance."

Thanks Michael. That's not a bad thought at all. It actually prompted me to take a closer look.
The tiny bit of clearance underneath the dial didn't afford enough room for me to really see it.
I did apply some careful pull/rocking force to the dial to no avail. But was fearful of using much
force. Really appreciate ya helping me brainstorm though!

The "Zen and the Art of Wheelpack Maintenance". Ha! I like that. lol

Fritz the Cat wrote:.....I was wodering about what kind of tools do you bring with on an opening .
You mentioned magnets to move the inner parts of a safe before . That was pretty interesting
.....

My tool bag actually isn't much different than what you'd see your average everyday handyman with.
Aside from a few items, it's basically filled with standard hand tools (screw drivers, hammers, etc.)

There are however a number of things I've found particularly useful. And I do plan to post some
of these items. I actually didn't even know I needed them until I'd been out some. That's when
the need arises and the sometimes frustrating search/trial&error begins to tryn' fulfill that need.

mdc5150 wrote:Mike it is great to see you doing so well. I am truly envious of your skills.

Oh man, thanks so much Matt! If I'm real honest, I'd place my current skill level somewhere between
novice & intermediate. There's just SO much to learn... and I'm doing just that with all these openings
this winter. A good number of them take much longer than I had anticipated or hoped! In fact there's
been a couple where I simply ran out of time and two visits were needed. 99% of the time (so far, lol),
the end result is an open safe. Which is great - I'm thrilled to have learned so much, and the people
are happy to have an open safe. Win-win situation. Its truly been a riot for me. Beyond words really.
And I'll say too that I have been humbled in some way, shape, or form with every... single... outing.

There is another aspect of safecracking - the physical and mental game. I was aware of this going
into it... but not until I experienced it first hand did I begin to understand the full impact it could have.
Left unchecked, untamed, these elements can often times prove more dangerous than the lock itself.
I plan to tryn' put some words together on this topic towards the end of this 'safecrackin-season'....
which sadly will be coming to an end in about a month or so.

Also, I know you've been wanting to delve into this stuff for some time now but life just hasn't allowed it.
When that time does come, I'll be around... and you know I'd be delighted to tryn' help in any way I can.

Jaakko Fagerlund wrote:You want to soak rust eater on that nut a few times, so it soaks in the thread. Other is oxy-acetylene or oxy-anything to give it a quick heatup on the nut so that the rust breaks free. Then grab the dial in a vice with soft jaws (or lathe 3-jaw if you have one) and crank it open with good wrench. And by good I mean one that has been turned/ground so that there is no rounding around the hex-hole, as that nut looks very thin and you want all the contact area (no pun intended) you can.

Otherwise grab a Dremel and grind that peened-over spot until it breaks free. And in the future repair, don't peen over it, use Loctite, far more nicer for the next guy.

I was hesitant to jump to hard into it until I had ran it past you guys.
Just in case I was maybe missing something really simple/stupid.

But I really like your thoughts here. I think this is the way to go.
I'll give it a couple more soakings, couple more days, then try it.
And yeah, might have to throw some heat into the mix too.

Thanks for the advice Jaakko. Much appreciated!
" Enjoy the journey AS MUCH as the destination."
http://www.youtube.com/Oldfast911
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MartinHewitt

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Post Tue Jan 31, 2017 1:05 pm

Re: Safe Chronicles, Part II - Beyond the Lockroom

I just read a suggestions for rust removal: cooling spray. Maybe that could help you.
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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 Tue Jan 31, 2017 2:00 pm

Re: Safe Chronicles, Part II - Beyond the Lockroom

Cooling spray. Hmm, never heard of it. I'll definitely look into it. Thanks

So these locks can be disassembled and serviced. Albeit, the design is very unfriendly, but it can be done.
I'm betting back in the day, one would have spare parts on hand. Then you could basically manhandle
your way into it with no worries. If the dial broke in the process.... no problem, just slap a new one on.

My situation obviously is a little more delicate as I'd be hard pressed to find parts nowadays.
If I'm not diligent with both the rust and peened spindle first, I fear the dial may break loose
before the nut. Soaking with TC-11 at the moment, but maybe there's something better?
" Enjoy the journey AS MUCH as the destination."
http://www.youtube.com/Oldfast911
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Neilau

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Post Tue Jan 31, 2017 8:54 pm

Re: Safe Chronicles, Part II - Beyond the Lockroom

O F.

Loving your adventures. :hbg:

Re; the nut.

Is it rare or special in some way?

If not, you could use a nut splitter. The kind that you screw to split the nut. That way, it puts no pressure on any other component. It looks like there is room to use one.

You would just have to replace the nut.

Just a thought.

Keep the stories coming.
Clark's Law (Arthur C)

For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert.
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MHM

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Post Wed Feb 01, 2017 1:07 am

Re: Safe Chronicles, Part II - Beyond the Lockroom

Neilau wrote:O F.

you could use a nut splitter.



