This blog started with an old safe I bought with unknown content and combination. It describes the process of opening, finding the origins, contents and mechanics of the safe.

The posts are closely relate to each other and should probably be read in chronological order. Therefore, if you are visiting this blog for the first time you might want to start reading with the oldest entry and work your way back to the present time.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Some expert input

I found this site All Experts where experts offer help for free. There is a section for Antique Safes where Andy has great knowledge and advice.

According to him my new safe is from the late 1940s to the mid 1950s. The lock is a HHM three wheel lock, capable of 1,000,000 possible combinations.

A combination, for example 60-25-50, is dialled in by:

4 times left to the first number (60)
3 times right to the second number (25)
2 times left to the third number, (50)
1 time right, slowly until the dial stops (around 95).

Further I found this howto which explains the locking mechanism very well and has an animation of it which clarifies the details. It describes a method of manipulating the lock to obtain the combination, but this section is lacking detail and is incomplete I found.

The missing bits and much more can be found here in "Safecracking for the computer scientist". It gives a detailed account of the inner workings of the combination lock and how to find out the combination.

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