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New member - also looking for manipulation tips

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simvbel111

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Post Thu Feb 13, 2020 6:56 pm

New member - also looking for manipulation tips

Hello everyone,

I just joined today, I'm from Canada and a complete novice in manipulation. There is an old family safe that no one can open so I decided to give it a try. So far it is pretty frustrating, I have spend 4 hours playing with the wheels but no matter what I do I can only find one contact point. I did AWL, AWR, started playing with the wheels to try to find a low point to lower the cam nose but I am having no success. Anyone know a tip?

The safe is an old 1940s Protectall with a Protectall lock too, I attached a picture
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MartinHewitt

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Post Thu Feb 13, 2020 7:17 pm

Re: New member - also looking for manipulation tips

Maybe there is just one contact point and you can't find a second. It depends on the lock. What is the diameter of the dial ring? What is the distance center dial to center "handle"? Do you hear any gear sounds?
In case you wonder ... Martin Hewitt is a fictional detective in stories by Arthur Morrison:
Martin Hewitt, Investigator Chronicles of Martin Hewitt
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simvbel111

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Post Thu Feb 13, 2020 7:37 pm

Re: New member - also looking for manipulation tips

Dial size is 2.5 inches or 6cm and center to center distance is 4 inches or 10cm.

There is no gear sound but I'm not sure if I'm experienced enough to distinguish something like that. I would say the mechanism is rather silent except when I pick up the first wheel there is a little grinding which I think it is the fence riding on the wheel. It happens from the right or the left but after I pick up the second wheel I won't hear that sound anymore.

Do the dial size and distance mean anything?
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MartinHewitt

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Post Thu Feb 13, 2020 8:00 pm

Re: New member - also looking for manipulation tips

The distances give an indication of the lock's size. My guess is, that there is a viewtopic.php?f=100&t=10451&p=95827 inside. The gears in locks have a whirring sound. It would probably be obvious if you would hear it. The lock I have linked has no gears. You can check with wheel pickup if it indeed has three wheels. It should have two contact points in theory, but the right contact point (CP) is stronger then the left CP. (Right CP means a contact on the right side of the gate which is on a higher number then the left CP.) As you can only feel one CP, then do your manipulation with that one. In the course of manipulation the second one might appear. With this type of lock I suggest also to note approximately how strong the CP is. A stronger CP is better, a weaker or no CP worse.
In case you wonder ... Martin Hewitt is a fictional detective in stories by Arthur Morrison:
Martin Hewitt, Investigator Chronicles of Martin Hewitt
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simvbel111

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Post Thu Feb 13, 2020 8:38 pm

Re: New member - also looking for manipulation tips

I've been trying to research the safe and I think it is pre-Mosler, The dial itself is branded Protectall, Syracuse.

As you say I think I have the RCP, it is a strong one, very audible and feelable in the dial.
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MartinHewitt

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Post Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:48 pm

Re: New member - also looking for manipulation tips

There are two interesting threads heare:
viewtopic.php?p=119135#p119135
viewtopic.php?f=100&t=12797&p=117886

It seems Protectall started with Yale 0700. That is in the first link. Later on it switched to Mosler locks. The safe in the second link looks really like yours. It has a Yale 0700, even so Squelchtone expected a Mosler. The Mosler 101 was already in production in the 40s, so it would fit. Because you can feel only one CP I think the Mosler is more likely.

But in any case you can only work with what you have, i.e. one CP.
In case you wonder ... Martin Hewitt is a fictional detective in stories by Arthur Morrison:
Martin Hewitt, Investigator Chronicles of Martin Hewitt
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simvbel111

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Posts: 13

Joined: Thu Feb 13, 2020 6:30 pm

Post Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:41 pm

Re: New member - also looking for manipulation tips

Yes very good links, the second link is definitely the same time period and the dial looks identical.

So you think it is a Mosler after all, interesting information. It gives me more leads to research.

