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Replacing Internal Lock

Family Law Discussion Forum

Replacing Internal Lock

Postby Florentino » Wed Nov 30, 2016 5:25 pm

Front of safe  

I recently acquired my wife’s Dad’s old ACME safe – he bought it used in the 1950’s.  Opened several times a year.

It has a four tumbler combination.

It has worked fine all those years and seems to be smooth acting right now. Should it be serviced? I am very mechanical, good with locks,  and am tempted to clean it up but don’t want to damage it or event oil it.

I believe I can remove the door with the lock mechanism and bring it to a safe store, even ACME is nearby. Or are there old safe specialist in the NYC area?

Or should I just leave it alone ?

Thanks for any advice.

Gary VanderPutten ANSWER: Gary,

This would have been an interior chest in another safe.  Did you receive it this way, or remove it?

The older safes like yours had very fine workmanship.  As a result they work well for many years longer than most newer safes with longer intervals between servicing.  That doesn't mean that they don't need servicing, on the contrary - to keep one of these older units in as nice a shape as the day it left the factory, it should be serviced regularly - even if you don't use it often.

If you are using it every day, then I would recommend annual maintenance.  If you are only useing it occasionally, then probably once ever 3 to 5 years would be enough.  The caveate would of course be to have it checked out immediately if a problem appears.

A couple of reasons would include the fact that you want it to last another 200 years as a family heirloom, and the fact that replacement parts are probably not available.

Acme should have a service department that can clean lube and service the door, lock and bolt work.  Another good company in the NY area is Empire Safe.

If you do decide to do the cleaning and servicing yourself - DO NOT close and lock the door until after you have made sure that it works correctly.  By doing it yourself, you assume all responsibility for the work.

Disassembly - lay out the pieces in the order you remove them.  Don't turn them over or in any way get them out of sequence.  One piece out of order will keep the safe from operating, and can result in an expensive lockout.

Reassembly - after cleaning and lubing, reassemble in the reverse order of disassembly.  Do not force anything, if it doesn't fit, something is not right!

Lubrication - most of the lock parts don't need much lubrication.  I use "TriFlow" to clean and lubricate.  As brass is a "self lubricating metal" it doesn't need a lot.  The teflon in the TriFlow will penetrate the pores of the metal - wipe of any excess, the metal should be clean and dry.

There are some bearing surfaces that do require a little more lubrication.  I use an inexpensive lithium white grease for these areas.  I don't use a really expensive grease because I recommend annual maintenance and so I don't care if the lubricant will last 50 years or not.  I can't go over all of the different lubrication areas of your safe and lock, so you will have to use your best judgement - just remember that "less is more".

Lubricant tends to be a dust magnet.  Any debris that is collected into the lubricant becomes more of a grinding compound than a lubricant.  This is one of the reasons it is important to remove the old lubricant on a regular basis.

Hope this gives you some ideas and help.

Andy

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------door open  

Andy,

I am back with another followup question. The safe is really working fine, Triflowed,  and cleaned up well, and I even sanded and repainted it(the original paint was long gone and had been repainted and relabeled). It has been a rewarding project and it is a useful device. Love the mechanics of it(disassembled it entirely and cleaned each piece). I have since discovered that it is a Herring Hall Marvin(faintly on the dial) safe with a Hall lock(your call, and a good one).

Anyway, there is an interior compartment door with holes for a lock and key, with 2&3/16" mounts and 5/8's key hole. I was wondering if you knew where I could find an original or suitable replacement.

Thanks again

Gary

Thanks again for your help and advice ANSWER: Gary,

Nice job!  Your entire safe was an "interior" safe at one time.  The interior that is in your safe is not original.  This Jewelers chest was probably removed at one time from another safe for what ever reason.  The safe company or owner at that time probably wanted the interior compartments.

I would need a more precise "foot print" of the lock to come up with a replacement, or an idea for a replacement.

When drawing the foot print, start from the open edge of the door.  Use this as your reference edge for all measurements.  Once I have the foot print schematic I can start looking for a replacement lock.

andy

[email protected]

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------Lock foot print  

Andy, See attached.

Thanks,

Gary
Florentino
 
Posts: 40
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2014 2:05 pm

Replacing Internal Lock

Postby Robin » Sat Dec 03, 2016 12:57 am

Front of safe  

I recently acquired my wife’s Dad’s old ACME safe – he bought it used in the 1950’s.  Opened several times a year.

