Author Topic: Breaking into my own bike shed  (Read 2499 times)

sam

Breaking into my own bike shed
« on: 25 February, 2024, 05:10:34 am »
Alternate title: Bury my heart at broken key.

(Genuine puzzler: Knowledge or OT Knowledge? Probably OT. But there's a bike involved! Flipped coin says OT. Coin overruled.)

Fancied a ride at half 4. As you do. It was very cold out: 32.5 (in the only degrees I recognise).


Trust me, that's what it says

I walked up the drive, carefully observing the state of the puddles. Not yet frozen. Why would they be? .5. Which is presumably a quite local weather report; there could still be ice, including the black variety. Hence I don't normally go out when it's this cold. Ice frankly terrifies me. But I need to go for a ride. I was even willing to wear the h----- which is normally only used as a prop for h--------.

Stuck the key in the lock of the bike shed/garage (as if you could fit a car in there). Wouldn't turn. Tried to turn it anyway. Still wouldn't budge. Gave it one more go.


Three tries at a pic and that was the winner


Blessed focus

So my question is: how do I break in? My winter bike is in there. And tools. And other stuff. There's also a squirrel nesting near the lawn mower, but she has her own private ingress.


Squirrel sensor activated

I'm assuming bolt cutters, despite that design to foil them. First I'd have to convince someone (don't yet know who) to lend me a pair "to break into a shed. Don't worry, it's fine."

Failing that...?


PS. Going for a walk instead. Perhaps I'll run into a thief plying his trade and he'll loan me his.
PPS. Belated advice to self: should've tried to warm up the lock first.

Re: Breaking into my own bike shed
« Reply #1 on: 25 February, 2024, 07:17:56 am »
Could you use a magnet to entice the broken bit of the key out of the lock?

sam

Re: Breaking into my own bike shed
« Reply #2 on: 25 February, 2024, 08:03:12 am »
Could you use a magnet to entice the broken bit of the key out of the lock?

I think it would take a Breaking Bad [mildly sweary] -type magnet.

Tried this:





thinking maybe I could somehow get purchase on the key. Tweezers just too large. There's vanishingly small room to work with betwixt key and the lock hugging it.

Pretty sure I'm looking at bolt cutters, so my question for anyone who has used them is, is there enough space for them to work? And would something like this do the job?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Heavy-Carbon-Cutter-Cutters-CROPPERS/dp/B0C7LNJ62G

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Breaking into my own bike shed
« Reply #3 on: 25 February, 2024, 08:08:16 am »
Do you have a spare key? If so, first remove the broken key.

If not, Dremel or angle grinder would be quick. A good hacksaw wouldn’t take too long.

Bolt cutters need a bit of room to manoeuvre. It is often easier to tackle the bolt rather than the lock. Drill out the hinge pin?
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

sam

Re: Breaking into my own bike shed
« Reply #4 on: 25 February, 2024, 08:17:14 am »
first remove the broken key.

This being where I'm stuck...
I do have a spare key, if I can just remove that bit.

Re: Breaking into my own bike shed
« Reply #5 on: 25 February, 2024, 08:25:50 am »
I'd probably go for the hasp.
File the top off the pin, and then knock the pin out with a drift.
X-post with LWAB

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Breaking into my own bike shed
« Reply #6 on: 25 February, 2024, 08:28:56 am »
I have seen some broken keys removed from locks with Blu Tack or similar. I don’t know if there is excessive drag in your lock’s tumblers for that to work. Perhaps Supaglue would work to withdraw the key.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: Breaking into my own bike shed
« Reply #7 on: 25 February, 2024, 08:29:06 am »
first remove the broken key.

This being where I'm stuck...
I do have a spare key, if I can just remove that bit.

Tapping the back of the padlock with a hammer or a screwdriver handle (or half a brick) might get the key fragment moving far enough out of the keyway to grip it with pliers or tweezers.

Or go for the hasp - a decent hacksaw would make short work of it.

Re: Breaking into my own bike shed
« Reply #8 on: 25 February, 2024, 08:44:08 am »
See if you can turn the lock upside down and gently tap on the reverse with something weighty. Has this exact problem some time ago and after a litany the damn thing just fell out.
Get a bicycle. You will never regret it, if you live- Mark Twain

Re: Breaking into my own bike shed
« Reply #9 on: 25 February, 2024, 08:46:56 am »
I had to cut off a thoroughly rusted lock last week. Used a Dremel. No problem. Most padlocks are not as tough as people think.

fruitcake

  • some kind of fruitcake
Re: Breaking into my own bike shed
« Reply #10 on: 25 February, 2024, 09:18:36 am »
Turns out this happens often and there are write-ups online.
https://duckduckgo.com/?t=ffab&q=how+to+retrieve+a+snapped+key+from+a+lock&ia=web

I'd try to find a strong magnet. You don't need to remove the key with the magnet, just withdraw it a couple of mm so that long nosed pliers can get a grip on it.

If that failed, I'd try using a matchstick and some superglue. I'd apply a dot of glue to the back end of the matchstick then touch that to the visible end of the buried key. Hold still as long as possible for it to cure, then try to draw out the key stub by pulling on the match.

I have a plan C and plan D but they are about destroying the hasp and staple.

rr

Re: Breaking into my own bike shed
« Reply #11 on: 25 February, 2024, 10:01:01 am »
+1 for plans to get the key out, vibration with it facing down and adhesive of some form would be my favourites.
Possibly drill or Dremel alongside the key to get some purchase.
Failing that, this method using two spanners is quicker and easier than most cutting methods.
https://youtu.be/oOSWXo9fpTI?si=FSrCWnuz6vwB1GNG

sam

Re: Breaking into my own bike shed
« Reply #12 on: 25 February, 2024, 10:04:14 am »
Thanks all, I'll be working my way through the methods available to me – possibly with help from my nearest neighbour, as my helpful tools are in... the locked shed.

Re: Breaking into my own bike shed
« Reply #13 on: 25 February, 2024, 10:22:48 am »
Getting access to the tools may be easier via the hinges on the average shed if you haven’t consciously thought about their security or lack of.  Often a simple screwdriver will be all you need to open the hinge side of the shed as the hinge is often just attached by screws from the outside.  Not a solution to removing the padlock but may give you access temporarily.

Tim Hall

  • Victoria is my queen
Re: Breaking into my own bike shed
« Reply #14 on: 25 February, 2024, 10:56:07 am »
I have the same model padlock on my SEECRIT BUNKER and have broken at least two keys in it. They fatigue at wherever the narrowest part closest to the "handle" is. Or, in one case, snap when some dozy sod stands on the unlocked padlock with key in situ

Anyway, thin pliers and judicious tappy tap tapping did the job I think.
There are two ways you can get exercise out of a bicycle: you can
"overhaul" it, or you can ride it.  (Jerome K Jerome)

Afasoas

Re: Breaking into my own bike shed
« Reply #15 on: 25 February, 2024, 11:11:21 am »
Thin wire or rod and carefully applied epoxy? (to remove the key)

meddyg

  • 'You'll have had your tea?'
Re: Breaking into my own bike shed
« Reply #16 on: 25 February, 2024, 11:16:30 am »
Just sacrifice the hasp & staple fitting with a jemmy and hacksaw
Looks like you need a new one !
Thenm fiddle with lock on workbench

sam

Re: Breaking into my own bike shed
« Reply #17 on: 25 February, 2024, 12:46:21 pm »
Sorted.

Approached neighbour (the same one referenced here), who struck me as a man with tools, though the only ones I've seen him with are hedge trimmers & the like.

Explained my predicament. "Angle grinder," he immediately said. "You'll lose the lock of course." Sweeter words were never spoken, I refrained from telling him as he promised to be right down.



"I never loan tools or books," he said afterwards. I don't blame him, and in any case am uncomfortable operating anything much more complicated than a screwdriver (though I did once use power tools to build a temporary pen for our rabbit, mostly by accident).


One I made earlier

I offered my labour should he ever need a bike fixed, though I know he doesn't cycle. "I hate cycling!" he said. His wife once told me they like seeing me out and about on my bike, so I don't hold that outburst against him. I then asked what type of books he likes, thinking to gift him something from my loft overstock. "I've already got thousands!" he said, thanking me anyway as he disappeared back up the drive.


TL;DR: breaking the key in the lock was good for me

Re: Breaking into my own bike shed
« Reply #18 on: 25 February, 2024, 01:15:31 pm »


Now, it's time to do something about the 6 jauntily-angled screws that are securing your temperature sensor to the fence-post  :P

sam

Re: Breaking into my own bike shed
« Reply #19 on: 25 February, 2024, 01:44:19 pm »
Now, it's time to do something about the 6 jauntily-angled screws that are securing your temperature sensor to the fence-post  :P

Have I not mentioned Bodge is my middle name? Having said that, the screwy cradle appears to be sturdy enough. The problem is I broke the {very old} bracket when the sensor had to be relocated.

~

We've not had an official house sign for the better part of 20 years, but rather a long series of quickly handwritten 'signs' on A4 cardstock, of varying degrees of water proofedness, nailed to a fingerpost. Shortly after the neighbour with the dremel moved in up the drive, a very neat wooden handmade sign appeared in front of his house.

"I'd like to have one of those," I told him at the time, angling to have him make me one. "Oh I like your sign," he said. "It's perfect." I don't think he was joking, either.

sam

Re: Breaking into my own bike shed
« Reply #20 on: 25 February, 2024, 11:16:37 pm »
Thanks again for all the suggestions. In a way I would've enjoyed trying them, but the angle grinder made the most convincing case.


Ouch.

I have the same model padlock on my SEECRIT BUNKER and have broken at least two keys in it. They fatigue at wherever the narrowest part closest to the "handle" is...

My spare key for it is quite bent but still works (or would do).

T42

  • Apprentice geezer
Re: Breaking into my own bike shed
« Reply #21 on: 26 February, 2024, 09:12:11 am »
I spy a stainless steel lock in your future, awash in WD40.
I've dusted off all those old bottles and set them up straight

Re: Breaking into my own bike shed
« Reply #22 on: 26 February, 2024, 11:03:22 am »
.. and a spare key, for a padlock you no longer have ...

T42

  • Apprentice geezer
Re: Breaking into my own bike shed
« Reply #23 on: 26 February, 2024, 02:45:18 pm »
...and maybe a broken-key extractor - they exist.
I've dusted off all those old bottles and set them up straight

Adam

  • It'll soon be summer
    • Charity ride Durness to Dover 18-25th June 2011
Re: Breaking into my own bike shed
« Reply #24 on: 26 February, 2024, 04:33:23 pm »
I had one of those locks on the rear storage room for my bike shop.  In 4 years I hadn't needed to go in that way, as there's access from the shop.  However, as I needed to do some work to the concrete edge underneath the door, I found the lock had rusted solid.  Fortunately the hasp bit that the lock was through was fairly easy to lever apart - due to it being very rusty as well, so it all got replaced. 

And in case any bike thieves are reading this, there's normally a massive steel bar on the inside preventing ingress even if the outside lock was angled-ground off.
“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.” -Albert Einstein