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S&G 6804 7-lever safe lock (many pics)

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madsamurai

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Post Tue Feb 28, 2017 5:16 pm

S&G 6804 7-lever safe lock (many pics)

Picked up a new Sargent & Greenleaf 6804, and of course I had to take it apart... I was especially curious to see how they could make a lever lock with a changeable combination, and wanted to see how it all works. Thought some of you might be curious as well, so I took pictures as I went along to share.
The way it works, is you put the key in and turn to the open position, then loosen a screw that is revealed on the back which allows you to turn the key further to 180º and remove it, put in a new key and turn back to the stop position, tighten the screw, and then remove the new key which now opens the lock. Sounds like it would require some pretty complicated mechanics to allow levers to be changed, but it's actually a very simple design...

Here's the lock, key hole on the front, and the back showing the revealed change screw (in the open position. it is hidden when locked.)
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Overview of the inside with the lid removed, you can see the lever stack on the right side and what I'm going to call the Post Stack on the left, as it is not a traditional solid post like I've seen in other lever locks.
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Closer view of the working parts...
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From this next shot, you can see clearly the post stack, which is how this lock is able to be changed to a new key. When the change screw is loosened, it allows the post wafers to slide independently, then is locked back down to create the new combination. All of the levers are actually exactly the same, it's just the wafers in the post itself that are changed. The top of the screw is visible in the small metal retaining block between two static alignment pins.
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These next two give a better view of the anti-picking protection... good number of false gates, especially if you overset, and a notch in the post wafers that will catch the nubs in-between the false gates. Looks like a challenging pick...
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Here's with the levers removed, showing the bolt and the trunnion underneath, in closed and open position
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Here's with the bolt removed
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Back of the bolt, with the change screw. Loosening the screw not only releases the post wafers, but also creates a gap under the screw head that allows the bolt to move just a little further and lets the key move to the 180º change position.
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And here are the levers all laid out... they're all exactly the same.
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An interesting note about the key... I noticed there are a lot more bitting cuts than there should be for only 7 levers. Looking close, I noticed the bitting cuts toward the tip are cast, not cut. Turns out they're completely decorative... The actual bitting is just the first seven cuts, the additional bitting does absolutely nothing... it could just as well not be there at all. There's no internal warding or anything to explain it. The only thing I can figure is it's there to make the key look more complex/secure to customers...
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So there you have it... much simpler than I expected, but still a pretty smart solution to make levers rekeyable. Hope you enjoyed :)
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Patrick Star

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Post Tue Feb 28, 2017 6:05 pm

Re: S&G 6804 7-lever safe lock (many pics)

Perhaps dumb question, but isn't the extra part of the key what actually tensions the lock?
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madsamurai

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Post Tue Feb 28, 2017 6:18 pm

Re: S&G 6804 7-lever safe lock (many pics)

Yes, just the very end tho... my point was the extra cuts aren't necessary or functional in any way... everything to the right of my green bracket could be just zero-bitted and it would work the same. It's possible it has some use in the 6805, which is the non-key-retaining version of this lock and uses the same blank.
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ratlock

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Post Sat Apr 01, 2017 7:20 pm

Re: S&G 6804 7-lever safe lock (many pics)

Thanks for posting the picks
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Oldfast

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OldddffAASSTT the Spin Master Extraordinaire and American Lock Slayer
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Post Tue Apr 04, 2017 10:31 pm

Re: S&G 6804 7-lever safe lock (many pics)

Great break-down. And very impressive on the tool & pick HERE
No doubt exciting for you - making the tool & successful pick!
" Enjoy the journey AS MUCH as the destination."
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madsamurai

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Post Wed Apr 05, 2017 12:53 am

Re: S&G 6804 7-lever safe lock (many pics)

Oldfast wrote:Great break-down. And very impressive on the tool & pick HERE
No doubt exciting for you - making the tool & successful pick!

