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Re: MOSLER MADNESS

PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 2:59 pm
by 00247
Riyame wrote: "Well, seems like a good time to get the bottom painted" :lol:


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.

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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?

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The door crank was disassembled and the parts sent out for new nickel plating. Completed, it is a work of art.

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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.

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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.

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With the pinion gears finished, assembly started. All the gear teeth and rotating surfaces were lubed with synthetic grease.

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The time locks were installed along with the linkage covers with their new nickel plating.

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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.

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And finally (drum roll please), the finished 1891 Mosler Screw Door Bank Safe - double door version.

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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.

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Re: MOSLER MADNESS

PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 4:23 pm
by MartinHewitt
Great!

One question regarding the handle: Is there one missing or is it normal that a double door safe has only one handle? Is it in any case normal that it is removable also on single door safes? Why is that so?

Re: MOSLER MADNESS

PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 4:38 pm
by 00247
Yes, just one handle. A second handle would not clear the first one anyway. You simply move it to which door you want to open.

They need to be removable as the handle sticks out quite a ways and would be a cursed item every time you bumped into it.

Re: MOSLER MADNESS

PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 4:44 pm
by MartinHewitt
Thanks! They are so beautiful! Fortunately I don't know any in Germany as they are quite cumbersome to handle and store.

Re: MOSLER MADNESS

PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 11:05 pm
by madsamurai
Fantastic work! Now that they're finished, what do you plan to do with them? Do you have a show room or some such?

Re: MOSLER MADNESS

PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 5:32 pm
by jeffmoss26
WOW those are works of art!!

Re: MOSLER MADNESS

PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 12:44 pm
by 10ringo10
Excellent - great achievement watched with great interest

thanks for sharing and the journey :razz:

Re: MOSLER MADNESS

PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 10:33 pm
by Oldfast
Incredible results. Just incredible.

Thanks again so much for documenting and sharing all this. What a treat!

Re: MOSLER MADNESS

PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 2:15 am
by 00247
Thanks for the kind words.

I finally got all the ingredients for making some new eyelets for the time locks. While I am not a machinist, I do have a Shopmaster mill/lathe that I am learning to make things on. I had a 1/2 inch wide piece of tool steel so I ground the shape of the eyelet so it could be cut in one step. A piece of 5/8 inch brass rod from Ebay had to be turned down to .560", then the end is shaped to the eyelet profile. The shape is dressed up with some emery cloth.

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The with a parting tool mounted on another side of the tool post, all that is required is to reverse rotation and cut the eyelet off. Digital readout makes getting the correct thickness real easy. Shape, cut, shape, cut, it goes quickly.

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In order to be able to drill the hole for the pivot pin the same in all the eyelets, a jig was made out of a scrap piece of brass. An original eyelet was used as a pattern to place the guide hole correctly. The hole is drilled with a .040 #60 wire drill.

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A new eyelet is placed in the jig and it is flipped over. The hole is drilled using high speed and making repeated little cuts so the drill doesn't jamb the chips and break. You blokes across the pond will be pleased to see I am using an Eclipse pin vise from the UK to convert my drill press. A quality little chuck that secures tiny drills.

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Then with a .055 #54 drill, the top of the hole is enlarged for the head of the pivot pin. 19 gauge pins are needed which are hard to find. Looks like I will have to order them from England or Germany.

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Whala!, a new eyelet with an original that is from a nickel plated time lock. The new eyelet being brass is to shiny. It will have to be dipped in a solution and heated to oxidize it so it will be a close match to the originals.

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One final thing I did was to put some paint protection film on the top of the safes to prevent damage if something gets set on them. Sure as shit, someone (hopefully not me) will set something on top. I like to use Suntek film. I have this fantastic film on my Corvette and love it. Tough as hell, virtually invisible, self healing, and easy on/off. This was an easy install on a flat surface. With the pieces cut to size, the backing is pealed from the film. Using a soapy solution the film is put in position and then squeegeed out. The result is a protected surface that shines as good or better than the original paint. You have to look closely to see the edge of the film.

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All that is left is to get these behemoths out of the shop. The single door will go in the office with the Victor cannonball and the double door will go in the shop addition where the concrete was poured extra thick, specifically for heavy safes.

Re: MOSLER MADNESS

PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2017 5:23 pm
by mastersmith
Phenomenal! Outstanding craftsmanship!

Re: MOSLER MADNESS

PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 1:46 am
by 00247
I received a surprise in the mailbox today from the seller of this safe. It was a picture of the inside of the State Bank of Sauk City, Wisconsin taken in 1914. Sure enough, sitting in the open vault is this Mosler safe. This bank building had just been completed so maybe that is when this safe was purchased used. I can just make out the name of the bank at the top of the safe so it had already been repainted and had the name added. Pretty cool to see it back in the day.

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