Antique safe restoration in Chicagoland?

Reply

  #1  
Old 02-13-16, 12:32 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 38
Antique safe restoration in Chicagoland?

Hi all,

I'm unsure of where exactly to post this on the forum. Mods, please move this to the appropriate sub-forum, if necessary.

I'm looking to buy an antique safe that I'd like to get restored and customized close to its original glory. I was thinking of doing some light DIY to it myself before sending it off, but I believe it's a task that's best suited for a professional.

However, if there's a recommended step-by-step instruction that I can follow to do at least some of the DIY work and if it means less restoration cost, then I'll be up for it. Please note that I don't have any major equipment such as a sandblaster. I do have a bench grinder and other "typical" garage tools for the amateur-intermediate level DIYer.

In any case, is there an antique safe restorer located close to Milwaukee, WI, or in Chicago or the greater Chicagoland area?

Thanks in advance!
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 02-13-16, 01:18 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 32,994
You might try locksmith companies that do safe work.
 
  #3  
Old 02-13-16, 01:22 PM
Shadeladie's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 3,917
If you have any antique malls in your area, maybe you could find someone there or someone that knows someone.
 
  #4  
Old 02-13-16, 01:35 PM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 39,968
I'd definitely try to get it done locally, preferably in its final resting place. Those things are super heavy. Shipping it may be terribly expensive.
 
  #5  
Old 02-13-16, 03:23 PM
Member
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 4,214
What needs restoring, just the outside?
Any car body shop could handle that.
Places like on that show American Restoration are few and far between.
 
  #6  
Old 02-13-16, 08:25 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 38
Outside and inside will need restoration. I'm not sure how good the lock is either.

I'm trying to find a restorer nearby the place I have to purchase it from.

Maybe they can pick it up, too, not sure.
 
  #7  
Old 02-13-16, 08:47 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 45,575
I was doing on-line searches for safe refinishers. Apparently there are only a few in the country.
None I located are anywhere near you.

I'm guessing you should check with locksmiths in your area and see if any of them can point you in the right direction.
 
  #8  
Old 02-13-16, 08:55 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 32,994
Post a few pictures so we can get an idea of what you need done.
 
  #9  
Old 02-13-16, 10:23 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 38
Here are the pics from whom I'm planning to buy from:

Name:  s-l1600 (1).jpg
Views: 847
Size:  37.7 KB
Name:  s-l1600 (2).jpg
Views: 752
Size:  42.3 KB
Name:  s-l1600 (3).jpg
Views: 1228
Size:  42.8 KB
Name:  s-l1600.jpg
Views: 634
Size:  19.7 KB
 
  #10  
Old 02-13-16, 10:52 PM
Member
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: United States
Posts: 2,446
I agree with joecaption I too believe that any good body shop could do the work for you. It would be an odd request and you might get a few laughs over the phone, but once they know you are serious they might do it depending on how busy they are. As for an antique looking finish I doubt you will get that at an auto body shop but it will look better than it does now.
 
  #11  
Old 02-14-16, 06:25 AM
GregH's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Manitoba
Posts: 9,733
This would be an excellent diy project if you were up for what is required.
What sort of restoration do you want?

This would not be a complicated project.
It is obvious someone painted over the gold leaf on the front that would have looked like what is on the inside of the door.
You would do well to try to determine the year and make of the safe and I am sure you could find examples of what the safe should look like.

The first thing you need to do would be to strip the paint on the outside and that could easily be done with a small angle grinder and a wire wheel.
You then follow up with hand or machine sanding to make thee surface as smooth as possible.
It would then be possible to either send the safe to a body shop for painting or diy by using aerosol spray paint if you have a space to do that.
There would be lots of choice of good paints in a can that would closely match the color and sheen.

The part that would make the most impact would be the decoration and a sign painter should be able to do that.
modern sign painting actually involves making a computer generated decal that should match the original artwork exactly.

If you wanted to diy there are many here than can help further.
 
  #12  
Old 02-14-16, 09:30 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 38
Yeah, I may be able to do some of the work, but I'll need to know what I'm getting myself into first.

Here's a similar looking safe below that shows what it should look like when it's all done.

Though, instead of the gold color, I'm thinking red gold colors to accent the borders and letters.

The interior would have to be changed completely in terms of what's inside (e.g. no carpet lining, remove all but one interior lock box).

Maybe an auto body shop can do the finishing touches on it (e.g. car wax/polish, detailing, etc.). They certainly can handle the weight of the thing, given that they deal with much heavier stock.


[ATTACH=CONFIG]62862[/ATTACH]
 
Attached Images  
  #13  
Old 02-14-16, 09:34 AM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 44,020
First it needs to have all the paint [and rust] stripped off, then you'd make any repairs to the metal [if needed] prime and paint. Since I have spray equipment I'd consider it a diy doable job. If that doesn't work for you I agree with the suggestion to try a body shop. They should be able to give a rough estimate off of the pics.
 
  #14  
Old 02-14-16, 10:23 AM
ray2047's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 32,994
Here I would look for a small "mom and pop" auto paint shop. They would probably be hungry for work and be happy to see you. You might try a local community college art department to see if they would be interested in the decoration as a project.
 
  #15  
Old 02-14-16, 12:18 PM
Rough Rooster's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 381
If you are interested in doing the restore yourself you might be interested in viewing you tube videos of a Victor safe restoration by Keith Rucker of vintagemachinery.org.
He volunteers at Georgia Museum of Agriculture restoring antique machinery.

Find him at [URL="https://www.youtube.com/user/ksruckerowwm/videos"[/URL]

or vintage machinery.org

Have fun!

RR
 
  #16  
Old 02-15-16, 06:07 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 38
Thanks everyone for all of your help!

I'm going to have to think through all of these options.
 
  #17  
Old 03-24-16, 02:30 AM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 0
How is the project coming along? I'm thinking about a similar project.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes