Friday, November 08, 2019

One man's junk...

There we were, on our usual stroll through the neighborhood, when we stumbled upon this safe. It looked the same as in the picture below, sans the stickers. It was in one piece and locked, but obviously discarded for some reason and left on the curb for anyone to pick up. If they could pick it up that is - that bitch is heavy!

I had to bring the car even though it was less than half a block away from our house - it's that heavy. I examined it and found it's in pretty good shape and didn't look busted. I then spent a couple of days researching the manufacturer and type to find out how to open it. Watched a few good videos on safe cracking and spent an afternoon turning the dial with the stethoscope firmly lodged in both ears. No sound whatsoever was coming out of that safe apart from a hiss produced by the dial turning. No clicks, no ticks, no ratcheting, no squeaks, and no tactile feedback either. I eventually gave up and decided to put it back on the curb, but not before I try to open it using more destructive methods :). For starters, I removed the back plate, expecting to find nothing but steel and concrete (the damn thing is built of steel and concrete, that's why it's so heavy). To my surprise, here's what I found:

Someone had done the destructive penetration already! As far as I can deduct what happened here, previous owners forgot the combination and called the locksmith to unlock it for them. The locksmith decided it's much easier to cut it open than to try to crack the combination, but he did it quite professionally by cutting a clear hole in the back. They took whatever was in the safe and tossed it to the curb. So that's it - this safe is now just heavy piece of junk. Not so fast!

The hole was big enough for me to reach inside, unscrew the plate that covers the lock mechanism, disassemble the lock and open the door.

From this point it was easy. I changed the combination, reassembled the lock, lubricated everything nicely and made a couple of enhancements to bolts and levers. The only thing remaining was to close the hole on the back of the safe, so I screwed a steel plate from the inside, poured concrete and put the back plate back on. Then I permanently bolted it to the walls of the house :).

A safe like this would easily cost us $1,000 and we certainly don't have enough valuables to justify that kind of expense. This way I got it for free while learning everything about its inner workings. Very cool, if you ask me.

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