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Hall's Safe & Lock Co. 1893 or older...

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Cooper

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Post Tue Jan 29, 2013 4:40 pm

Hall's Safe & Lock Co. 1893 or older...

Okay so my father runs an small rail road museum that resides in an old Depot in town. Inside the old depot is a Well's Fargo office(part of the museum now and no longer actually functioning.) Inside the old W.F. office is a Hall's Safe & Lock Co. safe. I have done some research on these and found that if the Hall's has an apostrophe before the S then the safe must date prior to 1893 because of a legal case about that time. Laramie was founded with the trans continental railroad ca 1868 so I know that the safe isn't older than that. My personal guesstimate is somewhere in the 1880s.

Now the local locksmith has been contacted and indicated that he would drill it which the museum obviously doesn't want. This gives me the opportunity to have a go at it. So here is what I have discovered so far. I have read through the following resources on safe manipulation. Wayne B Yeager's book, Marc W. Tobias's volume on Locks, Safes, and Security, and the Safe Cracking for Computer scientists guide. So I have the fundamentals but each of these guides has slight discrepancies with one and other.

My first task, finding the contact area, has been a bit difficult. The lock spins freely and I can feel the fly wheels as I pick them up. I have counted two distinct and one fairly subtle click as I go AWL and AWR so I believe I have 3 wheel flys in the wheel pack. When I go AWL to try to find the contact zone I do feel a distinct tight spot at about 130/0 on the dial. (Oh I forgot to mention that this old thing goes from 0-130 instead of the usual 0-100) Now at first I was thinking this was one of the sides of the contact area but now I am having second thoughts. I don't feel this tight spot except when I go AWL(It may be there just more subtle) So now I am wondering if I am feeling an irregularity in the final wheel?

So here are my concerns-
1. Should I be approaching this manipulation like a standard S&G type 2 dial?
2. I'm thinking some WD 40 will help me get a better feel for it. I did ad some oil to the dial(At the seem between the dial edge and the safe) Is that the best way to apply oil? If should it sit a while before I attempt manipulation? (I felt a very slight improvement but not dramaticly in my last session two days ago. I have yet to go back and try it again)
3. Any common ways of determining if it is a lost cause? I am guessing it is okay because I can feel the wheels pick up and it does spin freely, albeit stiff and heavy on the fingers.

Any thoughts? I do have a friend who might give me a more modern safe to play around with. I am thinking this will be the best way to get my feet wet(or fingers in this case.)
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magician59

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Post Tue Jan 29, 2013 5:21 pm

Re: Hall's Safe & Lock Co. 1893 or older...

Not really a safe for the novice manipulator. Good luck with it,
Nemo Malus Felix
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GWiens2001

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Post Tue Jan 29, 2013 5:23 pm

Re: Hall's Safe & Lock Co. 1893 or older...

I am not an experienced manipulator, but if you only feel two flys picking up, that sounds like a problem. You should feel three if there are only three wheels - the first when the drive cam picks up the first wheel, and the second and third for the following wheels. You may have grease that has solidified binding two wheels together, or a broken fly. Someone else with more experience can advise you better, but those are my two cents.

Good luck,

Gordon
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10ringo10

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Post Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:02 pm

Re: Hall's Safe & Lock Co. 1893 or older...

HI copper this may help ya...funny
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Cooper

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Post Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:05 pm

Re: Hall's Safe & Lock Co. 1893 or older...

Oh I can feel the third wheel. Sorry that wasn't clear. It is just more subtle than the other two.

And yes, I know it isn't for a novice. I hope to get an S&G soon to get up to speed(as I had mentioned) but do you know something about the Hall's safes? Or do you just know that antique safes are more difficult in general?

@ringo....Thanks for the pics! Oh dear! lol
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10ringo10

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Post Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:11 pm

Re: Hall's Safe & Lock Co. 1893 or older...

Love to see pictures of it cooper...good luck lol
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Cooper

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Post Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:40 pm

Re: Hall's Safe & Lock Co. 1893 or older...

I'll do that here in the next day or two.
BTW...is that a direct drive system? I ask because I don't feel any difference when I apply tension to the handle. I have a modern direct drive with a key operated bolt and I definitely get feedback on the dial when I apply tension to the key.
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10ringo10

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Post Tue Jan 29, 2013 7:00 pm

Re: Hall's Safe & Lock Co. 1893 or older...

