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.