Thanks, Oldfast! I appreciate the compliment. It was a lot of fun making that pick. I was an apprentice machinist/moldmaker back in the day, but hadn't worked with metals for years so it was fun to revisit those skills. It was surprising to me how precise I could still be with a hand file. Soldering/brazing metals is a new thing, tho, and I kinda went overkill at first with that... so wasted some brass there, but got it figured out so now it's pretty easy.
It's a different sort of satisfaction when you pick a lock with something you've made yourself. It's a much more intimate process than just buying a pick and picking... It's the same for me with fly fishing - a whole different level of intimacy when you start tying your own flies and fooling trout with them :) I feel like I really know this lock now. And I need to go fishing...
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Gary

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Post Sun May 22, 2022 1:36 am

Re: S&G 6804 7-lever safe lock (many pics)

Hi madsamurai, I enjoyed reading your posts about the 6804 and your 2-in-1 tool...it helps me and other fellow entheusiasts pick your brain, no pun intended. I purchased a locked Amsec safe recently and the manufacturer can't tell me when it was made or which locks were installed because they didn't keep records before 1997, it's a CF model which is a TL-30...it was probably made between 1985-1997. It has two separate locks, a group 2 S&G spyproof dial combination lock that I was able to manipulate (tried AWL and got nothing, then I got it unlocked going AWR), and an unknown lever lock that might be a 6804 or 6870. I don't have a borescope to see if it's a 7 lever or 9 lever but I'd rather pick it than drill it. Will your 2-in-1 tool work in both 6804 and 6870? Aside from single/double bitted, do the keys share the same tensioner height? If so, the pick tensioner is 3/16" and the pick lever of .78mm/.030" should work on either lock, correct? There's a tool in China for $50 that I'm tempted to buy, see pictures attached. Thanks! Gary.
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MartinHewitt

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Post Sun May 22, 2022 7:24 am

Re: S&G 6804 7-lever safe lock (many pics)

The size of the keys are different and so the size of the tools too. The tip of the 6804 is just round while the tip of the 6870 has cavities. This difference can be seen in the look too if you look inside. The 6804 is much easier to pick than the 6870 and worth a try.
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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Gary

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Post Sun Jun 05, 2022 3:02 am

Re: S&G 6804 7-lever safe lock (many pics)

Thanks for your reply Martin. It's not a 6804. Do you recognize this gate shape? Is it the 6870? My endoscope does not have 90 degree view but I think there are 5 gates on one side and 4 gates on the other side.
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MartinHewitt

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Post Sun Jun 05, 2022 8:23 am

Re: S&G 6804 7-lever safe lock (many pics)

This is a 68x0. What exactly depends on the number of levers and the country. In the US the 6870 is the by far most common. The orientation of the lever is somehow random, but I think it follows rules, e.g. not more than 2 in a row on one side. Or they have a list of allowed orientations and pick one on assembly. RB makes (or made) a 2-in-1 pick. Of course it is possible also to make it your own if your have the skills. The tip is quite small and needs a stand a lot of torque. Picking with these tools is VERY difficult. There are also a few decoders on the market. One of these costs probably more than your safe is worth. And it is still not really easy with them.
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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10ringo10

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Post Sun Jun 05, 2022 12:07 pm

Re: S&G 6804 7-lever safe lock (many pics)

The 6804 (or 6805, 6824, 6825) is a user-rekeyable lever lock made by Sargent & Greenleaf. It is one of the few keyed safe locks made by Sargent & Greenleaf, and one of the few lever locks that can be rekeyed without disassembly of the lock mechanism.


The 6800 series is based heavily on the S&G 4500 safe deposit box lock.
Contents [hide]
1 Sargent & Greenleaf 6800
1.1 Principles of operation
1.2 Model variations
1.3 Key change instruction

1.5 Vulnerability
( possible to remove stumps retaining screw and replace if sacrificed )
Key notes

Principles of operation
The 6800 series of locks use seven levers which interface with stumps set at various heights. Unlike traditional lever locks, the bellies, true gates, and false gates are identical on all levers. Differing in the 6800 series is provided by varied positions of the stumps, which can be set to many positions, though factory keying recognizes six positions for the 6804/6824 and eight positions for the 6805/6825. This allows 279,936 (67) theoretical key differs in the 6804/6824, and 2,097,152 (87) in the 6805/6825.


Levers themselves have one true gate and three false gates. All levers have identical conning on their bellies to facilitate proper operation of the key and protect against various forms of decoding. Levers also have an enclosed belly to prevent access to other parts of the lock. The stumps are L shaped pieces of brass to the left of the levers. Stumps are set at different heights to provide differing. When the key is changed, stumps are loosened from their position and allowed to slide to conform to the new key's bitting.
The key itself has fourteen bitting positions, with cut 14 being at the tip of the key. Positions 13 and 14 engage the drive disc which grabs the bolt talon to retract the bolt. Positions 3-9 are bitting positions that interact with the levers. Positions 1, 2, 10, 11, and 12 are not used.[1]

The 6804 key.