Id say its direct drive so would give you locking up of the wheels...for the manipulation, makes me wonder if the handles not traveling all the way work the handle a bit more see if it gives you any different results....after that its just pissing in the wind. lol
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Cooper

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Post Tue Jan 29, 2013 7:19 pm

Re: Hall's Safe & Lock Co. 1893 or older...

LOL..Okay I'll give that a go and take some pictures of it next time I am there. Cheers!
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Oldfast

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Post Tue Jan 29, 2013 7:40 pm

Re: Hall's Safe & Lock Co. 1893 or older...

oooOOOO! How exciting! Wish I could offer some helpful advice, but I too am a novice.

@ Ringo: Cool pics! Thanks for those. Is Cooper definitely dealing with a four-wheel lock then?!
The lock in your pics look like a direct drive mechanism. If that's what's in this safe... all the fun
is gone before he's even started :( But such a variety of dials end up on safes... ya never know.


As you already know - for learning manipulation; a more modern day, smooth running, 3 wheel lock will be ideal.
An old (possibly 4-wheel!) lock for your first manipulation attempt? lol...well, the odds are stacked against you.
HOWEVER! Win, lose, or draw... what a great learning opportunity! I wouldn't pass it up Cooper. Give it your
best and put in as much time as your mind and back will allow.

If the dial has some sticky points, it's ok as long as they're not within the contact area where they'll affect your readings.
Another thing I've noticed with dials that haven't been worked in a while; sometimes the more you work em' the more
pronounced the feedback gets... almost like you've worked some things lose again. This old Yale seemed to reveal
more of its' secrets by the time I sat down to my second session with it.



If you get a chance... I too, would love to see some pictures Cooper :)
" Enjoy the journey AS MUCH as the destination."
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10ringo10

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Post Tue Jan 29, 2013 7:46 pm

Re: Hall's Safe & Lock Co. 1893 or older...

Looking at the period and not getting feedback its more than likley its direct drive ,but like you say oldfast it may have been changed for reasons unknown.
This type of bolt work works on a pivot and is also really old and may have been designed later to rule out manipulation attempts by binding useing the handle method that had worked so well. :D
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Last edited by 10ringo10 on Wed Jan 30, 2013 12:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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the lockpickkid

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Post Wed Jan 30, 2013 12:21 am

Re: Hall's Safe & Lock Co. 1893 or older...

I often wonder why people have an old safe, and don't want it drilled, but wonder whats inside. A good safe person can hide any drill holes so well you would never know, that is only IF they even have to drill, alot more safe guys actually can manipulate. A place near me has an old safe, and they charge people a dollar a try to manipulate it, just for fun. They want to know whats inside but they won't have it drilled, I talked to the guy for awhile and I looked at the safe, it had been drilled in the past and the guy didn't believe me! I showed him and he was totally beside himself. Very faintly you could actually see a very well patched hole, that was only noticable because somebody had shined the safe up and you could see the round hole pattern very faintly.
I have been in the souls of many women, but I always end up on the soles of there shoes.
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Cooper

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Post Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:17 am

Re: Hall's Safe & Lock Co. 1893 or older...

Okay I got the photos of the safe....Here she is!

http://cooperostresh.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/img_9747_mini.jpg

http://cooperostresh.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/img_9750_mini.jpg

And in other news...It IS a direct Drive! I had just put tension on one of the handles when I checked it before. When I went in to take the picture I put tension on both handles simultaneously and I felt tension, and clunks, when I turned the dial. I was literally there for only 5 minutes so I didn't get a chance to do much more with it but at least I know what I am dealing with now! Thanks for those pics. That is what gave me the thought to double check!
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Riyame

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Post Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:54 am

Re: Hall's Safe & Lock Co. 1893 or older...

Holy giant pictures batman!! :lol:

I changed your images to links for easier viewing since they were mostly cut off due to size.
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Oldfast

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OldddffAASSTT the Spin Master Extraordinaire and American Lock Slayer
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Post Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:06 am

Re: Hall's Safe & Lock Co. 1893 or older...

Neat pics... neat safe. Thanks
" Enjoy the journey AS MUCH as the destination."
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