Yeah I thought about that too. If you're absolutely convinced that removing that nut is the way in then you probably don't want to grind it - what for the grit getting into the internals; or whale on it - what for breaking something else. But a splitter would demolish the nut easily.

Keep us posted Oldfast...
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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 Fri Feb 03, 2017 4:11 am

Re: Safe Chronicles, Part II - Beyond the Lockroom

Thanks again to all who took the time to throw out some thoughts on this one guys!
Was nice to have several eyes and brains on this before I went hacking away at it.


I threw my offer out and she happily accepted it. With it now mine, I felt more comfortable
delving in. Had she not wanted to sell it, think I probably would've left well enough alone.

Finally got 'er open and took a few half-hearted quick pictures for those that might be curious.
Early on was a number of rounds with Tri-Flow. Last couple days I've been applying TC-11.
I found a tiny ball-bit for my dremel and removed a minimal amount of material on the end
of the spindle where it had been peened/flared out. No way probably without doing that.

Image

Image

Image

Nothing high-end or spectacular by any means... but different. I love learning and seeing something
I haven't seen before. So this was neat for me. Like a little treasure find when I finally got it opened.
Looking through my miscellaneous keys, I found THE change key that goes with this lock! Bonus.

You may see more on this lock at some point. There's some features I still don't entirely understand.
Some of my questions will probably be answered as I begin working with it a little more though.
And as rough as it looks in places, I think it will actually clean up nicely. I'll start with that.
" Enjoy the journey AS MUCH as the destination."
http://www.youtube.com/Oldfast911
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Fritz the Cat

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Post Sun Feb 05, 2017 3:22 pm

Re: Safe Chronicles, Part II - Beyond the Lockroom

Good job . This is the part I love doing .Complete disasembly and clean up . Is that next ? Looking forward to seing more on this safe .

I just finished reding R B book 'Safecracking". A 400 plus pages of safecracking adventures . A rather expensive book I'd say . Your book would be more interesting and informative . Please write a book . You have enough material. :D
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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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Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 3:16 pm

Location: Michigan

Post Mon Feb 06, 2017 7:28 pm

Re: Safe Chronicles, Part II - Beyond the Lockroom

Fritz the Cat wrote:Good job . This is the part I love doing .Complete disasembly and clean up . Is that next ? Looking forward to seing more on this safe .

Sure! I'll tryn' post some pics for ya when it's all cleaned up. Also, some of the safes & vaults I was able to service this
winter.... I took plenty of before/after photos. I'll be sure to post some of these at some point for you. I think you'll like :D
" Enjoy the journey AS MUCH as the destination."
http://www.youtube.com/Oldfast911
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MartinHewitt

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Post Mon Feb 06, 2017 8:20 pm

Re: Safe Chronicles, Part II - Beyond the Lockroom

Oldfast wrote:Also, some of the safes & vaults I was able to service this
winter.... I took plenty of before/after photos. I'll be sure to post some of these at some point for you. I think you'll like :D

So you got more safes to take away from your friendly "customers"?
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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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Location: Michigan

Post Thu Feb 09, 2017 4:19 pm

Re: Safe Chronicles, Part II - Beyond the Lockroom

Oldfast wrote:
Fritz the Cat wrote:Good job . This is the part I love doing .Complete disasembly and clean up . Is that next ? Looking forward to seing more on this safe .

Sure! I'll tryn' post some pics for ya when it's all cleaned up. Also, some of the safes & vaults I was able to service this
winter.... I took plenty of before/after photos. I'll be sure to post some of these at some point for you. I think you'll like :D

MartinHewitt wrote:So you got more safes to take away from your friendly "customers"?

No, not really. Most of the servicing I mentioned was done on-site.

As for acquiring locks, a now have two lift-out round doors.
One, as you seen, I purchased. The other was free for the
taking if I could get it out before they laid new floor over it.
" 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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Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 3:16 pm

Location: Michigan

Post Thu Feb 09, 2017 9:17 pm

Re: Safe Chronicles, Part II - Beyond the Lockroom

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Image
10" T . . 14" W . . 8" D

I still have no idea on the maker of this box or the lock that's used in it.

A nice elderly woman called me on this one. They've had the combination for some time,
but she nor her daughter had been able to work it. Given the number of family members
the safe has been passed to, she conservatively figured it to be well over 70 years old.

Image

After my routine interview with the lock, the combination they had seemed
unlikely given the large pickup differences. Nevertheless I toyed with the
numbers some. Ultimately, manipulation began w/o assumptions. Often
is the case - none of the #'s they had were involved with the opening.

Image

Removing the screw on the outside allows the hinges to slide up and the door can be taken off.
Unfortunately, the back cover of the door is solidly tack welded all the way around. Obviously
not designed to be disassembled (not easily anyway). Unable to lay eyes on the lock, it is
anyone's' guess as to the condition. Could work for years, or might give way next week.