Levers and bolt in locked position.

Levers and bolt in unlocked position.
Model variations
There are several models of the 6800, differing on whether they are key-retaining and the number of bitting surfaces:[2]
6804: Key retaining, single bitted
6824: Key retaining, double bitted
6805: Non-key retaining, single bitted
6825: Non-key retaining, double bitted
Key change instructions
6804/6824​[3]
Insert working key and rotate clockwise.
Turn the fence clamp screw on the back of the lock four times counterclockwise with the change wrench.
Rotate the working key clockwise and remove it.
Insert new key and rotate counterclockwise until it stops.
Tighten the fence clamp screw four times clockwise.
Rotate key counterclockwise and remove the key.
Test the new key.
6805/6825​[4]
Insert working key and rotate 180° clockwise then remove the key. Single bitted keys (6805) should be inserted with key bitting facing the bolt.
Turn the fence clamp screw on the back of the lock four times counterclockwise with the change wrench.
Insert the new key
Tighten the fence clamp screw four times clockwise.
Rotate key counterclockwise and remove the key.
Test the new key.

BEST TO MAKE SIDE NOTES OF KEY POINTS

1. Rekeyable due to the L shaped brass stumps that can move to 6 or 8 different heights ... See key bitting check heights
2. Not possible to decode levers as all the same
3. Only the 3/4/5/6/7/8/9 cuts on key touch the levers and line up with those stumps
4. What do the lever bellys look like on double and single bittings S & G locks !

Checking levers is important to see inside a lock ( what's this lock ) and can I identify it this way . ! Well it is Very difficult as there usually deep inside and need a scope with light . Single bittings usually show up as uniformed and are all lined up with no gaps compared to a double bitted key lock the gaps appear between levers as levers are on both sides .. Making them far more difficult to pick open that's why it's important to use the correct safe tool pick for the job ....and cost alot of money.

Ringo
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madsamurai

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Post Sat Jun 11, 2022 8:52 pm

Re: S&G 6804 7-lever safe lock (many pics)

Hey guys, sorry I haven't been checking in so much lately...

So, the pick size for the 6804 and 6870 is very close to the same, I just had to make things a teensy bit thinner to fit the 6870, and as martin said there needs to be two slots cut at the end to fit all the way. I have successfully picked the 6804 a number of times. I have not picked the 6870 yet, after many hours of trying. They are a lot more different than you'd expect. The issue is that the fence (the adjustable 'stumps') is allowed to move just a bit. That along with seriously deep false gates makes it nearly impossible, at least for me. I haven't heard of anyone else picking the 6870, but that doesn't mean it hasn't been done.

I'll try and get some pictures up of the modifications I made to the pick. The pick does work, but even so you're up against a beast.
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MartinHewitt

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Post Sun Jun 12, 2022 8:52 am

Re: S&G 6804 7-lever safe lock (many pics)

I have picked the 6880, which should be the same as the 6870 besides certification, and I know someone else that picked the 6880. It is IMHO the most difficult of the modern locks that do not have advanced anti-pick technology. The 680x is much easier to pick.
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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madsamurai

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Post Sun Jun 12, 2022 9:10 pm

Re: S&G 6804 7-lever safe lock (many pics)

MartinHewitt wrote:I have picked the 6880, which should be the same as the 6870 besides certification, and I know someone else that picked the 6880. It is IMHO the most difficult of the modern locks that do not have advanced anti-pick technology. The 680x is much easier to pick.

Well, if anyone had done it, I would have assumed it had been you :)
My understanding was the 6870 was the key-retaining version and the 6880 is non-retaining, similar to the 6804/6805, but I could be mistaken.
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MartinHewitt

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Post Mon Jun 13, 2022 12:01 am

Re: S&G 6804 7-lever safe lock (many pics)

The 6880 has the EN1300 sticker and as such it must be key retaining. The 6870 has the UL sticker. I don't think there is a technical difference. They could be only not key retaining if the programming mode is always active like in some dormakaba Vary Flex, which are used for hotel safes.
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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