Cannon Ball Safe

Wanted to re-do an old model, with a little more detail this time. This is a Cannon Ball Safe - probably best known in an old American west scenario. This is the type of safe Jesse James and gang would pull out of the bank. Yeehaw!
Just completed the modeling and getting ready to jump into Substance Painter.
I don’t usually do animations but I may see if I can animate the dial and opening door for fun. :wink:

Thanks for looking!


How interesting. A local group within our community recently started on a projecct to convert a hundred-year-old(!) local bank building to new purposes. They encountered, not only a magnificent (and pristine(!)) full-room vault, known to date from the late 1860’s and every bit as gorgeous as you can right now be imagining, but also a cannon-ball safe still in remarkably good condition. “Just in need of a bit of love.”

Needless to say, the owners of the property have immediately invested more than $8,000 (so far …) into the full restoration of this jewel. Should be ready sometime next year.

1 Like

Oh man, I would love to find a project like that! I’ve actually looked around on CL and ebay to see if I could find one (super cheap!) to restore. Years ago there was a show, American Restoration, that restored a battered old cannon ball safe - it was the first time I’d seen one and I was fascinated.
Thanks for the story - is it online somewhere? Local paper?


I could not understand why somebody would need a safe for cannon balls.

This makes much more sense.

Good luck with the re-do project. I’m finding them to be a lot of fun.


Ha ha! Well, have you seen the price of cannon balls lately?

Daf57, of course the first problem is that the thing weighs about a ton and a half. And, there are really only a few companies in the world who are in the business of restoring them. Even though the price is substantial, when you work out the labor-costs “by the hour” it simply translates into “many hundreds of hours of exacting skilled work,” for which they charge a very fair price.

Fortunately, the new owner has the money, and then some, and he is strongly interested in historical preservation. It will be a true show-piece when finished … and he knows it.

The family foundation that originally owned the building is also very actively involved in the preservation and restoration of the many antique banking pieces that – I surmise – their family members collected. There was no “business reason” for lots of the stuff that’s in there … carefully protected. But, hey, every man has his passions, and now the rest of us get to benefit.

I actually don’t know how these things came to be known as “cannon ball” safes.

1 Like

According to this article the name comes from the shape - which makes a little sense I suppose.

There are some that do a little better job of resembling the cannon ball - see below. :wink:

Finished up the texturing and rendered - final images here: