FAQ  •  My feedback  •  Feedback
UKLockpickers.co.uk Lockpicking supplies such as Lockpicks, tools, and more! COMMANDOLOCK.COM Military grade padlock systems lockpickshop.com A source for lockpicking supplies such as lockpicks, locksmith tools, and more!

Lets tear into an old Diebold safe

<<

00247

User avatar

Familiar Face

Posts: 143

Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2015 5:04 am

Location: Wisconsin

Post Wed Jul 03, 2019 2:59 am

Lets tear into an old Diebold safe

After a hiatus it's time to work on another safe. Nothing special this time, after all, it would be hard to top the uniqueness of the last National Safe and Lock Co. bank money chest. This time it is a rather mundane square Diebold. This safe turned up on Craigslist a couple of years ago. It was advertised at $60 and was just over 20 miles from home. There were just a couple of poor pictures posted but for that price the wife and I ran down to take a look.

It was rather unimpressive with the funky wood grained paint job but there were a few things that caught my eye.

100_6123.JPG


First on the back door cover, there was the Diebold name plate that covers the hole for accessing the lock. That told me the safe was older than I originally thought. Inside it had 4 drawers and the keys were there for each one, each drawer is keyed different. On the bad side, the inner compartment was missing which was disappointing. On the plus side, all 4 of the hinge finials (button style) were in place and the door was open with combination unknown (just the way I like to buy them). The seller accepted my $50 offer and had a skid steer to load it on my trailer. We were on the way home quickly with my new prized possession. It was identified as a late 1800's to early 1900's Diebold thin wall safe by Doug MacQueen.

The Diebold lock cover name plate.

100_6124.JPG


The interior and the lock.

100_6121.JPG


Not sure of the model of the lock, it does not have any markings to ID it as a Yale so maybe it is one of Diebold's design? Hopefully bitbuster or someone else can offer more information on the lock. The fence is on the bottom and is moved up into the wheel pack by the bolt mechanism moved by the outer handle. It also has a relocker.

100_6119.JPG


This will not be a restoration per say. The outside hardware will get new plating, the inside will be freshened up, and of course it will get modern high quality body work and paint. While I will pay homage to the original design, the safe will get custom graphics. It will be a gift to a good friend so it will be personalized for his business.

Next time we will dissect the lock and see if any of the original artwork exists.

IMG_2782.JPG


IMG_2795.JPG
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Last edited by 00247 on Fri Jul 19, 2019 2:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
It is time... stand up for a constitutional America. Without it, we have shed blood in vain.
<<

femurat

User avatar

Prolific Poster

Posts: 929

Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2011 9:47 pm

Location: Italy

Post Wed Jul 03, 2019 5:02 am

Re: Lets tear into an old Diebold safe

Great news! I was missing your restoration stories. Can't wait to see you working on a safe again. I'll happily follow this thread.

Cheers :)
<<

bitbuster

Prolific Poster

Posts: 785

Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 8:03 pm

Location: NW Wis

Post Wed Jul 03, 2019 2:06 pm

Re: Lets tear into an old Diebold safe

It may be the K-Lock.
"This squid is so undercooked I can still hear it telling Sponge Bob to fuck off."-----Gordon Ramsay
<<

Oldfast

User avatar

OldddffAASSTT the Spin Master Extraordinaire and American Lock Slayer
OldddffAASSTT the Spin Master Extraordinaire and American Lock Slayer

Posts: 4380

Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 3:16 pm

Location: Michigan

Post Wed Jul 03, 2019 9:54 pm

Re: Lets tear into an old Diebold safe

:spinning: Yes. VERY excited to see this thread pop up :D

I too am thinking Diebold's K-Lock. Similar to Yale HE.
Mosler also made a nearly identical version of this.
All are commonly referred to as "force-up" fences.

Interesting to see false gates on your drive cam though.
I was not aware the K-lock had this... which makes me
wonder if the cam in this one is original or not. Also,
the drivers themselves were usually key-changeable.

I'll be following along for sure! I really appreciate the time you put into sharing these projects with us.
" Enjoy the journey AS MUCH as the destination."
<<

femurat

User avatar

Prolific Poster

Posts: 929

Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2011 9:47 pm

Location: Italy

Post Thu Jul 04, 2019 10:24 am

Re: Lets tear into an old Diebold safe

Oldfast wrote:Interesting to see false gates on your drive cam though.


That doesn't look like a false gate to me. It's too different from the true gate to be mistaken for one.
I think it has another purpose but I can't figure out what...

Cheers :)
<<

Oldfast

User avatar

OldddffAASSTT the Spin Master Extraordinaire and American Lock Slayer
OldddffAASSTT the Spin Master Extraordinaire and American Lock Slayer

Posts: 4380

Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 3:16 pm

Location: Michigan

Post Sat Jul 06, 2019 3:20 am

Re: Lets tear into an old Diebold safe

femurat wrote:
Oldfast wrote:Interesting to see false gates on your drive cam though.


That doesn't look like a false gate to me. It's too different from the true gate to be mistaken for one.
I think it has another purpose but I can't figure out what...

Cheers :)

Yeah, you might be right.

Also, the gate itself is much deeper than it needs to be. Looks like it'll work just fine, but it sure seems like it's from a different lock. Will be interesting to see more as it's tore down.
" Enjoy the journey AS MUCH as the destination."
<<

00247

User avatar

Familiar Face

Posts: 143

Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2015 5:04 am

Location: Wisconsin

Post Mon Jul 08, 2019 4:00 am

Re: Lets tear into an old Diebold safe

Thanks for the input guys. After some searching I found this thread here on keypicking.

https://www.keypicking.com/viewtopic.php?f=100&t=9686

In it mercurial describes the K model quite well which matches what I have found examining this lock.

"This is not a gravity driven fence lock. It is closer to a direct entry fence lock. It does very closely resemble the Yale HB lock that Mikeh727 linked to, but it has a relocker that protects against the spindle & wheel pack being punched. It is located at approximately 11 o'clock on the wheel pack when you face the safe door.

If it isn't a copyright violation, I can provide drawings of the lock in question from a book.

There is a lever/fence arrangement that is pushed into the wheel pack by cam action when the handle is turned. You should find that the dial binds when you apply pressure to the boltwork handle.


These locks are either 4 wheel hand change, or 3 wheel key change.

The drive wheel has the same diameter as the combination wheels.

I'm not a safe technician & I defer to bitbuster when he says that the drive wheel can be on either side of the wheel pack, but I was under the impression that it is the wheel closest to the dial.

The drive wheel has false gates. You can find the true gate by using the dial to measure all of them, as with a direct entry type lock. The false gates are typically two increments wide, the true gate is wider.

Whilst I've never done it, the lock looks like it would respond to manipulation in the same manner as a direct entry type lock. Handle movement should indicate fence penetration into the wheel pack.

I hope that helps,

...Mark"


This lock is a hole/hand change K model that has the drive wheel closest to the dial. The drive wheel is notched to discourage manipulation. In fact the notches are made with sharp square corners and the slightest pressure on the handle forces the fence into the notches and will stop the dial dead in its tracks. I'm sure with a gentle touch a guy could find the contact points but it will make you earn it. Oldfast, I believe this to be the original drive wheel. I see no evidence of any reworking in the lock. All parts fit correctly and operate correctly. But, as always with this old shit, never say never.

IMG_2759.JPG


Note the small rod attached to the wheel pack cover, it is what keeps the relocker disengaged. Punch the wheel pack and without the pin gravity will pull the relocker down.

IMG_2758.JPG


Here is the wheel pack disassembled. Every piece is numbered in order of assembly. I tried to highlight the numbers with chalk. All in all a nice lock, but with the steel fly combination adjusters there is a fair amount of drag on the spindle. Compared to all brass locks, that is.

IMG_2826.JPG


Note that each wheel is marked for direction of spin. One wheel was marked incorrectly, that mark was struck out and the arrow put on the correct side. Bet that Diebold worker never dreamed the mistake would be offered for the whole world to see on the internet.

IMG_2828.JPG


Each wheel also has a flat spot directly across from the gate. I assume this is to confuse the manipulator?

IMG_2830.JPG


Being a hole/hand change lock, you do not know what number you are selecting when moving the fly to a different hole. Once the wheels are set to new numbers a rectangular tool is inserted through the rear cover as the dial rotations are turned. When the tool slides into each wheel the number can be recorded from the dial. Simple, but effective.

IMG_2832.JPG


I was curious if there was any original artwork under the horrible wood grained finish. With a little careful scraping sure enough, there was something underneath.

IMG_2765.JPG


It is always tricky trying to get down to the original finish without destroying it. Often and in this instance, a razor blade in a holder worked really well. With a new sharp razor, back drag it a couple short strokes to take the edge off just a bit. With a small spot opened up to the original finish, use firm but not hard strokes, usually about a half a blade at a time. You have to experiment with the angle but once you find the sweet spot the razor will fillet the paint off down to the original finish. There is a coat of varnish on these old safes and it acts as a buffer to keep the blade from taking off the original artwork. Any spots of rust will damage the blade and render it useless quickly. If the blade starts to chatter, it's done. Usually you can flip it over and use it after the couple of backward strokes. A lot of blades will be used.

After a lot of dicking around, most of the original artwork was revealed. A quick rub with a rag dipped in varnish brightens it up considerably.

IMG_2766.JPG


IMG_2768.JPG


IMG_2770.JPG


The lettering at the top doesn't give much for clues to the history of the safe. There are many churches that use the St. Joseph's name but the name of the dealer lead to some interesting clues online. Chas H Lindeke was the Midwest dealer for Diebold based in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Image

EDIT: when writing this post I was looking for this advertisement and couldn't locate it on my computer. I was getting a bit pissed on where I may have saved it. Here it was on my shop computer the whole time. lol

Image

While the door and top lettering looks good in the picture, it really is not that nice. The top and sides of the safe have a lot of surface rust and the corner angles are poor as well. Being a rather plain common safe I will not try and duplicate the design exactly. I am not sure what the final design will be as I am still tossing around some ideas.

Next time we will get into the dirty work.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Last edited by 00247 on Fri Jul 19, 2019 2:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.
It is time... stand up for a constitutional America. Without it, we have shed blood in vain.
<<

MHM

User avatar

Familiar Face

Posts: 140

Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2016 8:33 pm

Location: Napier, New Zealand

Post Mon Jul 08, 2019 4:39 am

Re: Lets tear into an old Diebold safe

-snip-
Each wheel also has a flat spot directly across from the gate. I assume this is to confuse the manipulator?
-snip-

Or maybe an attempt to balance the wheels to counter a vibratory attack? Someone who has seen one of these before will hopefully know for sure.

Loving these posts and photos mate, I wish I had your patience.
<<

Oldfast

User avatar

OldddffAASSTT the Spin Master Extraordinaire and American Lock Slayer
OldddffAASSTT the Spin Master Extraordinaire and American Lock Slayer

Posts: 4380

Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 3:16 pm

Location: Michigan

Post Mon Jul 08, 2019 5:52 am

Re: Lets tear into an old Diebold safe

00247 wrote:Oldfast, I believe this to be the original drive wheel. I see no evidence of any reworking in the lock. All parts fit correctly and operate correctly. But, as always with this old shit, never say never.

Yup, you've got me convinced. Original. So glad you decided to delve into and document the lock first :D Some fantastic 'gut-shots'!

And, some things I was unaware of; the false gates on the cam, and especially the flats on the wheels. VERY valuable intel to have when approaching one of these.

Great stuff!
" Enjoy the journey AS MUCH as the destination."
<<

MartinHewitt

User avatar

Prolific Poster

Posts: 1169

Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2016 6:19 pm

Location: Germany

Post Mon Jul 08, 2019 5:08 pm

Re: Lets tear into an old Diebold safe

MHM wrote:-snip-
Each wheel also has a flat spot directly across from the gate. I assume this is to confuse the manipulator?
-snip-
Or maybe an attempt to balance the wheels to counter a vibratory attack? Someone who has seen one of these before will hopefully know for sure.
Loving these posts and photos mate, I wish I had your patience.
It does not look to be enough to counter balance the big cut of the gate. Maybe the strip of sheet metal was just not wide enough? But it could also be meant as a sort of false gate. The false gate on the drive wheel surely won't intimidate Oldfast.
In case you wonder ... Martin Hewitt is a fictional detective in stories by Arthur Morrison:
Martin Hewitt, Investigator Chronicles of Martin Hewitt
<<

Riyame

Keeper of the Bests / Supreme Overlord of Small Format Interchangeable Picking Nightmares

Posts: 2056

Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2011 5:16 pm

Location: Canada

Post Tue Jul 09, 2019 5:52 am

Re: Lets tear into an old Diebold safe

Awesome post. So glad you were able to recover the original paint job.
PhoneMan: I always knew I'd say something stupid and it would be someone's sig
macgng: i am an equal opportunity pervert
macgng: aww fuck thats goin in someone sig :-(

If life gives you melons, you might be dyslexic.
<<

00247

User avatar

Familiar Face

Posts: 143

Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2015 5:04 am

Location: Wisconsin

Post Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:27 pm

Re: Lets tear into an old Diebold safe

MHM wrote: Or maybe an attempt to balance the wheels to counter a vibratory attack?


You got me thinking about that MHM. So for the hell of it I put a wheel on a chrome shaft of an awl and put it in my old drill press that I use for rough drilling. The belts are crappy on it and it vibrates. "A whole lota shakin goin on". Perfect for this less than scientific experiment.



It proves the gate is the lightest part of the wheel. Perfect for vibrating a safe who's lock has the fence on top. Not gonna work for this safe. Even if you tip it upside down the safe would have to be at a slight angle as the fence does not enter at the exact bottom, slightly off to one side. But even then the drag of the steel flys may interfere with the concept. Also, that is not taking into consideration the steel flys that are hooked into the wheels. The long part of the fly is the heaviest part and would skew the weight balance of the wheel.

Taking notes, Oldfast? lol

Image
It is time... stand up for a constitutional America. Without it, we have shed blood in vain.
<<

MHM

User avatar

Familiar Face

Posts: 140

Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2016 8:33 pm

Location: Napier, New Zealand

Post Wed Jul 10, 2019 12:07 am

Re: Lets tear into an old Diebold safe

And that - that right there - is why I love this community.
<<

Oldfast

User avatar

OldddffAASSTT the Spin Master Extraordinaire and American Lock Slayer
OldddffAASSTT the Spin Master Extraordinaire and American Lock Slayer

Posts: 4380

Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 3:16 pm

Location: Michigan

Post Wed Jul 10, 2019 11:03 pm

Re: Lets tear into an old Diebold safe

00247 wrote:Taking notes, Oldfast? lol

You know it! :D And as I said, this really is some valuable stuff.

Granted, I don't have much of a reference library... but what I do have makes no mention of false gates on the cam, and certainly nothing about the flats on the wheels. The drive cam wouldn't cause much trouble, but those flats could certainly throw me for a loop if I was not expecting them. Knowing they could be there, and even better, knowing they're opposite the gates is huge information.

I'm not really sure and can't speculate as to the true purpose or intention behind the flats... but no doubt they'd show up as gate sigs during a spin. So again, some fantastic info already... and I'm looking forward to more of this project!
" Enjoy the journey AS MUCH as the destination."
<<

00247

User avatar

Familiar Face

Posts: 143

Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2015 5:04 am

Location: Wisconsin

Post Fri Jul 12, 2019 3:48 am

Re: Lets tear into an old Diebold safe

I spent a good amount of time studying the lock on this safe to fully understand it. Having the temporary lock out on the National safe because I got ahead of myself before documenting the lock taught me a hard learned lesson. I dodged a bullet on that one and don't want to be in that situation ever again.

So after sorting through the lock and finding the original artwork it was time to remove the door. This Diebold has some nickel plated spacers between the hinge halves that need to be replated so the door will have to come off for the rework process. Upon lifting the door I discovered the spacers are actually a bearing. A very nice feature on a plain square safe.

Image

I needed some way to handle the door. While it isn't all that heavy compared to door from a cannonball or screw door safe, it is still a hand full for an old guy with 5 fused vertebrae so I dug out the engine stand I had modified for holding the door off my Victor cannonball. First I had to build some brackets to bolt to the door.

Image

I had to rework the engine stand a bit. For the cannonball door the jack had to be on the front to help support the 500 lb door. With the modified stand I could spin the door for restoration of the threads and adjust the height to fit it perfectly for reassembly.

Image

For this Diebold, the door would hit the jack when trying to turn it so I had to move the jack to the rear of the stand. Doable for this door as it weighs much, much less. Being able to spin the door in the stand will make working on it sooo much easier.

Image

With the door on the engine stand and the safe body on the many times reworked safe stand which can be moved with a pallet jack, I am very flexible to either work in the shop or outside on nice days.

Image

The first thing to do outside is to sandblast the door, inner panel, and the safe body. Blasting is always a miserable job but this Diebold was about as easy as it gets. No severe rusting and the old paint came off easily. Still tedious as there are always spots that you miss. Here she is bare ass naked.

Image

Once the paint is gone a few items of interest are revealed. The serial number is stamped into the upper hinge which matches the number on the door handle.

Image

Image

Some other sets of numbers were stamped into the upper frame. I wasn't able to decipher them into any thing useful. Some parts of the safe are bolted together from the inside, evidence of the bolts are under the paint. There is also quite a grain to the surface of the door and the angles on the corners of the safe. All blasted surfaces get wire wheeled to remove blasting grit, washed with prep solvent and treated to a couple coats of epoxy primer. All will require filler in order to get a smooth show quality paint job.

Image

Image

While blasting is the worst part of the project, next time we will take on the second worst part... the bodywork. Uhgg, I am starting to despise bodywork.
It is time... stand up for a constitutional America. Without it, we have shed blood in vain.
Next

Return to Safes, Strongboxes & Combination Locks

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: CommonCrawl [Bot]

Don't forget to visit our sponsors for all of your lockpicking needs!
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Grop
"CA Black" theme designed by stsoftware