We have sliding patio doors and the key has broken and is now stuck in
the main yale lock. I cannot remove the key. I cannot see how to remove
This isn't urgent, it's been broken for months but with the summer
coming up I thought I'd better get it fixed!
Please can anyone advise on what I can do?
I have fished a few out with a dental pick. You can find sets of picks in
catalogs and such. The picks are strong but flexible. You could also try a
very fine, narrow coping saw blade. Just snip off one end near the teeth to
remove the pin and slip it into the lock with the teeth pointing back
towards you. When you pull the blade out, the teeth might catch the broken
key and pull it out as well. YMMV.
Or it may be simply that the lock needs a bit of lubrication.
That's just ridiculous. Get the key out, then lube the lock with powdered
graphite, or graphite in oil. There's no need to replace the lock.
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
Nobody ever left footprints in the sands of time by sitting on his butt.
And who wants to leave buttprints in the sands of time?
Golly Doug, is there anything you can't do?
I'm so impressed!
Electrical, plumbing, runoff/drainage calculations, roofing, window
installation and repair, drywalling expert, gas piping expert, HVAC
expert, appliance guru, political pundit, and now .... LOCKSMITHING!
You are my hero!
On 5 May 2005 12:21:14 -0700, email@example.com wrote:
I have several hemostat forceps I once bought from a hobby supply.
They are normally used in surgery to clamp off blood vessels, but can
also be used in such things as model making and woodworking. I use
them occasionally when working on computers.
When a neighbor's key broke off in her door lock after she locked it,
I was able actually to reach into the keyhole with the hemostat, turn
the lock, and extract the key.
They make a good tool for this kind of situation. The hemostats are
very narrow and tapered, extremely strong, and have tips that have a
slight "gripper" filed into them. They also have a one-way lock built
into the handle allowing you to clamp something and lock the hemostat
There are two kinds of hemostats, one curved at the tip and one
straight. Here's what they look like:
I can't recall where I bought mine, but over the years I've used them
on various home repair projects many times where a needle-nosed pliers
would have been too big. Good for getting broken lightbulbs out of the
socket, fishing or pulling wire through tiny holes, picking up dropped
nuts and screws from inside appliances and computers, bending computer
parts slightly to fit, etc. Quite useful, especially the straight
First, you shouldn't have posted this here. Try the locksmithing group
instead. The people here are mostly hacks, not professionals or
do-it-yourselfers who do quality work.
But if you just can't pull the lock, which you really should be able to do,
just weld a piece of metal to the key and pull it out that way. A quick
tack should do.
Sheesh. Take the two screws loose that hold it together. Pull out the
assembly. Take it to Home Depot. Take an extra key you have around if
possible. If not, take another cylinder off. Home Depot will fix it for
you and probably won't even have to replace the tumblers.
Then take the money you WOULD have used for a locksmith and take your family
out to dinner. And a movie. And some frozen yogurt. And put what's left
in your kid's piggy bank.
Rocket surgery it ain't.
Probably the lock tumblers were sticky or worn such that the key stem
acquired a small fracture that eventually broke inside the keyhole.
That lockset might as well be replaced. Just drill out the keyslot.
This will wreak the tumblers. That will let you rotate the assembly
to unlock the door and position the assembly so that you can unscrew
the whole lockset.
Wow! Thank you so much for your expert insight.
I guess there are people here who aren't the sharpest knives in the
drawer. You know the types I mean --- they can't wear a welding
helmet without banging their nose, they don't know what to wear with
their lavender flats or why new shoes chafe their ankle ... or they
ask inane questions like "Do golfers HAVE to wear hats?" or "Why
don't pro golfers have to replace their divots?".
Maybe do what we do, Julie. Cut people who are a little slow a
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