Change Key Fabrication
During all my years as a locksmith technician, I learned that there is more than two ways ( right and wrong) to do a job. I got a call to meet a company representative at a central location to change the combination on six floor safes. Once I arrived to the location, I grabbed my change key pack, screw-drivers and a small flashlight and continued on to do the job. I observed the backs of the units and saw that all had La Gard style change key holes. Once I opened the case where I keep my change keys in, I could not find my LaGard change key. I went and looked at the service van, and I could not find it there as well!
Since the company needed the safe heads back in the stores as soon as possible, I had to come up with a different solution in order to change the combinations without the proper change key. I came up with an idea of taking the back covers off of the units, aligning the gates, bringing the wheel pack around to the change index hole in the top of the head and using a piece of flat spring steel to unlock the wheels.
To start the process, I grounded a tab on the end of the spring steel that would fit into the hole under the wheel pack. With a little effort grinding and filing along the length of the spring steel, I had a tool that would unlock the wheels. Next step was reattaching the cover plate with the wheels aligned under the change key hole and then I inserted the custom change key that I made in the hole and unlocked the wheels. Now I was able to change all the combinations the same way I would have done if I had the required change key. Normally, I wouldn't recommend trying this on a regular basis, only if there is absolutly no choice.