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Old 02-23-09, 05:56 AM   #1
Trakhak
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Removing Bic pen from Kryptonite lock

Whoever tried to steal my commuter bike from outside Union Station in DC over the weekend left the stub end of a Bic pen jammed in the lock, so the bike is going to sit there until I figure out how to get the lock open. The lock cylinder turned about 15 degrees before the pen broke off, so it may be impossible to unlock the lock no matter what I do.

Assuming that the lock might still allow use of the key (since the plastic is presumably holding the pins and tumblers in place, maybe I can grab the solid inner cylinder in the keyway with a vicegrip), is there a solvent that would dissolve the plastic pen barrel thoroughly enough to allow the key to be used?

Otherwise, I suppose I could rent a cordless angle grinder.

Any other suggestions?
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Old 02-23-09, 06:52 AM   #2
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Angle grinder and cutoff blade will work, but you may be able to melt it out with a propane torch or mini butane. It sounds fatal either way.
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Old 02-23-09, 06:53 AM   #3
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Acetone or MEK might soften or dissolve the plastic enough to remove the remnants. +1 on the heat approach also.
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Old 02-23-09, 06:57 AM   #4
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I was thinking melt it out too, I would think a small lighter would do it just slowly but maybe slow enough to melt the plastic without getting anythung else too hot. Just don't sniff the fumes, plastic burning is nasty.
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Old 02-23-09, 07:30 AM   #5
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Just don't use acetone or MEK (methylethylketone) with the heat approach. They are extremely flammable. The cops might think you have a bike-bomb and shoot you! LOL!
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Old 02-23-09, 09:51 AM   #6
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I don't think MEK/acetone will dissolve the plastic in a Bic pen - it's probably polyethylene or (more likely) polypropylene which won't dissolve in MEK. However, they're much more likely to dissolve in mineral spirits or gasoline if anything, so you could give that a try.

Unfortunately, I don't think you'll ever dissolve enough of that pen even with an appropriate solvent. If you try, the pen will swell, and will actually become much tougher to get out. Even if you succeed, what you'll probably do is dissolve enough pen to actually seize the lock components as the solvent carries polymer through the lock mechanism.

I hate to say it, but I see a grinder in your future.
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Old 02-23-09, 09:57 AM   #7
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paint thinner will melt plastic if you leave it dipped in there for a while.
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Old 02-23-09, 10:11 AM   #8
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paint thinner will melt plastic if you leave it dipped in there for a while.
Problem is he'd have to immerse the lock. If he can rig a bucket of thinner up so the head of the lock is sitting in it...might as well give it a try. It'll take a while though.
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Old 02-23-09, 10:11 AM   #9
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I might try a cordless dremel with a tiny jeweler's drill bit, or maybe the tiny little grinder tips that they make for engraving/burnishing. These type of tips are small enough to fit in that gap and try to chew away the plastic of the pen.
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Old 02-23-09, 10:56 AM   #10
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It's just a piece of soft plastic, try taking a pair of needle nose pliers and a solid grip and just rip that thing out of there?

If the tumbler is already partially rotated, you'll need to grind the 'tooth' thing off your key to get it into the lock.


P.S. wow the bic pen trick, after all these years? aren't the new kryptonites supposed to not work that way anymore?
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Old 02-23-09, 11:10 AM   #11
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P.S. wow the bic pen trick, after all these years? aren't the new kryptonites supposed to not work that way anymore?
They don't work that way anymore. Clearly this is an old lock.
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Old 02-23-09, 02:19 PM   #12
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Yes, this is an old lock. Found out about the replacement program too late and then decided to take my chances. It was a reasonable decision until today.

Thanks very much for all the help. I think the cordless dremel may be the first thing I try.
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Old 02-23-09, 02:30 PM   #13
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Take a heavy duty paperclip, straighten about half of it out. Heat the straight part till it's red hot with a lighter or torch while holding the looped end in pliers. Then shove the hot end into the plastic in the lock. When it cools you should be able to pull it all out of the lock. If not, plan B with the grinder is still an option.
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Old 02-23-09, 03:03 PM   #14
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I'd try another bic pen. Shove it in and turn until unlocked. Once removed, you can throw it away or dig out the plastic with an icepick/nail/etc if you want to continue using it.
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Old 02-23-09, 05:12 PM   #15
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Or maybe try tapping it back with a nail set? Worth a try.
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Old 02-23-09, 05:51 PM   #16
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hammer and nail. mash it to bits. pick up the pieces
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Old 02-23-09, 05:53 PM   #17
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Submerge the lock in liquid nitrogen. Hit with hammer. They shatter. As would your frame - so don't submerge it.
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Old 02-23-09, 06:12 PM   #18
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I was able to free a lock up with a dremel and a small drill bit--just needs to be slightly larger than the pins. If you drill down through each one, a sprung pin should then fall out. At that point, the lock should turn freely (and never work with a key again, of course). Typically there are 5 pins, shouldn't take more than about 15 minutes.
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Old 02-23-09, 06:17 PM   #19
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For the record, if you send your old lock in, they'll send you a new Krypto lock for $18. Not free, but still a pretty good deal.
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Old 02-23-09, 06:31 PM   #20
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The material of pen cases, polypropylene, is quite resistant to solvents. I would recommend Crank57's approach, with a small hook to the paperclip end.
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Old 02-23-09, 08:19 PM   #21
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I suppose someone should mention that you may want to contact the police before you try some of the above suggestions, just to let them know the situation and what you're up to. It may save you some embarassment, lest they think it's you who's stealing the bike. Then again they may not give a crap. I'm just sayin'...
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Old 02-23-09, 08:34 PM   #22
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For the record, if you send your old lock in, they'll send you a new Krypto lock for $18. Not free, but still a pretty good deal.
all I see is a reference to the fact that they had the replacement program for a year and they aren't doing it any more. Do you have any more information about an exchange?
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Old 02-23-09, 08:38 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
Whoever tried to steal my commuter bike from outside Union Station in DC over the weekend left the stub end of a Bic pen jammed in the lock, so the bike is going to sit there until I figure out how to get the lock open. The lock cylinder turned about 15 degrees before the pen broke off, so it may be impossible to unlock the lock no matter what I do.

Assuming that the lock might still allow use of the key (since the plastic is presumably holding the pins and tumblers in place, maybe I can grab the solid inner cylinder in the keyway with a vicegrip), is there a solvent that would dissolve the plastic pen barrel thoroughly enough to allow the key to be used?

Otherwise, I suppose I could rent a cordless angle grinder.

Any other suggestions?

Iím for the heating attempt. Is it in a populated area where you could be mistaken for a thief at the time?
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Old 02-23-09, 10:35 PM   #24
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I would melt and burn as much as possible with a small torch, while the lock is hot, heat the key up while holding it with a vise grip or pliers and insert it.

The Hot, lock, key and soft plastic may allow you to Turn it to open.

My 2 cents
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Old 02-26-09, 11:15 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by A.Winthrop View Post
.
Kryptonite offered a one-for-one free exchange for the old
Bic-vulnerable Kryptonite locks. ...
What a deal! I wonder if the
offer still stands? Probably not, but you have to give
Kryptonite some kudos for making good on their locks.
As noted above, they did that for a year and then stopped. I see no
indication on their website that they are doing anything now.
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