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Post Office Safe

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hawk-lock

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Post Sun Feb 12, 2017 4:29 am

Post Office Safe

I got a call today about a safe in an old post office. The building is under private ownership now and they would like to be able to use this built in safe. I haven't been over to look at it yet, but the owner sent me some pictures. It looks interesting. Anyone bumped into something like this before? I am guessing that when the bolt is retracted for the combo lock that external device rotates and and releases the door.
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MHM

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Post Sun Feb 12, 2017 5:12 am

Re: Post Office Safe

Wow, fascinating.

That would imply that the boltwork hardware that does the actual locking is all outside and exposed to attack. And further: that the dial is outside, the lock mech inside, and then the bolt then communicates with the hardware on the outside again?!

That can't be right, surely? When you go see this, please take a shit-ton of pictures.
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MartinHewitt

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Post Sun Feb 12, 2017 9:09 am

Re: Post Office Safe

Is this perhaps just some form of pressure bar?
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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 Sun Feb 12, 2017 5:08 pm

Re: Post Office Safe

hawk-lock wrote:....I am guessing that when the bolt is retracted for the combo lock that external device rotates and and releases the door.

That's correct. Both devices are to aid in door and bolt alignment. 'Pressure-bar' or 'Compressor'.
Bolts are retracted/extended via the dial - hence the dial pins (gives the user a little more torque).

The compressor in the middle, between the two doors (your 2nd picture) is missing its' handle.
It goes on that square peg you see on the right. In a down position. You'd pull it up to release.

Looks like you're dealing with a Chicago. Four hole-change wheels with a gravity-driven lever.
Final opening rotation will be right; solid stop about 21. Contact area should be roughly 30-35.

Good luck. And win, lose, or draw... please give us some updates! :D Fun stuff!
" Enjoy the journey AS MUCH as the destination."
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bitbuster

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Post Sun Feb 12, 2017 5:32 pm

Re: Post Office Safe

Only a guess, but the safe may be a Chicago. Here is why I think this: dial appears to be a 70# dial, hingeblocks are concealed, can't tell from pic but safe body corners may? be rounded, Chicago used dial nose pins but I've not seen any stick out past the dial ring. Chicago also put 'chicago safe and lock co' on the nose dial (can't see that in pic). Chicago also used compressor-type handles. (AKA pressure handle/bar). Several other makers also used the compressor/pressure handle/bar. Just speculation.
(Oldasft: you're faster on the keyboard than I am)
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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 Sun Feb 12, 2017 5:47 pm

Re: Post Office Safe

bitbuster wrote:....(Oldasft: you're faster on the keyboard than I am)

lol... or is it that I have nothing better to do on a Sunday afternoon? lol

Well Hawk-Lock... that's two votes for Chicago.

EDIT: but you're right about the dial pins. They extend further than any photos I've seen.
" Enjoy the journey AS MUCH as the destination."
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hawk-lock

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Post Sun Feb 12, 2017 11:40 pm

Re: Post Office Safe

Well, that gives me a good starting point. I'll start running through my manuals and see what I can come up with. If I understand correctly all of the stuff on the outside is just manually operated from the outside to line the doors up - there is no locking mechanism on the outside of the door. All of the boltwork is standard and mounted inside the door.

I am also not sure that I am going to be the one working on this. I think that the owner left messages with three or four guys. I will touch base with her tomorrow and see what is up. If I take a whack at it and get it open, I'll be sure to throw some pics back for everyone to look at.
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macgng

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Post Fri Feb 17, 2017 8:08 pm

Re: Post Office Safe

Please send me a PM if you still need help on this.
Nibbler: The poop-eradication is but one aspect of your importance.
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hawk-lock

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Post Tue Mar 14, 2017 3:48 pm

Re: Post Office Safe

Just wanted to give you guys an update on this. The owner never returned my calls, so I am guessing that they had someone else open it or they gave up on it after a getting a few prices to open it. Kind of a bummer, but I sure do appreciate everyone's input. Next effort is an AMSEC floor safe that a buddy of mine found under the carpet in a house he just bought. Should be fun.
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hawk-lock

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Post Mon Apr 10, 2017 1:53 pm

Re: Post Office Safe

Another update on this. The customer finally called me again, but this time to drill out a coin box on a dryer at her apartment. She said, "Maybe after you do the coin box, you can have a look at the safe" - Sure! The safe is, in fact, a Chicago. You can see that on the dial when you are up close. There is definitely a problem in the wheel-pac. I probably spun that dial back and forth 100 times before I felt the second wheel pick up, and probably another 100 before the third wheel caught. The only way I could get the third wheel to engage was to put my finger on the dial prongs and spin the dial as fast as I could. After messing with it for a while, I decided that it was going to be extremely difficult to try to manipulate when you couldn't get the wheels to pick up reliably. I looked at another possibility for a quick entry that I had spotted in one of the pictures. At TDC just above the dial there is a hole (You can see it in the picture). I cleaned it out hoping that it was going to be an easy drill. I was an easy drill until you hit the hard plate, which was where the previous person had given up - and I gave up. The owner had already just about had a fit when I had charged her a couple hundred for the coin box (a good chunk of that was the 40 mile drive - one way). After talking to her for a little bit, it was clear that she wasn't going to spend the kind of money needed to open the safe. If the safe had been smaller and there was a reasonably good way to get it out of the building, I probably could have traded the safe for the service call. However, it would have been an absolute nightmare to try to move that out. I think that the black paint would come off if a person was patient with it and there were hints that there is a really neat paint job underneath. Kind of a bummer, but I just thanked her for giving me the opportunity to look at the safe and moved on. That's all on this one. Thanks for the good tips, guys!

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