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Antique Safes/Expert Profile

Terry V. Andreasen (Andy)

On Vacation
returns 08/10/2015

Safe and Vault related Questions; Antique Safe Repair and Restoration; With over 40 years in the Safe & Vault industry, if I can't answer your question I know where to get the answer. Current Project: Restoration of two Tilton & McFarland Safes from the 1860's. Will answer Safe & Vault related questions concerning age, value, restoration, moving, opening & repairing, parts, operation and history. Note: It is not my intention to teach you to open safes or to provide information which may aid in the unlawful opening of a safe. I will not give out drill points or information which I deem inappropriate.

Experience in the area

40 years in the Safe & Vault Industry. Service Manager for one of the largest Safe & Vault companies on the West Coast. Graduate of Lockmasters Safe Lock Servicing, Safe lock Manipulation and Safe Deposit Lock Courses. Graduate of Locksmith Institute. Certified Instructor for the California Locksmith Association teaching Basic and Advanced Lock Servicing, Basic Safe opening and Repairing. Factory Trained by AMSEC, LORD Safes, LeFebure, Mosler, KabaMas, LaGard and Sargent & Greenleaf


Safecrackers International and the National Antique Safe Association


Graduate of Locksmith Institute 1972 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Lock Servicing 1974 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Lock Manipulation 1975 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Deposit Lock Servicing 1985 Instructor Certified - California Locksmith Association - 1985 Factory trained by AMSEC, MAJOR, STAR, Johnson-Pacific, Kaba-MAS, Allied-Gary, ISM, Lord, Brown Safe, EXL, Mosler, Diebold.

Awards and Honors

2009 - 2013 Listed in AllExperts top 50 Experts. All Experts Categories - Safes & Security Containers, Locksmithing, Antique Safes. Retired US Army Chief Warrant Officer (CW4), with 39 years of total service. With numerous awards from Vietnam, Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. US Navy - 1971-1981 US Army Reserve 1984-2013 US Army Retired

Past/Present Clients

US Secret Service, FBI, BATF, Local Law enforcment agencies, Diebold, Hamilton Pacific, Red Hawk Int., Chubb International, Bank of America, Wells Fargo Bank, Mechanics Bank, El Dorado Savings Bank, many Credit unions and smaller banks. McDonalds, Togos, BurgerKing, TacoBell, Carls Jr. FoodMaxx, SaveMart, Lucky's, Albertson's, Raley's, Safeway, NobHill, Bell Markets, PW Markets. Great America, Century Theatres, Cinemark Theatres, UA Cinemas, and many homeowners and small businesses. Provide warranty service for lock and safe manufactures. Service area is Northern California - Fresno to Oregon, including western Nevada

What do you like about this subject?

This has been more than a hobby for almost 40 years, it is more like a passion. I enjoy researching the antique safes and the histories of the manufactures. This isn't just a career for me, it is a lifestyle.

What do you still hope to achieve/learn in this field?

I would like to pass on some of my passion for the older safes to the younger generations, while at the same time providing consumer awareness for the current fire and burglary standards that they should be using to protect their valuables. Currently working on a "guide to antique safes" which will list most of the known manufactures from the mid 1800's through the early 1900's.

Something interesting about this subject that others may not know:

Knowledge of the antique safes is dying off rapidly. Locksmiths and safemen who are new to the industry don't want to take the time to learn the rich heritage of their profession. The older safemen are not passing on this history and it is fast becoming lost.

Something controversial or provocative about this subject

Unfortunately the only safes that most people see are the el-cheapo's from the discount stores. It is really pleasing to find people with older safes that want to restore them to their original grandeur. Part of my goal is to educate you on what kinds of protection a real burglary safe or fire safe will provide to make you an informed consumer.

Average Ratings

Recent Reviews from Users

Read More Comments

    K = Knowledgeability    C = Clarity of Response    P = Politeness
David07/29/15101010Thank you for answering my questions. Your .....
Margee' Morris07/25/15101010Thank you so much for responding.
Gus07/25/15101010Great expert, quick response and very knowledgable .....
Brian07/23/15101010Andy's insights are very helpful and his .....
Brian07/23/15101010Andy's responses were quick, professional and very .....

Recent Answers from Terry V. Andreasen (Andy)

2015-07-29 Antique York Safe & Lock Co. Safe:

Hi Scott,    I'm on vacation this week and will return next week, but I would be more than happy to look at your safe.     To answer, any questions I'll need to see photos of your safe .  You can send

2015-07-28 Victor Safe:

Hello David,    Very nice vault door.    I can guarantee you that the time lock is NOT active.    At most it would probably only have been able to lock for up to about 72 hours.    Even with a newer model

2015-07-26 my safe:

Hi Sarah,    While the National Safe & Lock Company was in business from 1883 until 1920, if you don't have any documentation, such as sales or shipping receipts from the maker - then you can't claim it

2015-07-24 York 2 drawer safe:

Hi Margee,    If it has drawers and not a door, then it is NOT a safe, regardless of if it has a combination lock attached.    First problem as York was acquired by Diebold in about 1945, and the label

2015-07-23 York Safe and Lock Co - info on safe:

Hi Brian,    even mentioning companies like "Sentry" and First Alert (SISCO) in the same sentence with AMSEC would be kind of like comparing a clown car to a Lamborghini!    You are correct there are a


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