This safe came from the State Bank in Sauk City Wisconsin. This bank started in 1888 and went through several name changes and buildings through the early 1900s. At this time I have no idea when this safe was purchased by the bank or whether it was new or used. The safe had been repainted and painted a third time at the top of the front for an apparent name change.
It was listed on Ebay and Craigslist. I found it to be extremely interesting and figured I had to have it. After a month of negotiating and even giving up on it at one point, a deal was made. The seller bought the bank building and this safe was in the vault. The building was being renovated and the safe, vault doors, and other bank items that still existed were being removed. Being stored in the vault kept the safe in decent condition with very little rust.
As I bought it with non original paint.
There are two sizes of the screw door safe. This double door is based on the larger size screw door. Mosler basically designed it as one stacked on the other but the structure is built as a single unit. The doors are a larger diameter than the smaller model and are extremely heavy. With the larger design and double doors this safe is well over 4000 pounds. The weight is something I have struggled with throughout this project. I got in a little over my head this time but managed to overcome the challenge and prevail.
Here is a single door model of the larger size.
While the hinge and the door are the same, the double door uses a different style of construction for the body. I will go into detail once the body is sandblasted. This safe was in better condition than the last Mosler project. The door threads were hardly rusted and what rust was there polished off easily.
The safe had been repainted at some point and a lot of it was falling off. None of the original paint existed on the sides, top, and back. But low and behold some of the original paint was still under the newer paint on the front. This proved to be a lucky break.
Paint condition on the sides.
There is something under there!
The major drawback to this safe was that the time locks were missing. Originally the seller asked a very high price for the safe, like everyone does on Ebay. After a number of interested people told him about the reduced value because of the missing time locks the price plummeted. The weight factor also weaned out potential buyers as they had no way to haul it. Both doors use the Yale Triple L time lock. Now I was looking for three Yale time locks as I still needed one for my other Mosler. Fortunately, at least all the time lock linkage was still in both doors along with the linkage covers.
The combination locks had been decommissioned at some point. They are the Mosler/Yale 5H model lock with a four wheel wheel pack. The pivot bolt for the friction fence had been removed from both locks. A search of both compartments turned up one of the bolts but only one. At least I would have one for an example.
Getting this beast home was an adventure. It was just over 150 miles away, I went down with my 3/4 ton Chevy and an equipment trailer. Due to the fenders the safe had to be loaded a little to far forward so I had more hitch weight than I cared for. It was mid February and in Wisconsin the roads are heaved with frost, so the ride home was very rough. The trailer bucked the truck the whole way home. With five fused vertebra from two surgeries, by the time I got home I could hardly walk. It was just a sign of headaches to come with this project.
The next problem was getting it off the trailer. I was learning quickly that this safe was much heavier than expected. My Bobcat couldn't begin to lift it. With luck on my side, a neighbors son was visiting with a brand new huge Cat tracked skid steer on a trailer. I went over and asked for some help. Even the big Cat was light in the rear when he gently moved it into the shop. I had to invest in some beefier equipment to handle this big boy. Craigslist to the rescue again.
Next time we will start tearing things apart and find some surprises and some problems. Stay tuned.