broken key in entry lock

I'm a reasonably handy homeowner but I have no experience with locks other than installing them. Last night 1/2 of my son's key broke off in the entry lock of our front door (broke at the deepest key cut). Since I have 3 entry locks and 3 deadbolt locks that all use this same matching key, I'd like to get the broken half out rather than replace the lock. I've always believed that the locks are Schlage (they are about 12 years old) but I can't find any identifying marks.

I removed the lock today and began disassembling it in the hope that I would find a way to push the broken 1/2 key out from the back. I removed a spring retaining clip that allowed me to remove a large diameter collar from around the mechanism that hooks to the latch. Then I removed a medium diameter collar that holds the inside knob. With some twisting and turning, I was then able to remove a long, small diameter collar and the shaft inside it that connects the lock/unlock button on the indoor side to the lock mechanism. I can now look in from the back and see about a 1/4" hole that must lead toward the lock cylinder. This hole is about 2" from the face of the cylinder where the key would be inserted. I've unfolded a paper clip and poked it through the hole a distance just about far enough to reach the 2" to the front of the cylinder but so far I've not been successful in poking anything out. Short of finding a locksmith, what should my next step be?

Note - Before disassembling the lock I read old postings from this NG describing how one could fashion a hooking device from a hacksaw blade or fish hook that could be used to fish the key fragment out from the front. I didn't try that technique but maybe someone can comment whether it's more promising than what I've done so far.

p.s. sorry if dups of this message appear - I'm not sure if it got posted successfully via my ISP before I posted in via Google.

Reply to
Ray Leetch
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I realise you are very handy., but this is one of those times that you REALLY need a locksmith. Take the Box O 'parts to your local smith and ask him nicely to remove the broken key and repair the lock you have taken apart. You shouldn't have more than a $20 bill on you and you might even get some change and a new key.

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A coping saw or scroll saw blade works much better than a hack saw blade but some of them are pretty fragile. I would lube the keyway with some teflon based spray lube before trying to remove the key fragment. If the hole you are looking at from the back of the lock lines up with the actual keyway it may go all the way through. Use one of the large size paper clips.

Leon Rowell, Locksmith "Specializing in Antique Autos & Motorcycles"

Ray Leetch wrote:

Reply to
Leon Rowell

Short of finding a locksmith, your next step should be......




You still waiting?

Wait some more

OK, it's call a locksmith time.

Reply to
Stormin Mormonn

There is probably a tumbler sticking up behind the broken part of the key and blocking it from being pushed out. Look in the keyhole and puch it down if that's the case. You can also make a keyextracter from a hacksaw blade if you have the tools to cut one down. Cut it to fit in the keyhole with the teeth pointing out toward the part you leave for a handle.

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I use coping saw blades alot-Bad thing is they do not bend alot before they break. Make sure you either grind or file off the teeth on your holding end or wrap it with some tape. However,If You can't extract the broken key from the front, I would suggest taking it to a locksmith.

Later, Ralph.

Reply to
Ralph Greenwood

Get an exacto handle, works great.


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If it is a knob lock, you gotta go pretty deep to get to the cylinder. & if it is a schlage f series then when you get where you need to be you have to remove the tailpiece to get the outside knob off; after that it a piece of cake. A 12 year old f series has very low tollerance. The first thing you should do is try to turn the key with the broken half, if you can do this then remove the outside knob.

Another option is just taking your key to a lockshop & getting a new lock keyed up to your key.


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- a locksmith's attempt at giving up road work!

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