Image

Group 2 ... 3 wheel ... hole change .... spring-load lever

DIALING: RLR Left to stop (79)
CONTACT AREA: 57-68

Image

Image

So I had a little chuckle during this one. Well, more of a sly confident grin I guess you could say. lol
At some point they all went to the living room, leaving me spinnin' away in the kitchen. I'd say I was
probably about 3/4 through the manipulation when I distinctly heard someone whisper to the other,
"Ya think he really even knows what he's doin?!". I didn't skip a beat.... but damn, it was just funny!

This (nor anything else I've encountered this winter) is not bothersome and does not annoy me in the least!
Instead, it's actually a rather interesting thing to think about! Exactly how do people perceive safe cracking?

Honestly, I don't have to think that hard to relate; after all, it was not all that long ago that I MYSELF hadn't
a clue - other than what I had seen in the movies, maybe read on the internet. Shrouded in secrecy, filled
with mystery. Surely a dark, dark craft passed on only to a few elite. Any number of wild images will come
to mind - from explosives and high-tech gadgetry, to the smooth sanded fingertips of the magic man. lol

Growing up I never remember seeing a locksmith, let alone a safe-tech come to our home. Likewise, most
people have never had someone come to their home with the intention of cracking their safe. It's an entirely
new first time experience. No doubt they likely have certain ideas and expectations of how it will all play out.

So as I pull into their driveway I imagine they're thinking I must have a little slice of Hollywood in the trunk.
Sure, on the rare occasions when I start bustin' out lasers and mirrors it can start feeling a little 007-ish. lol
But the average manipulation is anything but exciting to the untrained eye. It can in fact drive some people
a little crazy even, lol. So when the safe is not open within a couple minutes, or God forbid, a couple hours,
something must've gone terribly wrong! Truth is they must (just like me) be patient and trust in the process.
Inevitably though, their interest will fade rather quickly, and their patience will deteriorate long before mine.

A predictable pattern eventually emerges with some people as they pop in from time to time for an 'update'.
Sometimes I will take a little break and explain what I've found, how I found it, and what it all means for us.
Other times I like to take an old page from my Dad's book, lol. As little kids on the road my brother
and I would incessantly be asking him, "Are we there yet?!". Again and again we'd always
receive the same calm, true (but unsatisfying) response... "We're getting closer".

.
.
" Enjoy the journey AS MUCH as the destination."
http://www.youtube.com/Oldfast911
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MartinHewitt

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Post Thu Feb 09, 2017 9:29 pm

Re: Safe Chronicles, Part II - Beyond the Lockroom

Thanks!

Two questions:
1) How was the opening?
2) I can't see any bolts on the photos. How does the door lock?

Martin Hewitt
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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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Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 3:16 pm

Location: Michigan

Post Fri Feb 10, 2017 1:25 am

Re: Safe Chronicles, Part II - Beyond the Lockroom

You can see some of the bolts if you look closely, but yeah, they're small.
Maybe a 1/4" squared. 3 of 'em... at the top, bottom, and end of the door.

The spin went ok. Contact area was quite prevalent on this one. The fence dropped heavily
into it every time you'd go pass. Couldn't miss it if you tried. So naturally the contact points
were like a brick wall. The spindle (possibly square) and/or the drive cam had some play to
it, but didn't have a negative affect. Readings were consistent and fluctuations pronounced.

The one thing that threw me for some extra laps on this one was the first two wheels; they
ended up damn near being the same number, a double. This lock is actually set to a true
3 number combo IF you're dialing with a RLR configuration as it was designed to be. But I
was manipulating with opposite rotations, so this is always a possibility w/ fixed drive pins.

Other than that little lesson, things went pretty well. Always room to improve. But I was happy.
" 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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Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 3:16 pm

Location: Michigan

Post Thu Feb 16, 2017 7:41 pm

Re: Safe Chronicles, Part II - Beyond the Lockroom

.
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.....another Sentry Safe.

This one sports a T-handle rather than the L-handle I normally see on 1250's

Image

No problems feeling out the true gate for the drive wheel... but then I hooked up my laser
and just found this one to be a real odd duck. All I need is just one definitive gate from one
of the other two wheels and I'm off to the races. But readings were anything but consistent.

Image

Nevertheless I continued with my approach and somehow sorted out this mess of readings for an opening.

Not a new sight to anyone, but with the cover plate off: the wheel pack & bolt work... errr... wire work rather. lol

Image

With locks of this type, dialing them open (aka: exhaustive search or brute force)
is always a very feasible option and really isn't all that much of a time investment.

On average though, I've found the laser rig (including setup time) will crush this
dialing process hands down in a race for time. But that was NOT the case here.

In retrospect; as soon as I started receiving such silly readings I should
have been willing to abandon my laser and opt for dialing this one open.


At any rate - end result: open safe. The fella was extremely happy and also really enjoyed the "laser-light show". Ha!
I like helping people with what I've learned... if I prove to be a source of entertainment at the same time... why not.
lol

.
" Enjoy the journey AS MUCH as the destination."
http://www.youtube.com/Oldfast911
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