I found a locked safe hidden at the back of a closet in my new house


Frauenfelder’s kids could probably have that thing open in three minutes flat.


Also, I demand that this be done live on the internet.


You’d best leave it locked if you want to avoid some vaguely entertaining Christian adventures that get more and more heavy-handed as the adventures get less entertaining.


Oops, meant to do this one:


The real good ones have been cursed so much that they don’t even bother anymore


I usually just try all the possible combinations. But first I print them all out on a piece of paper, and I cross them off as I do them, picking likely-looking combos first rather than just starting at one end and progressing through sequentially by brute force.

Seriously, I’m totally not kidding. I’ve done this successfully quite a few times, including on my home security system (prior owners didn’t know arm/disarm sequences) and the locked cabinets that hold all the other keys at my church and several places I’ve worked (always with permission). I’m about halfway through all the possible combinations on a six-digit padlock at this point, that I found in the street and haven’t been able to shim. I just sit down with a beer and run through combinations until I get bored, then set it down until the next day.

You’ll want to look up the lock/safe information, first, because you need to know the directions for both unlocking it and clearing the previous attempt. And you may find that you can do less than the total number of combinations, for example, master locks you only have to do one third… or even less!


Hey, Rob, if you look at the kick molding there’s an extra piece laid on there. If you carefully pull that off you might find that the safe will roll right out on little steel wheels.


How do you think they wind up as a locksmith in the first place?


I’m pretty sure the Mythbusters are looking for something to do now…

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Has anyone mentioned…[quote=“Clifton, post:17, topic:74704”]
Use the Richard Feynman method!


Anyhoo, there’s also video up of him talking about it, but as I’m too lazy to look for the specific segment, here’s a short explaining his method:


If you have a locksmith open it, you will still have a usable safe in your house to keep stuff in. If you cut it open, you won’t even have that.


Isn’t this how horror movies start?


And if Mythbusters fans have their way, you won’t be left with a house either.


Shaped charges can be surprisingly gentle to the environment around, outside of the metal jet. See youtube.

Liquid nitrogen. Or maybe even dry ice could do the job. Deep cooled steel often becomes brittle; not enough for a light tap but a smash could do the job.

That. Beware of this.

Excellent suggestion. See Feynman the Safecracker and his talk with the facility locksmith.

I think he got the default combo trick from the safecracker. But yes, exactly that story.

I think a thermic lance, aka oxygen lance, is a steel pipe fed with oxygen. Light it up with an angle grinder, then use it to burn through whatever you want. Youtube has videos.

If it is cut open carefully enough, it can be welded together again.

As of the safe itself, I’d suggest either the Way of the Microphone (a good one well-bound to the metal door with a 24-bit soundcard or a good amplifier could possibly be helpful), or taking an angle grinder to the welds of the hinges, cutting them off, and then welding them back once the lock is reset to a different combination.


Part of him anyway.

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It seems unsportsmanlike to just pay a locksmith, so try and find a lockpicking hobbyist organization near you and let them have at it.


there are generally fewer stops in the internal wheels, so adjacent
numbers are actually the same number. So let’s say 50 possibilities.

50 x 50 x 50 = 125,000 possibilities.

This. I would go one step further too. Many people have mentioned Feynman here but ignored this critical fewer stops trick he used. The locks he had were so lose that I think he was able to round to numbers divisible by 5. I would say start there. That’s 8000 possibilities. Also if you assume it’s more sensitive and adjacent numbers are the same number it’s actually 33^3 possibilities not 50^3 possibilities. That’s 35937 combinations. That should bring an estimated 34 day brute force attack down to a day and a half.

I would also try to get some experience opening this kind of safe if possible. I’ve had multiple combination locks that I had to try opening multiple times just because I gave a dial an extra spin or something similar

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Have you contacted Geraldo Rivera? He has experience with this sort of thing.


Assuming you’re able to get in the safe you should restore it afterward. Might be a neat project. Regardless you should keep us in the loop, might be a cool story to document.