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Helping restore an old Post Office & Court House

Having read the FAQ's you are still unfulfilled and seek more enlightenment, so post your general questions here.

Moderators: zeke79, Squelchtone

Helping restore an old Post Office & Court House

Postby RestoreJoe » Tue May 29, 2012 5:03 am

The safes were a standard in most post offices. Built by Schwab Safe Co 1931. There's USPS bar code on the safes. Our locksmith had no luck finding any by contacting the company. I'll try to find out any new information that is needed to help track down the missing parts. Help point me in the right direction!
Sorry the cat is fast.

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Re: Helping restore an old Post Office & Court House

Postby Evan » Tue May 29, 2012 5:19 am

RestoreJoe wrote:The safes were a standard in most post offices. Built by Schwab Safe Co 1931. There's USPS bar code on the safes. Our locksmith had no luck finding any by contacting the company. I'll try to find out any new information that is needed to help track down the missing parts. Help point me in the right direction!
Sorry the cat is fast.

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@RestoreJoe:

I would recommend that you find the next better and biggest safe expert in your area to take a look at your safes...

The USPS barcodes on the safes were no doubt just asset control tags to allow for the CMMS system to record maintenance activities and combination changes on the safes and allow for that information to be entered into the computer for documentation purposes...

A real safe expert will be able to look at what parts are missing and whether or not something off the shelf can be adapted to replace what is missing or you are looking at having to have special replacement parts machined especially for that safe by a machinist...

~~ Evan
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Re: Helping restore an old Post Office & Court House

Postby MacGyver101 » Tue May 29, 2012 7:20 am

It's a bit hard to tell from the photos -- but it doesn't look like much more than the dial and combination lock body are missing. From what I can see, there don't seem to be any relockers (and thus no relocker plate to worry about), and the mounting screws are still even there. It doesn't look like you need much more than a new lock... and it looks like whatever was there previously was pretty close to a standard template. (If so, then just about any modern combination safe lock could go back on there and work?)

If your locksmith couldn't help with that, though, then I'm sensing that I'm missing something. (Which I'm sure one of our folks here who's far more experienced with servicing vaults will quickly point out...) :)

You may also want to try the folks at antique-locks.com: there are a bunch of regular posters there with intimate knowledge of some of those older vaults.
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Re: Helping restore an old Post Office & Court House

Postby cledry » Tue May 29, 2012 10:06 am

I would see how close a modern S&G fits the screws and spindle hole. Spindle hole is pretty much not moveable but the other holes can be filled and tapped for a new bolt pattern if needed.
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Re: Helping restore an old Post Office & Court House

Postby gibson » Tue May 29, 2012 7:18 pm

looking at an old book put out by the locksmith ledger, reed maual of safes, the schwab safe used a sargent & greenleaf lock #6735, or a yale #oc9-km. the way to find out who made the safe for schwab is to take pictures of the dial of the safe, the handle, and the hinges. the old companies were pretty distinctive in the style of hardware that they used, and can help in identification. check out SAVTA (safe and vault technicians association) , they might have a listed member nearby you that might help in your restoration.
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