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OT: Bank Vault

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  • OT: Bank Vault

    I play snooker at a place called Bank Shot Billiards. It's called that because it used to be a bank. The vault remains. It's impressive. Due to the machining and the use of a few tons of stainless, I thought I'd share.

    There are 24 gears about 5" in diameter. They are driven by the enormous gear. They in turn drive 4" steel posts into the frame of the door. You can just make it out here inside the large ring, towards the bottom... one of 6 bearings the ring rides upon. Note the device in the center of the image. That arm isn't in front of the ring gear; it is a latch and is preventing the ring from turning. You might be able to turn the ring anti-clockwise (driving the posts deeper into the door frame) but you'll never turn it the other way.



    Here's a different view. Again note the bearing the large ring gear rides on.



    And here's part of the combination lock, or something.


  • #2
    Yes, those things are impressive. And I suspect that is the reason for about 90% that mechanism. I think you could design a simpler mechanism that would be just as secure, perhaps even more so. They want to impress the customers and also any potential bank robbers. Amateur ones, at least. That's why the mechanism is displayed behind a transparent window on the inside of the door. The more important features are probably not visible.
    Paul A.

    Make it fit.
    You can't win and there is a penalty for trying!

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    • #3
      A lot of vault door internals are much more ornate and than this one, this one is very basic. I think it's a point of pride for the older banks. Now not so much, they are a lot simpler.

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      • #4
        Looks like the same basic door here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bank_v...sBankVault.JPG

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        • #5
          A true anachronism from the past. What the heck is money? Just a few imaginary markings on imaginary paper stored on a silicon chip. The most valuable things stored behind a door like that will be in somebody's safety deposit box, such as the first clipping of hair from their baby.
          Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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          • #6
            So the bright sparks bypass the door:

            http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-32822298

            George

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Georgineer View Post
              So the bright sparks bypass the door:

              http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-32822298

              George
              Not too bright though - sounds like they got popped lol


              that is an amazing conversation piece for the place that's being used for something else - really cool looking...

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              • #8
                The three dials in the middle is the time lock mechanism. It allows you to lock the vault on Monday at 5 pm and be sure that the bank manager won't sneak in on Saturday to loot it.

                The combination lock is hidden behind that big metal plate. So are all the mechanisms that defeat brute force entry. The "relocker" mechanisms physically disable the bolt retraction mechanism if you drill in the wrong spot. The relockers designs are really pretty ingenious.

                All locks are designed to discourage first, and to impede entry second. Given the tools at the disposal of a well equipped machinist, any lock will eventually fail. A serious alarm system is meant to get someone on site quickly to stop the intrusion before they can complete the job.

                A little known fact is that there is what amounts to a guild of safe-smiths. These specialized locksmiths have access to blueprints of various safes and vaults. There is usually one very specific place that a safe man can use to compromise a safe. Even so, sometimes it's much, much easier to go through the wall.

                Dan
                At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and extra parts.

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                • #9
                  that is some neat machining. They have a similar but more ornate vault in my local bank. Lots of engine turned finish, very solid and clearly intended to impress customers on the safety of their money. Looks like they use it as a filing cabinet

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                  • #10
                    Check out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_...rd_and_the_law
                    (First bullet in the list -- and, for anyone in the area, the restaurant makes decent Italian food)


                    Also, might the pawl in the first picture be to prevent the main gear from rotating clockwise too far, preventing the locking pins from pulling completely out of their holes and either banging the main gear or just gumming up the works in general? It might also be to make a deeply satisfying thunk when the gear turns to the right spot so that the door can be opened.

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                    • #11
                      I remember making a batch of steel for a vault some years ago, I think they called it Hasteloy or some such, it was for Chubb, I don't think they realised how much plate you get with a 300 ton batch.
                      Fascinating things vaults, I read this recently, very good write up
                      http://www.timhunkin.com/94_illegal_engineering.htm
                      Worth a read
                      Mark

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                      • #12
                        So is that a plexiglass front? did it come like that or did someone have it built to show off the inner workings?

                        would be a ton of work still but what's to stop thieves from just pulling the front cover and then undoing all the nuts on those spur gears and pulling them out then just directly moving the piston slides all to the center?

                        I mean besides some time? the see through front is kinda like there teasing the bad guys with whats going on inside...

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                        • #13
                          That's the see through back, not the see through front.

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                          • #14
                            So all the pool tables and stuff is actually inside the vault? that is one big vault.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by A.K. Boomer View Post
                              So is that a plexiglass front? did it come like that or did someone have it built to show off the inner workings?

                              would be a ton of work still but what's to stop thieves from just pulling the front cover and then undoing all the nuts on those spur gears and pulling them out then just directly moving the piston slides all to the center?

                              I mean besides some time? the see through front is kinda like there teasing the bad guys with whats going on inside...
                              It's the BACKSIDE of the door that you see.
                              1601

                              Keep eye on ball.
                              Hashim Khan

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