Wood jammed car lock per 2/6/2010 show


#1

Tom and Ray suggested using “Stump Out” to remove the woody material. Do Not use it, it’s KNO3 (Potassium Nitrate) and will corrode metals far worse than any road salt.



I’d consider almost anything else to be better. Termites? Mushroom spores?


#2

Get to a locksmith!
Professional locksmiths have tools designed to enter locks and remove objects. Usually these objects are broken keys but they could be used to remove the bark in this case.
Of course, the car’s owner has no doubt tried to stuff the key in the lock cramming the bark into every pore of the lock so complete disassembly of the lock may be necessary and getting to the lock means door disassembly.
In any case, a professional locksmith who specializes in automotive locksmithing will have the skills and tools to get the lock in proper working order.
The car’s owner can find a competent locksmith at the Associated Locksmiths of America’s website
www.ALOA.org
Dave, CPL


#3

I concur with P0g0, with caveats. I heard this and thought the same thing he did, but I checked the MSDS on Stump-Out. It’s actually not potassium nitrate; it’s 98% sodium metabisulfite. Not as corrosive as potassium nitrate, but it’s a precursor to sulfuric acid. (Chemists, dive in. You’ll know more than me.) I still wouldn’t put this into a metal lock with somewhat delicate parts.

http://www.bonide.com/lbonide/msds/msds271.pdf


#4

Neither of the chemicals you have named are likely to be harmful to people or metals. But I don’t think they will work either, since they facilitate the breakdown of wood by biological action and require water and air circulation. I vote for the locksmith.


#5

I knew an old lock smith that once told me how he gets broken keys out of locks. He said that a coping saw blade cut off at the teeth and the teeth facing out of the lock can take out the broken key. This blade which is very thin and small can be put into the lock next to the broken key and with gentile pressure can get it out. I think this may work for your tree bark issue.


#6

I would try air pressure from a compressor and nozzle, blown directly into the key hole, while gently poking the slot with a pin of some sort.


#7

Yes, get thee to a locksmith. I’m sorta dumbfounded that Tom & Ray would recommend squirting a compound into a lock that would break down the material – into what? The residue has to go somewhere, and it’s going to end up in the nooks & crannies of the lock. I’d certainly like to hear this woman on Stump the Chumps. In this case, I feel the chumps were stumped by stump-out. Sort of ironic.


#8

Might work if the blade is thin and narrow enough and the keyhole’s wide enough. You might have to grind it down some.

Still, if you drive the car to a locksmith, he could probably get it out for not too much cost (unless it’s so jammed in the lock has to be removed-still, it’d be the only way-unless YOU took the lock out and brought it in, that’d save some money).


#9

That would just force it further in, most likely. A shop-vac, on the other hand, might suck some of it out, but probably not enough. Kudos for creative thinking though!


#10

How about long pointed tweezers?


#11

Try using two sewing needles. Poke one needle into the wood from the top of the key slot at a slightly downward angle and the other needle into the wood from the bottom of the key slot at a slightly upward angle. Then slowly but firmly try to pry the wood out by raising the upper needle upwards and the lower needle downwards. This will only work if the wood is not too tightly wedged into the key slot. You may have to have someone push the key slot cover open with another needle while you are working on the wood. If that doesn’t work, try picking at the wood with a dental pick with a short curved end until you gouge most of it out.


#12

A variation on using compressed air would be using a vacuum cleaner to suck out the pieces of bark. This worked for me when my kid did the same thing to our car door lock (why do kids have to stick things in whatever orifice is handy?) Bark is fairly lightweight and, even if broken up a bit, should be able to be sucked out completely. You can use a small piece of wire to help the bits and pieces get out as, in my case, the peices would get lodged sideways in the keyway. Hope this helps…


#13

A variation on using compressed air would be using a vacuum cleaner to suck out the pieces of bark. This worked for me when my kid did the same thing to our car door lock (why do kids have to stick things in whatever orifice is handy?) Bark is fairly lightweight and, even if broken up a bit, should be able to be sucked out completely. You can use a small piece of wire to help the bits and pieces get out as, in my case, the peices would get lodged sideways in the keyway. Hope this helps…


#14

Try heating a small nail file, or anything metal, flat, and will fit in the keyhole; repeatedly insert the heated object until the bark is cooked out. I would not inject any chemicals into the keyhole.


#15

OK, I did not check the post-911 formulation of Stump-Out, mea maxima culpa. In the bad old days, it was KNO3, which, thank you Tim McVey, is not a good thing to sell on the open market, I guess. I’d used it in years past: soak it into a stump, ignite it, and it would pretty much burn away. I stand corrected. I’d still: 1) go to a locksmith, 2) host some of those really aggressive African Termites, 3) grow Shitakes in my car door, 4) dock my kid the cost of going to a locksmith and take it out of his college fund, 5) torch the car door- if it’s still usable, do so, if not, collect the insurance.


#16

Call a locksmith. Or get a small,skinny coping saw blade. Cut off one end to get rid of the part that attaches to the saw frame. You need the blade to have the teeth facing back towards you. Now file or sharpen the blade to a point, leaving the teeth intact. Then carefully insert the saw blade into the lock and try to snag the wood and pull it back out of the lock. This same trick works to pull out a broken key. Be careful not to bugger up the lock mechanism.


#17

Funny, I have a bit of personal experience with this. A… um, friend of mine, during a night of drunken stupor back in college, tried to enter his apartment, but couldn’t find his keys. Having just come from Buffalo Bills Wild Wings, he had a toothpick sticking out of the corner of his mouth. To a person with a BAC of about .18, this seemed like the perfect lockpick. When half the toothpick broke off in the lock, I… I mean he used the other half for a second attempt and only succeeded in jamming the lock with slobber and chicken wing imbided toothpick remnants. I finally managed to enter my… I mean he and his apartment by way of the kitchen window. The next day, I… I mean he set to work digging out the lock with dental tools and a Teledyne waterpik. He broke apart the wood with the dental picks, then blasted out the pieces with the waterpik. In a car lock, it’ll probably take two picks, one to hold the little protective gate open and the other to do the digging. I would suggest a hooked pick to pull the gate back, then tape it to the side of the door, then set to work with a straight pick to bust up the wood. Note, wear safety glasses. This is experience talking. Once all the wood is out, or all the wood you can retrieve, I would suggest a spritz with WD40 or some such lube/rust inhibitor. In fact, come to think of it, the dental picks plus WD40 with the little red straw (The one we always lose) might work as well as the waterpik. Just be sure to wipe down your door afterward.


#18

Ants. I would get some carpenter Ants and put them in your lock cylinder. That should take care of the bark problem in about 2 days.

Call back when you have an ant problem, I think you can buy a chemical to get rid of the ants.


#19

I have a container of Strum Remover, it contains Potassium Nitrate. When mixed with kerosene the stump will burn with a smoldering, red glow, clear down to the roots, disintergrating the stump into ashes.

Stump-Out containing 98% sodium meetabisulfite. I use a chemical simular to this at by job to remove oxygen from feedwater used in boilers. When mixed with water and allowed to dry it formed an acid salt (ferric acid) which will disolved stainless steel. This will continue until the acid salt is removed and the metal surfaces are treated to a neutral ph.


#20

I have removed many broken keys by this method. I use a hacksaw blade. I grind off the back of the blade for a length at least equal to the length of the key. I just leave the hardened edge with the teeth on it. The part that goes into the lock should have the tooth points pointing back toward you. The teeth should be pointing toward the key or other foreign object. A metal key part just slides out. Wood may require a little finagling.