I have another question, pretty basic but is it normal that wheel pick up are staggered by 5? For example, if I AWL to 0 when I do my full turn right I pick up the first wheel at 5, so just short of a full turn, second at 10 and third at 15.
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MartinHewitt

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Post Thu Feb 13, 2020 11:11 pm

Re: New member - also looking for manipulation tips

The combination is set on both locks by moving pins around the dial. Once the combination is set all these pins are fixed to the wheel while dialing in the combination. Because these pins do have a diameter the contact the other way round is less than one full turn. So yes, for these locks it is normal. In modern locks one pin per wheel is movable and you normally have to turn the dial a bit more than a full turn to get the pickup.

PS: Nope! The Mosler seems to be actually mesh change and has a movable fly. So unless there is also an older version of the Mosler with pins your lock must be a Yale 0700.
In case you wonder ... Martin Hewitt is a fictional detective in stories by Arthur Morrison:
Martin Hewitt, Investigator Chronicles of Martin Hewitt
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simvbel111

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Post Thu Feb 13, 2020 11:49 pm

Re: New member - also looking for manipulation tips

Ok, awesome, thx for your knowledge, it is giving me some direction. So it seems it is a friction fence lock (I'm reading the National Locksmith) so it is normal I only have one contact point. It is starting to make sense, I was getting a little frustrated.
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MartinHewitt

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Post Fri Feb 14, 2020 12:23 am

Re: New member - also looking for manipulation tips

No, it is not a friction fence lock. The Yale has a standard spring loaded lever. The Mosler has a roller fence like a friction fence lock, but in this Mosler it is also spring loaded. You can see some friction fence locks here: viewtopic.php?f=100&t=12747
In case you wonder ... Martin Hewitt is a fictional detective in stories by Arthur Morrison:
Martin Hewitt, Investigator Chronicles of Martin Hewitt
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simvbel111

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Posts: 13

Joined: Thu Feb 13, 2020 6:30 pm

Post Fri Feb 14, 2020 1:04 pm

Re: New member - also looking for manipulation tips

Ok, as i was reading the description for friction locks it really seemed to describe how my lock was behaving.

So you still maintain it is a yale 0700?
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MartinHewitt

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Post Fri Feb 14, 2020 1:53 pm

Re: New member - also looking for manipulation tips

The Yale 0700 is just an educated guess.

Pro:
- In the other thread that safe had a Yale 0700.
- The wheel pick-up is with less than one turn, i.e. it can't have movable flies. The Yale doesn't have these and all Mosler candidates seem to have them. But possibly the flies are just stuck with old grease.

Con:
- You can feel only one CP, which points to a roller fence.

It is also possible that someone installed 20 years ago a completely different lock model.

The chance to find quickly a Yale 0700 are probably not that good. If you have already found one gate, then you just need to continue.
In case you wonder ... Martin Hewitt is a fictional detective in stories by Arthur Morrison:
Martin Hewitt, Investigator Chronicles of Martin Hewitt
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simvbel111

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Posts: 13

Joined: Thu Feb 13, 2020 6:30 pm

Post Fri Feb 14, 2020 4:07 pm

Re: New member - also looking for manipulation tips

In you experience is it possible to have two CP really close to each other? Everything i read suggest a spread of about 10 between CP but i think i hear CPs at 8 and 11. The one at 8 is barely audible.
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MartinHewitt

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Post Fri Feb 14, 2020 4:43 pm

Re: New member - also looking for manipulation tips

Normally not, but the Yale 0700 is an exception. The lock in this thread viewtopic.php?p=117920#p117920 has also CPs in the range of 8 and 11. So congratulations, you found your second CP and know which lock it is.
In case you wonder ... Martin Hewitt is a fictional detective in stories by Arthur Morrison:
Martin Hewitt, Investigator Chronicles of Martin Hewitt
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L4R3L2

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Post Sat Feb 15, 2020 4:00 am

Re: New member - also looking for manipulation tips

When you get to spinning, I would recommend putting some turning pressure on the handle shaft while manipulating in order to make your readings more consistent.
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