Code keys for safes

Code keys for safes

Many locks are stamped with a key code number but key codes alone are of little use. Extra information is usually needed to cut a key to code. A call to cut keys for room safes in a hotel was one such call that extra information was needed.  With no code information available these code keys needed a different approach.

key cut to code for safe lock code keys

Often a brand name of a safe, the make and model of a car or brand of furniture is also required to cut a key to code. The brand of the hotel room safes were an after market obscure brand that had no link to the locks that were fitted to the safes. The safes locks were all marked with a four number code between 1000 and 6000. The code numbers were a bit of a give away as to their meaning. The numbers seemed to be a direct code. A direct code is a code number that is also the cuts of the key. Such as 5226.

lock follower and key

As there were quite a few safes to cut keys to, being able to cut them to the code number would save time and money for the hotel owner. The problem with these safes was that there was no reference to the space and depth dimensions of the keys. If you do not know accurately the space and depth of the keys, then cutting keys accurately is not possible.

pick safe lock

In order to cut the keys to code, one of the locks was removed from the safe. The lock was then taken apart carefully, not to disturb the combination of the lock pins.

lock barrel for safe and key

Once the lock was apart, the key dimensions were deciphered and a code card made up for a code machine. This is a fairly old code machine that is used in one of our mobile locksmith vehicles. This code machine is a punch machine and uses no electricity. It is perfect for use on a job site to cut keys to code.

making code card for safe key

Once the code card was created, the keys could easily be cut to the code numbers on the front of the locks.

code card for sutting safe key

The keys all worked perfectly and the hotel owner was very happy that his safes could have new keys cut for them easily. Now if ever a key is lost for these safes, a new code key can quickly be produced from the code stamped on the lock.

Most codes keys can be cut a lot simpler then the keys for these safes. If keys are needed to code or even if no code is present on the lock our 24 hour locksmiths in Brisbane are always able to help.

Posted by arbus in 3d printed, Keys, locksmith Brisbane, locksmith service, Safes, unlock safe, 0 comments
Milner Safe Lock

Milner Safe Lock

Milner safe lock 3D printed replica

A milner safe is very easy to identify just by looking at the key hole. The distinctive 2 keyhole slots will give away the type of lock used in the safe every time. Milner were very popular safes for very good reason. They offered a high level of pick resistance and resistance from brute force attacks.

Usually the ingenuity of these old safe locks is only seen by locksmiths who service these safes and cut keys for them. Being able to replicate the lock easily on a 3D printer gives people a chance to see just how these locks work and allows them to build their own high security safe lock.

This Milner replica safe lock has a few changes from the original. The biggest noticeable difference is that the lock does not have a curtain. The curtain is an internal piece of the safe lock that serves 2 main purposes. It acts as the bolt throw and it shields the levers and inner working of the lock to make lock picking much harder. The curtain could not be 3d printed strong enough to make it work in this model. Instead the bolt throw uses the end cut of the key.

milner-safe-lock-locked 24 hour locksmith Brisbanemilner-safe-lock-opening-with-top-on 24 hour locksmith Brisbanemilner-safe-lock-open-with-key-assembled 24 hour locksmith Brisbanemilner-safe-lock-opening 24 hour locksmith Brisbanemilner-safe-lock-unlocked-with-key 24 hour locksmith Brisbanemilner-safe-lock-top-lever-1 24 hour locksmith Brisbanemilner-safe-lock-lever-4 24 hour locksmith Brisbanemilner-lock-body-and-bolt 24 hour locksmith Brisbanemilner-safe-lock-key 24 hour locksmith Brisbane

The key is made much larger simply to add strength. A thin plastic key just isnt strong enough to work.
Interestingly, the original Milner keys were made from cast brass. A cast brass key is very strong! Modern steel keys have the flag welded onto the post. The weld in modern keys is a weak point and often causes keys to break inside a safe. If you can find a locksmith who has cast brass keys, they are a much better alternative for these safes.

The body of the lock is made in three sections. The bolt is inserted from the bottom of the lock and the levers are inserted from the top. A top and bottom plate hold the lock together.

As a locksmith in Brisbane I still see a lot of these old Milner safes still in operation. While they might not have the same resistance to modern attacks as more modern high security safes, picking the lock on a Milner safe is still a very hard endeavour which takes a lot of skill. Most Brisbane locksmiths would not even consider picking a Milner safe lock.

Posted by arbus in 3d printed, locksmith Ascot, locksmith Brisbane, Safes, 0 comments
Electronic safe lock vulnerability

Electronic safe lock vulnerability

You would be hard pressed finding a new safe or vault these days that does not have an electronic keypad lock. Electronic safe locks have almost completely replaced mechanical locks. The electronic locks are fast to open, easy to change the combination on, have options for delayed opening and a lot more user friendly then the older style combination locks where you spin a dial to the correct numbers.

electronic or mechanical safe lockThe old fashioned mechanical dial up safe lock made by manufacturers such as Sargent and Greenleaf had been used on safes for many years. Even the most basic 3 wheel safe lock gave a high level of security to safes. Safe dialers and manipulation techniques did give a way to open these mechanical locks but it took time. Safe dialers had to be hooked up for days in many cases to work out a safe combination.

Electronic safe locks are all mass produced and every model is pretty much identical to the next. If you want to break into a safes with an electronic lock, you just need to find a vulnerability with one safe lock. If you can find a way to open one then you can open every safe with that particular lock.

Well this is exactly what has happened. Electronic safe locks made by major manufacturers have been found to have flaws which can be exploited rather simply. By probing the keypad or battery wires connected to the safe it is possible to examine the processes which happen inside the processor chip of the lock. The processes cause electronic fluctuations which can be examined using an oscilloscope or specially designed circuit. It is possible to determine the correct keypress of a safe lock as opposed to the wrong keypress. As each process inside the chip is perfectly timed, any variation can be measured.

You can make a tool to break into these safes very easily. As they are electronic locks the tool can be used in a matter of seconds. A bypass of an electronic safe lock requires little skill and there is no barrier to opening the safe, once you have a bypass tool.

To make the matter even worse, there is no sign of forced entry when using these bypass tools. You could just be faced with an empty safe, next time you open the door.

safe lock electronic Brisbane locksmithAs the bypass techniques work on electronic safe locks with the highest security rating these locks are some of the most common locks used on bank vaults, ATM’s, jewelers safes, high security home safes and even cheaper home safes. This newly found vulnerability leaves almost every electronically operated safe very insecure.

While I am not going into detail here about which brands are affected, I would like to assure you this is a very widespread problem and measures should be taken if you are storing anything valuable in a safe secured by any type of electronic lock.

If your safe has an additional mechanical key lock, I would suggest always locking the key lock for added security.

Posted by arbus in locksmith Brisbane, Safes, unlock safe, 0 comments
How to make a 3d printed safe lock

How to make a 3d printed safe lock

Make your own high security 3D printed safe lock!

24 Hour locksmiths Brisbane 3D printed safe lock

3D printed safe lock

To make a 3d printed safe, you need a secure safe lock that can not easily be picked. This 3D printed safe lock is fairly easy to make and is classes as a high security lock. It can not be picked or bumped open as with regular house locks. So don’t lose the key! Or at least don’t lose the 3d printed file.

The safe requires the following parts

1 x lock body

1 x lid

1 x lock bolt

7 x levers

7 x discs

1 or more keys

cut away safe lock lid 3d printed3d printed safe lock locking boltsafe key 3D printedlevers for safe lock 3d printed3D printed safe lock discs3D printed lock body

I recommend making the parts from PET or PETG.  The parts for the 3D printed safe lock can be downloaded here. Printing can be done on your own 3D printer or sent to a 3D printing service that will make it for you.

