Re: MOSLER MADNESS
Riyame wrote: "Well, seems like a good time to get the bottom painted"
A fellow safe collector from California suggested, "Think of all the money you saved by not having to buy another safe for a project." Now that is being optimistic.
This safe and the single door Mosler were a tandem project. That made the whole process drag out quite long but because they were so similar it simplified some things. During slow times or while waiting for parts to be made I could tend to things like the locks or searching for time locks. I felt fortunate to find the time lock and associated parts for the single door so quickly. It took six months to find two time locks for this safe, both turned up on Ebay.
You may recall that one of the locks was missing the bolt for the friction fence. One was located in Arizona and purchased but it turned out to be incorrect. It had standard 1/4-20 threads and the shank of the bolt was slightly larger. The correct bolt was located in Ohio. Thank goodness there are collectors just as nutty as me who save this stuff. Other than the bolt, the locks only needed a cleaning and new paint on the cases. Most screw door locks were painted gold. An interesting thing about these locks is that both have all wheels on the wheel pack set to one number. Dial at least 4 times right to 25, left to stop.
Recently, I received combination cards from the seller that he found in the bank. Note that they are originally Diebold cards that have been altered to be correct for these locks. This makes me think that this safe had been purchased used from a dealer. The even numbered combinations are reversed for each door and are probably the original from the Mosler factory. Also note, at the top is written the new one number combination. Turn ten times? WTF?
The door crank was disassembled and the parts sent out for new nickel plating. Completed, it is a work of art.
The pinion gears for the doors held up the project because they were needed through the repair process after the fall. They were sent out for plating late in the project. One gear had been beat out of its opening when this safe had been worked on before as it had hammer marks on the surface. Some machining took care of that. The gears were prepped and sent off to be plated. The plating shop was nice enough to fast track the gears and covers for the time locks. This time, precautions were taken to prevent material build up on critical surfaces. These gears fit with a tight tolerance in the door covers so surfaces were masked off. I had the nickel plated around the front corner so and edge would not be visible. This requires some build up to be polished off.
After the gold leaf was finished, the pinstriper outlined the letters, stripes, and added the art work. Due to the fact that some of the original artwork was destroyed I had to improvise on the design. It was decided to simplify the lines around the Mosler name as they were a complicated mess. The second paint job on the safe had been altered a third time to add THE STATE BANK across the top. I wanted to add the name of the bank and the usual MOSLER PATENT SCREW DOOR BANK SAFE that was on all screw doors so I decided to add both to the doors. Traditional striping was put on the hinges, around the doors, and on the sides. This safe probably did not come from Mosler quite this fancy but without it, this safe tends to look like a beached whale.
With the pinion gears finished, assembly started. All the gear teeth and rotating surfaces were lubed with synthetic grease.
The time locks were installed along with the linkage covers with their new nickel plating.
The inside compartments were repainted. The shelves ,which are two pieces bolted together once placed inside the safe, were installed. I'm not sure if this safe originally had carpets, if it did, they were missing. Some new vintage style carpet pieces came from an old building restoration in the area. I am still searching for a more original style carpet used in safes of that era.
And finally (drum roll please), the finished 1891 Mosler Screw Door Bank Safe - double door version.
That wraps up this thread on the double door. I would be interested in hearing about other screw door Moslers. They were an interesting design to deal with the weaknesses of traditional safes as explosives gained in popularity with thieves. The more secure cannonballs would be the next step to protect assets.
The two Moslers together.