Posted by Ken Dunckel Safecracker Boxman on February 07, 2009 at 05:46:00:
In Reply to: Re: Restoration of a Herring, Hall & Marvin Safe|
Brooklyn, Doug did give you advice. Doug's advice was simple but valid.
With a mechanical engineering background I don't doubt for a second that you have worked with far more complex mechanisms. Doug was basically saying he wasn't going to write a How-To book here on the Public Forum.
It's true -- safe locks are of necessity comparatively simple mechanisms. They're also among the most unforgiving, because most other mechanisms, whether intricate or simple, can be examined and/or disassembled and fixed when they're not working right. A safe lock, however simple, is more often behind a locked safe door, meaning the safe needs to be opened before the lock can be made right.
I guess that's the main difference when it comes to a lot of the work we do. When a car engine is malfunctioning, you pop the hood and get right to fixing it. Uusally when a safe lock is malfunctioning, popping the hood is the main part of the job. In your case you have all the advantage; open door, lock accessible, and a background that qualifies you to figure things out mechanically.
While we in the safe and vault service/repair industry are (mostly) not mechanical engineers, just about all of us who have spent any time in this industry have heard from frustrated callers who tell us things like "I'm an engineer and I can't make this thing work right; it must be broken."
Not a daily occurence, but we get that often enough. We're not disrespectful of such callers, but it's a constant reminder that things we think are simple sometimes aren't, just as things we think are complicated sometimes aren't. If you look closely at every part of that lock and get a sense of what it does and why, you'll come to a solution, and it won't be that much of a challenge.