Once printed make sure the bolt slides in and out of the lock body easily and is not binding.

3d printed safe lock levers and discs

Next check that the key will throw the bolt back and forth without binding. The key should be firm against the bolt as it is thrown but it should not bind. The key needs to fully throw the bolt out for proper operation.

The levers and discs should be the same thickness as they need to line up together inside the lock. If they are not all the same thickness, check the level of your 3d printers bed. The discs and levers when assembled in the lock should be level or just under the top of the lock. When the lid is fitted, the levers and discs should not bind. Adjust the levers and discs

Once assembled, make sure the lock is operating smoothly. If there is any problem with the safe lock operation, rectify the problems before using the lock on a locked safe as you will not want the lock to fail when locked on to a safe.

Posted by arbus in locksmith Brisbane, Safes

3D Printed Safe

Worlds first high security, key changeable 3D printed safe.

safe lock and key 3d printed

3d printed safe lock and key

It is made in all plastic, no metal at all. Why all plastic I hear you ask? Well it is made for sensitive areas such as mining, explosives and areas sensitive to electromagnetic radiation. As it uses no metal parts, it will not create a spark or ignition source around flammable materials. It has many different uses around sensitive electronic equipment and areas of high radiation.

As the safe is not magnetic in any way, detection from metal detectors and other standard detection devices will not work on this safe. This can be of use when the QLD police come to steal your business records without a warrant 🙂 Hidden in a wall or even buried, it would be very hard to detect a fully plastic safe.

Being plastic, this safe is obviously not designed as a high security safe for keeping millions of dollars. The safe is designed to show evidence of any break in attempt. If the safe has been compromised or attacked, there will be evidence of the attack. As the lock is not pickable, the only way to break into the safe is by destructive means.

The safe body is constructed in one piece. The one piece construction makes for a totally sealed safe with no seams to leak or be exploited. The plastic used is highly corrosive resistant to acids and almost all chemicals.

The safe uses a 7 lever and 7 disc

3d Printed safe vault key lock all plastic 24 hour locksmith Brisbane

3d Printed Safe

high security safe lock. The safe lock is also 3D printed. To 3D print the lock, many modifications were done to ensure a strong usable design. The key is made thicker to make it stronger then a thinner metal key. The design of the lock is based on a Ratner key changeable vault lock. This type of lock was used over 100 years ago in high security safes and vaults. A Ratner safe lock of this design was even used to protect the Queens’ crown Jewels.

The lock is a key changeable design. In fact the combination of the lock is reset every time the safe is unlocked. In the unlocked position a new key can be inserted to set the combination of the lock. As a new key can be set so easily, it makes this lock design perfect for many applications where only one person at a time can have access to the safe. If a person locks the safe, no one else with a different key can unlock the safe. Another person with a different key can lock the safe when the door is open. The safe can also be made to operate with just one key combination and duplicates of that key can be made. Another key can be used to lock out the main safe keys from use. There are many different ways the key and lock system can be used.

The yellow on the lid of the safe was an attempt to add colour to the 24 hour locksmiths logo embossed on the front of the lid. Because of the plastics’ transparent nature and the light yellow colour, this did not turn out as planned. Future safes will not use this colour process.

The safe body can easily be changed to any shape of size required. Because it is 3D printed, it can be made to fit into oddly shaped recesses, furniture, or any other object you can think of.

Posted by arbus in locksmith Brisbane, Safes
Ratner Safe Lock

Ratner Safe Lock

Ratner Safe Lock Model

Safe’s are quite boring thing to look at and have in your home or office.  In Brisbane locksmiths install safes that are not so beautiful, well they are not beautiful on the outside.

Ratner Safe lock Brisbane locksmith unlockedIt is what is inside the safe that is most beautiful to locksmiths who work on safes.  Older safes have bolt-work and locks that were works of art.  Handcrafted locks were common place in older safes and to make the locks secure, manufacturers went to great engineering lengths.

