View Full Version : Broken safe

11-12-2012, 1:20 PM
I have an older (20+years) centurion safe that will not open. It has a Sargent and Greenleaf combination lock. It is a three number combination which I know. I can hear the combination working as normal when I get to the second number, but when I get to the last number and then turn it toward zero, which usually engages and unlocks the mechanism, it catches as it should, but then slips, and does not allow the handle to be turned. My thought is call a locksmith, but I wanted to reach out to see if anyone had any ideas before I do that .

11-12-2012, 1:55 PM
Try pulling or pushing on the dial when entering the combination to get in to the safe, then don't lock it until you get it repaired or replaced (soon!).

11-12-2012, 1:56 PM
The sequence is:
Left to first number
Right past the second combo number twice then stop on the number on the third time. Then
Left past the second combo number once then stop on the third combo number.
Then turn right till the dial stops turning (Usually past 0)

You should be able to turn handle to open at this point.

11-12-2012, 2:47 PM
Work the latch back and forth a few times, then fully to lock. Then try the combo again.

Also, when it gets to the point where it just barely catches, try rapping on the door near the mechanism with a plastic or deadblow hammer.

Tank 57
11-12-2012, 2:48 PM
Call a locksmith.Make sure they are familiar with S&G locks.Sounds like something may have worn or loosened in door.

11-12-2012, 2:49 PM
Both did not work. thanks for the input. I know the combination and can hear and feel the tumbler drop on the 2nd number. It is just when I come back to the right toward zero after going left the third number. I can feel it catch as normal, but it slips off. i have watched a video on what I think the internal workings look like, and it would appear the hook that drops into the notch is only catching at the tip. best guess.

11-12-2012, 2:59 PM
rapping on the mechanism seemed to cause is to jump off. tried is several time with no luck.

11-12-2012, 3:13 PM
Put a HUGE speaker magnet below the dial where the latch is supposed to drop in. it might give it more pull.

11-12-2012, 5:48 PM
Used a magnetic automotive parts bowl in several locations around dial to no avail.

11-12-2012, 5:54 PM
Where are you located? Ive got a 650 ft lbs electric magnet you can use.

11-12-2012, 5:59 PM
I'm in Marysville, ca. Have you run into this problem before?

11-12-2012, 6:03 PM
I'm in Marysville, ca. Have you run into this problem before?

No, but I dont think those tray magnets will have enough umph to get through the steel of the safe.

Just trying to give you another option before paying a locksmith..

11-13-2012, 6:09 AM
Not a locksmith but I recently a S&G safe lock adventure. If you can feel the second "tumbler" drop into place the lock is broken. The arm that drops into the dials doesn't contact dials untill you turn dial to the right the final time.

On the final right turn does it free spin or grab and stop?

If it free spins the combination probably wasn't entered correctly. Try 1 digit higher and lower then the combination to see if it's just off a little.

If it grabs and stops on the last right the combo is doing its part and maybe the fail safe has somehow been engaged.

11-13-2012, 6:13 AM
Oh, Btw, a magnet wouldn't do anything on my S&G lock. The internals are brass/delrin.

11-13-2012, 6:41 AM
Damn, didnt even think of that.

11-13-2012, 6:23 PM
holesaw and jigsaw.

11-13-2012, 6:44 PM
First off, You should not be able to hear the tumbler in a S&G Lock.
They use wheels, what you hear is the weelpack reset. I would also try dailing the numbers over or under by 1/2 to a whole # and play around with it a few times.

I am a California Licensed locksmith and have opened many safes with S&G locks on them. If you want to send me a PM I will do my best to help you, Sometimes pictures of the safe willl give me a better idea of how to open it. I am in Sacramento so its possbile I could come out and help you if needed. Safe openings are usually pretty expensive by a locksmith. I will try to help you over the pics if I can

11-13-2012, 7:20 PM
Thanks for all the responses! Here are some pictures of the safe.

11-13-2012, 8:19 PM
Before starting your final right turn, try applying pressure on the handle to open safe while turning dial right.

11-14-2012, 11:19 AM
^^^ do not put pressure on the handle. That will work against opening the lock.