Lock stuck - can't get into garage

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  #1  
Old 06-07-15, 03:10 PM
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Smile Lock stuck - can't get into garage

First off, PJmax, thank you, thank you, thank you, for closing that old lock stuck thread. I can't believe it was just yesterday, but today my head is spinning from reading through it and as I read further and further, I really wanted to start a new one. I'll try to be brief and please no comments (constructive or otherwise) on how I am not being at all security conscious.

Locks could be original to house that is 30 years old. The door that I can't open is between the family room and the garage; the other locks in the house are kwickset. If the guy who lived here before me changed them then they're only 20-25 years old. I never lock the door, but neighbors were watching things up until about a month ago and they had locked it. I can't say with any degree of certainty how well the latch was functioning because I'd often push it shut with some body part and later I will find it ajar and go, "oh well, I wonder how long that's been like that." The dog does not answer. I push the door shut; I haven't ever had to turn the handle to get it to latch.

Today, I was going to go out and found the door locked. I turned the lock this way and that and the handle would not turn. I took off the handle and I thnk I may have made some progress because it seems like the brass disk-like mechanism is turning a bit more freely when I push the pin that is at the top. After I noticed that I was marring up the half moon post I turned to you and some other places on the net. I have checked and my garage door does not have any locks. The hinge pins will not come out for love or money. Luckily, I have too many half done projects and since "I'm gonna need (name a tool) when I get back to this", I have more tools in the house than you might expect. But Iam short on things like saws (except a Harbor Freight dremel and 3 piece chisel set) to cut the door or lock out. And the crowbar that is laying on the dining room table (don't even remember what I was or will be using that for) is too big to fit between the door and the jamb.

Here is the lock: Name:  Door lock.jpg
Views: 1335
Size:  24.3 KB. Because I don't know how it is supposed to work I am leery of pushing things around too much. The pin that is at the back (key side) turns the brass disk(s) until it feels like it is almost going to open. [That is the part that seem to have loosened up.] I have a box of 100 driver bits but nothing jumps out at me that is rectangular like the post (in the door knob) and will fit the opening at the center post. It seems to me it would be easier to and possibly necessary to turn handle post with some kind of driver rather than using a pair of pliers. [Of course the locking pliers are in the garage].

I have seen some info on some sites that where I don't understand what part they are talking about and some theings that I'm not sure are appropriate in this case, like something about trying to spread the two bars that are horizontal through handle. Also I saw a video where they pulled the other handle out and then pulled latch out through the cut out in the door. They had access to both sides of the door though.

So, if there is someplace that has an expanded diagram of the lock/handle or video showing what is supposed to happen when it is working, I would welcome the info to be able to speak more intelligently to any suggestions you may have. Don't wanna have to ask "is that the _____ that's [name a direction] to the _________. However, I bet I can come up with many synonyms for watchamacallit. I'd love it if you could help me to MacGyver the thing open and avoid the locksmith.
 
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  #2  
Old 06-07-15, 03:33 PM
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First, try to rotate just the center rod (round bar with the square hole in it). It should move a 1/4 turn either clockwise of counter clockwise. That is the manual lock from the inside and the key lock from the outside. Then try to rotate the center half round bar that covers the previous bar with the square hole in it in either direction. That operates the latch and works in either direction.
 
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Old 06-07-15, 04:37 PM
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Thanks for the response. The center rod turns fine. But I can't get the half round one to move. I found some funky 2 prong U-shaped bit that worked well in the center rod. Then while still holding the locking rod in place, tried using a small-ish pair of slip joint pliers to turn the half rod. Tried needle noses and that didn't work. On the locking part -- when the door is unlocked I can see a 1/8" (or less) of the plate peeking out from behind the brass plate that is closest to me? And as long as the plates stay misaligned then the door is unlocked, right? Or is it the other way around?

I saw a you-tube where if the locking pin is partially depressed that will prevent the door from opening. Is there some way to see from inside the lock that is the case and if so then what?
 
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Old 06-07-15, 11:11 PM
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Big oops - I didn't thoroughly search this site before my first post and after finding the one from last month http://www.doityourself.com/forum/re...ml#post2421266 and Thanks to Leqid's video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFgdx5SDdC8 I feel like I understand this better and without taking out the spindle have noted:

Name:  lock notes.jpg
Views: 934
Size:  31.6 KB

I am wondering if I should try to remove spindle to try the trick czizzi mentions here http://www.doityourself.com/forum/re...ml#post2421316 I think I can see the hole that the video refers to and didn't hear/feel anything when I inserted the turkey skewer.

Anything else I can try before calling a locksmith?
 
  #5  
Old 06-08-15, 02:29 PM
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Smile Lock is out!

Thanks to all the postings here and on youtube, I realized that the only way that lock was coming out was sawing through the latch. Bless my neighbor when I went to see if he had a hacksaw blade I could buy, he insisted on coming over and taking a look and after taking off the hinge pins and hammering on the cylinder, he came to the same conclusion, except he comes back with the reciprocating saw - job was done in no time flat! Always best to have the right tool for the job -- not that I had one of those in my garage.
 
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Old 06-08-15, 04:14 PM
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If you have saved the old lock, it would be nice if you could recap what the issue was and why it stuck by kind of reverse engineering the problem. Yours is the 2nd stuck lock set in the last week and while both of you eventually were able to get into the garage, neither thread solved the mystery for any future members/readers of this forum.
 
  #7  
Old 06-09-15, 07:05 PM
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Not being a locksmith, I can't tell what the problem is. The latch has spring action but only retracts maybe an 1/8". It looks like maybe the dead lock plunger is stuck behind the faceplate. [Lock lingo courtesy of diagram at Key to a Safe Home | Know Your Front-Door Lockset | This Old House Would you like pictures? I can take some if you think that would help. I would think that just 2 or 3 shots of the latch assembly would provide any insight.
 
  #8  
Old 06-10-15, 09:14 PM
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These locks have been around since Methuselah and are a great value for hollow-core residential doors. Garage-to-house doors are often heavy solid-core and really need a heavier duty lock. They often use the same light-weight hinges that are used on hollow-core interior doors, and therefore often are the first to sag. If it's not been latching, but stays closed due to friction of weatherstripping or dragging threshold, then somebody slams or jiggles the door to ensure it latches, it will bind and be difficult to open. These locks won't take a lot of force on the knobs without breaking or bending something in the latch linkage, making it then almost impossible to open, even when prying the door up with crowbar or similar. Replace with heavier duty lock, and use long screws on the top hinge (replace if worn) to draw the door back up a bit.
 
  #9  
Old 06-11-15, 08:50 AM
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rstripe, thank you for the tips; timely because I'm doing the big box circuit this afternoon. You were right on, the gap between the door and frame is wider at the top. I took a look at the hinge and not only is the top plate missing one, but the one I took out to see what was being used was only 3/4" (#10, maybe a #12). And here I was thinking well what if it's already into the jack stud and is pulling loose. It's lucky it made it into through the jamb and into the jack stud. Adding screws to my shopping list. I think I'll use 2" in the middle and and 2 of the top hinge but for good measure throw a couple of 3" in the top hinge. Probably leave the bottom alone unless I think it looks stupid. (Like anyone but me would ever notice it.) Undoubtedly the other doors are in the same shape. I was going to go ahead and replace the other locks - can't have the best lock in the house being the one to the garage. These little jobs seem to take on a life of their own and keep growing and growing.
 
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