The safe lock pictured here is a reproduction of a Ratner, key changeable safe lock.  Ratner began manufacturing safes in England in 1784.  They have many patents and lock designs to their name.   This key changeable Ratner safe lock was used on large commercial and bank vaults.   It was at the time considered to be unpickable, although, the unpickable status did not last.

This safe lock is unique in that every time the safe was unlocked, the key combination was reset.  By simply locking the safe with a new key, the combination is changed.

lock parts for 3d printing locksmith BrisbaneAs these locks are never seen by the public or owners of the safe, it is a shame for only locksmiths to see and touch these engineering masterpieces.   This lock has been designed as a printable fully functional lock.   If made in plastic, i would hesitate to install it on a safe though.  You can download this Ratener safe lock and make your own safe lock to see and enjoy.

Dont have a 3D printer? Even if you can not make it yourself, there are several printing services that will make this lock for you.

Some of the differences between this reproduction and the original Ratner safe lock are

  • Lock is able to be printed entirely from plastic or PET.
  • Lever Springs are designed to work with PET plastic, not brass as with original lock
  • Spacers between levers and rotating wheels have been eliminated.  Spacers are built into lever design and wheel design.
  • Curtain has been removed.  Just the bottom bolt throw is designed as per the curtain design.
  • Tolerances are quite low to allow for low printing tolerances.
  • No false gating.  You can add if you require.
  • Spoked levers and spoked wheels are replaces with a diagonal cog design.
  • Lock case made in single piece.  Original had 3 pieces to the body.



Posted by arbus in locksmith Brisbane, Safes
5 ways to open a safe

5 ways to open a safe

If you have a safe that is locked and cant be opened then there are a few things that you can try to open the safe yourself.

Safe for Security documents

Security Safe

1 Check Batteries

If the safe is battery powered, then the batteries are the first think I would check. Most safes have a removeable cover or a removeable combination pad where the batteries are kept. Replacing the batteries in most safes does not affect the memory. If the dial is removable, be careful not to pull any wires as this could cause other problems. It is best to use alkaline batteries for most safe locks.


2 Bag caught in door

A money bag or other item can get caught in the door of a safe. If your safe is very full, there is a higher probability of this happening. If the safe door was hard to close the last time you used it this could give a hint to this problem.
Putting pressure on the door or jiggling the door back and forth while trying to open the door is worth a shot. The bag or stuck item will be putting extra force on the door and lock and might not easily be overcome by extra pressure.


3 Cant dial up the safe

If the safe has a combination dial and you just cant dial it open then it is possible there is a malfunction in the lock. Combination locks are precise mechanical devices that will not operate correctly without regular service.

Sometimes the combination wheels be the problem. They can spin sometimes over spin or get stuck. Try dialing the combination very slow. This can stop the over spin of the combination wheels. Also try dialing the combination fast, or with a bit of a snap. This can help if a combination wheel is stuck. Also try dialing the combination a little off the number. Just half a number to the side can be enough to allow the safe to open.


4 Stuck or broken boltwork.

The boltwork in a safe can sometimes get bent or stuck. Especially if the door is slammed with the boltwork in the locked position. If jiggling the door or adding pressure to the door does not work, try giving the door a tap with a rubber mallet. This jolt can be enough to get the door open. Give the safe a tap on the sides. Never hit the lock itself!


Key Override.

Many document safes have a key override. The key is usually under a cover on the front of the safe. Many people do not even realise their safe has a key override but it can be very important if there is a malfunction in your document safe. Just as long as the keys are not kept inside the safe itself!T


These are all basic steps that might save you from calling a locksmith to open your safe or vault.  If these fail to open your safe or you have lost the keys or combination then it might be time to consult your locksmith.  24 Hour Locksmiths Brisbane are always available to consult on your safe or vault problems.

Posted by arbus in lock repair, locksmith Brisbane, Safes, unlock safe
Lock Bumping

Lock Bumping

lock bumping brisbane locksmith

Lock bumping a deadlock

You are probably not the only person with a key to your house or business.

