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Thread: Repost of a old project

  1. #1
    Boolit Master

    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
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    Repost of a old project

    I always thought this was a cool project, and thought some of the newer members might like to see it.

    While working at the safe company:
    As the fabricator, and the duly assigned---- 'crotchety, old, bald headed, fat guy' back there in the shop....

    I got to do all the unusual projects, build proto-types, do restorations, and things nobody else could or would do.
    One of them several years ago was this big, old, 6,000-odd pound safe.

    It was acquired years ago by a govt. agency to store their Gold bullion,
    important papers, and the printing plates for their money and postage stamps,

    It was found and brought from one museum, run through my shop, destined for display in another museum.
    The custodians didn't want it made to look new, they wanted it to be returned to be fully functional,
    and look like it did when it was in use 'back in its day'.

    Our locksmith guru, and myself got it open, the locks and doors back to working condition.
    We only used hand tools and materials to do the re-condition work and repairs that were available when it was new.
    We got it in & out of my shop in 3 days, and is now on display in Ft. Worth, Texas.

    Almost forgot to mention----
    It was originally in Richmond, Virginia, and its previous owner was the Confederate States of America.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Winger Ed.; 04-28-2021 at 03:04 PM.
    Political Correctness and the cancel culture is only allowed to exist because of the coward culture.


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  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy
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    That's pretty nifty!

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy

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    That's pretty cool. Was it made from cast iron or some type of plate steel?

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by zarrinvz24 View Post
    That's pretty cool. Was it made from cast iron or some type of plate steel?
    There is some castings at the base that holds the wheels- which are also cast,
    and the brackets that hold the side handles, but the rest is plate steel.
    The thin pieces are at least 1/2" thick.

    Ya can't get a scale from the pictures, but its over 6' tall, almost 3' deep, and at least 5' wide.
    Political Correctness and the cancel culture is only allowed to exist because of the coward culture.


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    In life: We are given tests, and learn lessons.

  5. #5
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    Things sure change. The exposed hinges would be a safe cracker's dream, I would think.

    DG

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Der Gebirgsjager View Post
    Things sure change. The exposed hinges would be a safe cracker's dream, I would think.

    DG
    Even now, the heaviest, and highest level of security safes have outside hinges.
    The doors fit into a recessed frame, with a tolerance all the way around that isn't much wider than your driver's license is thick.

    When closed, the bolts 'throw', and hold it in there.
    If there isn't moving, or stationary bolts on the hinge side,
    there will at least be a rebate bar on the inside of the door that swings in and traps itself behind the door frame.

    Just being able to cut off the hinges, and the door falls off---- is just a myth.

    Back in those days, the bad guys would use one of two ways to open one:
    1. A pistol held behind the ear of whoever could open it.
    2. Bore a hole in it, pour in some nitro-glycerine, and blow the door off.
    Political Correctness and the cancel culture is only allowed to exist because of the coward culture.


    In school: We learn lessons, and are given tests.
    In life: We are given tests, and learn lessons.

  7. #7
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    I'm not too surprised to hear that. Safe makers are some very ingenious people.

    Do you happen to remember, years ago now, that someone (I think it was SARCO) had an ad that ran for years in the Shotgun News about this batch of old Wells Fargo stagecoach strongboxes that they had purchased, and for which they had no keys. They claimed that someone had found an old rusty revolver inside one of them. They said that they were unable to open them, but would send a buyer some keys that might be made to work. Never felt up to the task, personally!

    DG

  8. #8
    Boolit Master

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    They just didn't want to pay an old locksmith to spend the time to open them without making a mess
    and destroying any value they had.

    People used to ask me if I could open a locked up high security safe.
    I told them I could,,,,,,,,,,, but it wasn't going to be pretty.
    Last edited by Winger Ed.; 04-28-2021 at 05:58 PM.
    Political Correctness and the cancel culture is only allowed to exist because of the coward culture.


    In school: We learn lessons, and are given tests.
    In life: We are given tests, and learn lessons.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Lock picking can be a fun hobby, I've found few I couldn't lick.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    I’d be curious as to how it got from VA to TX... maybe at the end of the “Recent Unpleasantness” it, along with its contents, was loaded onto a train before the Fall of Richmond and hauled to South and West for “safety.”

    Froggie
    "It aint easy being green!"

  11. #11
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Green Frog View Post
    I’d be curious as to how it got from VA to TX...
    I was told it was originally commandeered from a bank in Richmond.

    After the war of Northern Aggression:
    It found its way, and ended up in the storage area of a museum there in Richmond where it just sat and froze up.
    It, and other stuff in that museum is the property of The Daughters of the Confederacy.

    They wanted it displayed, but didn't know anyone that could restore it, until they found our company.
    It was loaded onto a 18 wheeler, and shipped under escort to Dallas.
    The local news was on site as we unloaded it on our freight dock.
    Then they came back and filmed it being moved (on our safe moving truck) to the museum in Ft. Worth.

    We worked on a lot of antiques, but that had a major 'cool factor' going on.

    A head scratcher at first:
    Inside, there was a few black rings under the shelves. It took me a while to figure out what they were.
    I finally figured out they were left by the soot from a kerosene lamp someone had set on a shelf to work,
    or look into it at night.
    Last edited by Winger Ed.; 04-29-2021 at 02:33 PM.
    Political Correctness and the cancel culture is only allowed to exist because of the coward culture.


    In school: We learn lessons, and are given tests.
    In life: We are given tests, and learn lessons.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Thanks for the further info, Winger Ed. Sounds like you guys had as thrilling a discovery as the opening of Al Capon’s safe on that TV show. So it didn’t actually go to Texas during the War, but much later when acquired by a museum there from its longtime home in Richmond... that makes much more sense. I was having a hard time figuring why they would transport whatever valuables were left in the safe, although there are lots of stories about lost Confederate Gold.

    Froggie
    "It aint easy being green!"

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