It has a four tumbler combination.

It has worked fine all those years and seems to be smooth acting right now. Should it be serviced? I am very mechanical, good with locks,  and am tempted to clean it up but don’t want to damage it or event oil it.

I believe I can remove the door with the lock mechanism and bring it to a safe store, even ACME is nearby. Or are there old safe specialist in the NYC area?

Or should I just leave it alone ?

Thanks for any advice.

Gary VanderPutten ANSWER: Gary,

This would have been an interior chest in another safe.  Did you receive it this way, or remove it?

The older safes like yours had very fine workmanship.  As a result they work well for many years longer than most newer safes with longer intervals between servicing.  That doesn't mean that they don't need servicing, on the contrary - to keep one of these older units in as nice a shape as the day it left the factory, it should be serviced regularly - even if you don't use it often.

If you are using it every day, then I would recommend annual maintenance.  If you are only useing it occasionally, then probably once ever 3 to 5 years would be enough.  The caveate would of course be to have it checked out immediately if a problem appears.

A couple of reasons would include the fact that you want it to last another 200 years as a family heirloom, and the fact that replacement parts are probably not available.

Acme should have a service department that can clean lube and service the door, lock and bolt work.  Another good company in the NY area is Empire Safe.

If you do decide to do the cleaning and servicing yourself - DO NOT close and lock the door until after you have made sure that it works correctly.  By doing it yourself, you assume all responsibility for the work.

Disassembly - lay out the pieces in the order you remove them.  Don't turn them over or in any way get them out of sequence.  One piece out of order will keep the safe from operating, and can result in an expensive lockout.

Reassembly - after cleaning and lubing, reassemble in the reverse order of disassembly.  Do not force anything, if it doesn't fit, something is not right!

Lubrication - most of the lock parts don't need much lubrication.  I use "TriFlow" to clean and lubricate.  As brass is a "self lubricating metal" it doesn't need a lot.  The teflon in the TriFlow will penetrate the pores of the metal - wipe of any excess, the metal should be clean and dry.

There are some bearing surfaces that do require a little more lubrication.  I use an inexpensive lithium white grease for these areas.  I don't use a really expensive grease because I recommend annual maintenance and so I don't care if the lubricant will last 50 years or not.  I can't go over all of the different lubrication areas of your safe and lock, so you will have to use your best judgement - just remember that "less is more".

Lubricant tends to be a dust magnet.  Any debris that is collected into the lubricant becomes more of a grinding compound than a lubricant.  This is one of the reasons it is important to remove the old lubricant on a regular basis.

Hope this gives you some ideas and help.

Andy

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------door open  

Andy,

I am back with another followup question. The safe is really working fine, Triflowed,  and cleaned up well, and I even sanded and repainted it(the original paint was long gone and had been repainted and relabeled). It has been a rewarding project and it is a useful device. Love the mechanics of it(disassembled it entirely and cleaned each piece). I have since discovered that it is a Herring Hall Marvin(faintly on the dial) safe with a Hall lock(your call, and a good one).

Anyway, there is an interior compartment door with holes for a lock and key, with 2&3/16" mounts and 5/8's key hole. I was wondering if you knew where I could find an original or suitable replacement.

Thanks again

Gary

Thanks again for your help and advice ANSWER: Gary,

Nice job!  Your entire safe was an "interior" safe at one time.  The interior that is in your safe is not original.  This Jewelers chest was probably removed at one time from another safe for what ever reason.  The safe company or owner at that time probably wanted the interior compartments.

I would need a more precise "foot print" of the lock to come up with a replacement, or an idea for a replacement.

When drawing the foot print, start from the open edge of the door.  Use this as your reference edge for all measurements.  Once I have the foot print schematic I can start looking for a replacement lock.

andy

[email protected]

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------Lock foot print  

Andy, See attached.

Thanks,

Gary
Robin
 
Posts: 29
Joined: Tue Apr 01, 2014 3:46 am

Replacing Internal Lock

Postby Carrington » Fri Dec 09, 2016 12:52 am

Gary,

Is the hole pattern inside of the door where the lock actually sits the same as the outside?  or are there other holes as well?

Note:  This website only allows a limited amount of questions per subject, so if you get a kickback or it informs you that you have hit the limit, start a new question or email me directly.

Andy
Carrington
 
Posts: 42
Joined: Thu Feb 20, 2014 2:40 am


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