Lock Bumping is a covert way to open a lock when you do not have a key. It is similar to lock picking in that it is used to open doors and all types of locks. Lock Bumping and Lock Picking are not the only way to open a lock without a key but lock Bumping is a problem for most houses and businesses as no real skill is required to open a door and some of the most well made locks can be unlocked with the bump key method.
Burglars can cut a Master Bump Key to open 95% of locks in Australia.
Bump keys were made known to the mainstream due to the information going viral on the internet. Using bump keys is so easy, people started making videos and uploading them to youtube and tutorials on how to make bump keys were available of forums and how to sites. The spread of the information over the internet led to many high profile manufacturers feeling that their locks were from the dark ages as they were way too easy to open. Even very young kids could now open their locks.

Bump proof lock.  Abloy key

Abloy key for a bump proof lock

The bump key can be made from just about any old key that inserts into the lock. All you need to do is file it down the correct way or cut a key and you have made a bump key. To bump open a lock a bump hammer is used to tap the key which lines up the pins inside the lock cylinder. Many locks in Brisbane are vulnerable to bump keys including most regular deadlocks, security door locks, commercial locks, registered key systems and unit door locks.
Common locks sold in hardware stores still have no resistance to lock bumping. There are locks now available in Brisbane that can not be bumped. There are high security locks sold by locksmiths which can not be bumped and which are practically pick proof. A high level of bump resistance can be achieved if you have your locks changed to a bump proof system. High security locks are a little more expensive then regular locks and it depends on weather you are concerned with this security risk in your home or business as to weather you request bump proof locks.

Home door that might be easily bumped open

How to know if your lock has been bumped?

One of the biggest problems with lock bumping is that it leaves no visible signs of your lock being picked. There are no break and enter marks on the door and no sign of a thief entering your home or business. For insurance companies this is a problem. If there is no sign of a break-in then how do you prove it? The lock bumping phenomenon has forced many businesses and home owners to upgrade and have locks changed to a higher security lock cylinder. If you are in doubt weather your locks can be picked or bumped you should consult a qualified locksmith for more information.

Posted by arbus in crime, Entrance door lock, L handle & T handle lock, lock bumping, lock latches, lock related, locks changed, locksmith service, news, Safes, security screen door, unlcock apartment door, Unlock bathroom door, unlock bedroom door, unlock door, unlock garage, 3 comments
Be Smart with Key Safes

Be Smart with Key Safes

Brisbane Locksmith Key Safe

Combination Key Safe

A key safe is used to keep a key in that can be used to access a building.  They are used quite a bit by builders, renovators, Real Estate Agents and people who have carers come to their home.

Builders, renovators, Real Estate Agents, etc  use them on vacant properties where the risk of a key going missing is small.  Care providers generally only have access to keys while someone is at home and the carers key can be disabled while people are out of the home or do not require care.

Key safes are predominately a digital lock with a combination.  The trouble with combination locks is a thief can find a way to open these locks and obtain the key.  It is even possible for a key to be duplicated and returned without anybody knowing.

Many people are now using key safes to hide a spare key for their home in.  I would suggest this is not always a very good practice.  Obviously if the key safe can be easily compromised then a thief has access to your home.  I would not recommend anybody to lock their front door to their home with the locking mechanism found in most key safes.  So I could not recommend you keep a key to your front door in one.

Recently I have had to change locks after a master key to an entire unit block went missing from a key safe.  It was a really serious situation and thankfully no break ins resulted from the missing key.  The locks were changed and the practice of leaving the key in a key safe was discontinued.

The security risk of using a key safe has to be weighed up against the practicalities and the type of access needed.  The thing to remember is the type of code mechanism on a key safe can be less secure then your front door locks of your home and given time most codes can be cracked.

Posted by arbus in Lock Products, Safes, 0 comments