Acetone in keyhole?

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Hello, After locking myself out of my apartment yesterday, I managed to make the problem worse by fiddling with a piece of plastic in the lock which broke off and ended up being shoved pretty far into the back of the key hole. I tried using some needles to get it out, but no dice. Anyone have a reasonably cheap solution? Would injecting acetone damage the mechanism in any way?
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I should mention that I did get a spare key, in case it helps. Thanks!
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Adding acetone will make a nice glue...to make things worse! Try "Lock-Ease" and the key...and work it in.
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I used to service the locks at a hotel, that used Lock Ease Graphited Lock Fluid. That awful black crap caused more problems than the tenants. Dried up, and got sticky.
As to the plastic piece, someone has to take the lock apart to get the piece out.
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Christopher A. Young
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Try a piece of coping saw or fret saw blade. [if you've been able to poke the plastic back in, maybe a *hot* needle would pierce it, let it cool and see if they bond, and pull gently.]

The acetone might not melt anything in the lock- but if it melted the plastic it would most likely gum things up enough so the lock would be useless.
If the saw blade won't get it, I'd try [long shot] blowing canned air from the other side--- then I'd take the cylinder out, bang on it a while- and if all else failed, take the cylinder to a locksmith and watch him pluck that plastic out in 10seconds.
Jim
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Justin wrote:

Not all plastics are soluble in acetone, and I suspect, as others, that it will gum things up. To dissolve it you would probably need to flush quite a bit with acetone then you risk harming the paint on the door.
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maybe heating up a wire like a paper clip,and sticking the hot end into the plastic,and after it cools,pulling it and hopefully the plastic,out with it.
Or try a very fine scrollsaw blade,oriented so the teeth hook the plastic on the pullout.
BTW,Deadbolt locks will not let you lock yourself out. I never use the doorknob lock,that can lock you out. And keep a spare key in your wallet.
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Jim Yanik
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not let you lock yourself out.

When we moved to a new house about 4 years ago, in the first month or two my wife locked herself out about 5 times. She still does it from time to time. I have a garage so I installed an opener with a keypad and hid a key where she can find it in the garage for the house door.
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wrote in message > BTW,Deadbolt locks

if the door would not lock behind her -without the use of a key-,she'd never get locked out.she would always need a key to lock the door.

open garage doors are an easy way for a burglar to enter one's home. Once in the garage,they can close the garage door and have plenty of time to work on the inner home door,and not be observed or heard.
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re:"open garage doors are an easy way for a burglar to enter one's home."
Is this just a random observation?
Ralph said "I have a garage so I installed an opener with a keypad and hid a key where she can find it in the garage for the house door."
I take that to mean the garage is closed until the wife enters the code to open it.
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I cant figure out the logic behind acetone
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Someone (you, or a locksmith perhaps) needs to take the lock apart. Physically remove the piece of plastic.
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Acetone works on plastic by temporarilly melting it. When the plastic resolidifies, you'd have a mess a hudnred times worse.
You should have been able to use a pin to pull it out.
Call the apartment supervisor, admit that you're an idiot, and let them solve the problem.
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Thanks everyone for the suggestions! I bought a little jigsaw blade and that seemed to do enough. I'm a convert to using the dead bolt from now on :)
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Justin wrote:

Do you have an air compressor? Try using a fine jet nozzle to blast air into the key hole through edge of the hole that has the pins (The saw-like edge of the key. If you are lucky, the air will blast in behind the plastic, and push it out. If that doesn't work at first, try moving the air jet back and forth along the key hole to move the plastic around until it loosens and comes out.
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Just an observation.... If the OP lives in an apartment ; does he own and or have a need for a compressor?, If so where does he store it? Inside his apartment (which he is locked out of!). If he has and has access to his compressor, hopefully he doesn't live on an upper level where he has to drag the compressor up the stairs ( elevator maybe ). Then, I'm sure the neighbors would appreciate hearing the sound of the noisy compressor :>)
I still believe an, although embarrassing, call to the Manager would be the intelligent approach !! Or a Locksmith, Good luck with the compressor :>))
Bill

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IF (that's a big if) you can get into your unit you can just remove the lock from the door and take it apart. You want to take out the "pins" that are pushed up and down when you insert your key.
If you lock isn't "master keyed" you can just dump the pins out and sort things out using your own key to determine which pin goes where. Otherwise, you should carefull remove one spring and one pin at a time and carefully record what goes where.
Once the pins are removed you can use find wire to push the plastic out from the inside of the lock.
"Next time" you try to pick a lock, start with the right tools. Professional picks aren't made from plastic.
If you carry your lock (or just the cylinder if it's a mortise lock) to the locksmith, he can "fix things" in a fraction of an hour at a reasonable cost. Locksmiths can be expensive when they come to you but I have had good luck bringing in work to them. (I once took in a good sized truck when we couldn't find the key.)
Going back to your original question: many plastics aren't much affected by acetone and even if your plastic is, it will take a lot of acetone to disolve a bit of plastic and until you get ALL of it out, in the short run you have really made a mess of the insides of your lock.
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on 6/2/2009 6:58 AM (ET) Justin wrote the following:

Have the landlord or a locksmith remove the lock to get the plastic piece out
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Bill
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acetone would only soften the plastic and melt it into the crevices,making it MUCH harder to remove.
try a coping saw blade(minus the pin),the teeth will pull the plastic out,hopefully.
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Jim Yanik
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Am confused by the post:
I thought you used plastic (eg credit card) to slip between the door and the frame, to push out wedge-shaped "bolt"-like thingie.
So what's all this about plastic ending up WITHIN the KEY-HOLE?
Thanks,
David
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