Introduction: How to Open Doors With an L-Slide

Picture of How to Open Doors With an L-Slide

L-Slides are neat, simple tools that can let you open a closed door. Locked out? L-slide!

Step 1: Create Your 'Slide

Picture of Create Your 'Slide

The method of choice is to scrounge up some brick-strap, which usually floats around construction places.

Use pliers (to bend the metal back and forth along a line until it shears) or bolt cutters, to cut the length you want.

Then, bend the brick-strap to a ninety degree angle, creating an "L" with one longer side and one shorter side.

Use any method available to you to pound the angle flat.

Step 2: Practice

Picture of Practice

Keep your eyes peeled for one that opens towards you, with the curved side of the latch facing away from you, and a good amount of space between the faceplate and the strikeplate.

Slip the long side of your slide through the door.

Work the slide towards you.

Use your other hand to pull on the door so that when the latch is out of the hole in the doorjamb , the door pulls open - Voila!

Sometimes a door latch will be stiff - wriggling, shaking, or agitating your slide might help.
Occasionally, you can use the slide to ratchet open the door by wiggling it left-to-right.

Some doors have lock-out pins, just above the latch, to make the latch immobile if the lock-out pin is pressed in. So always come up from the bottom!

Some doors have slide guards - get to it later, once you understand the basic principles.

If these coaxings don't help, practice on a different door.


SurferGeek (author)2008-06-03

Worthless on a deadbolt.

edrainkona (author)SurferGeek2008-06-03

Just use a bump key.

thomasready (author)edrainkona2012-06-16

Yeah!! bump Key was wondering if someone would come forward with that way to go edrainkona :D I bumped the police dept. once there so lame.

admiral001 (author)2009-02-10

I've tried this on many different types of doors, and i have yet to see this work. the beveled part of the latch that you need to get the slide into is too far into the door jamb. It's a good idea, but not very effective.

~Sasquatch~ (author)2009-02-09

Bit late on this wagon, but thought I should point out, MOST exterior doors open into the building! Some double French doors are hinged to open out, but as noted, they have a strip covering the lock stile gap, blocking access from a slide.

locofocos (author)2008-06-05

I made something kinda like this out of my old school ID (made just like a credit card). This mostly works on doors inside buildings (like a teachers classroom) or on doors that aren't as important to keep locked. For example, this would never work on the main door to my house as it has 2 dead bolts on it, but it works on doors inside my old school. Long story short, I was showing a friend how to do it. I opened the door, but he was tired of standing and waiting for our teacher to come to unlock the door and he went inside. We both got an office referral and couldn't do any "fun" stuff they plan for us at the end of the year. This was about 2 weeks before the last day of school. There wasn't anything against it in the rules book. I even asked the principal to tell us what rule we broke, and she couldn't :P

b2gills (author)locofocos2008-09-14

I used to do that to get into a class room, only thing is we were allowed to be in there, just didn't have a key. We had gotten into the building bay having one of the maintenance men unlock the outside door.

coolz (author)locofocos2008-06-05

i think that was "breaking and entering"

gannon12raiders (author)coolz2008-07-12

Yeah...I know all about that...I used to carry a couple of picks and a tension wrench for lockpicking around with me, but I was never any good at it... I did, however, find out that you can use the tension wrench in almost the exact same way this instructable describes. Got caught, though. Stupid PIC left his damn book in the room. One week suspension...grounded at home for a month-ish.

locofocos (author)coolz2008-06-08

yep. which still wasn't anywhere in the rule book :P or maybe it's against state laws and theres something about following state laws, but thats the only thing i can think up without hurting my brain.

coolz (author)locofocos2008-06-09

yeah, but breaking and entering is just one of the many terms to downplay any suggestion of stealing, which is what basically happened, except you didn't take anything

bmxer (author)coolz2008-06-05

sounds about right...

=SMART= (author)2008-06-22

Cool i've never seen this before, i have a credit-card shaped 1.5mm thick piece of aluminum which lets me into many rooms at school previously un-accessible to students :D me and my friend went on the roof once :P

MD_Willington (author)2008-06-09

Use a thin putty knife... I used to repo houses and I have locked my keys in my own house... yeah it works as long as there is no deadbolt.

Bubbler (author)2008-06-06

Any state in Australia will have the police recognise this devise as an implement and it is an offence to carry such an implement. They will charge you with that offence.

bhunter736 (author)2008-06-06

Lots of comments already, but being a licensed locksmith in California, I cant help but chime in. This will work on many doors. If the deadlatch, that second smaller finger on the latch, is functioning this will not work. For the deadlatch to function, the door and strike must be aligned reasonably, but not perfectly. There can be up to 1/8 inch gap and a deadlatch will still do its magic if it is a quality lock, not residential grade or hardware store variety. The latch guard is there to help prevent this type of tool, but a worn or low quality lock will still let you past if you persist. Using a tool other than a key is breaking and entering if you are not documented as someone with authorized access, example your ID with matching address or work ID etc... As someone else mentioned, some states - CA for sure, treat carrying a tool shaped for breaking and entering as a crime unless you can prove at the time you are caught that you are trying to gain access to somewhere you belong. As a student, you are in a gray area breaking into a classroom. You are expected to have reasonable access to your campus, usually a staff member is implied but not always stated in black and white. This is why your principal didnt know what to do with you. Anyway, good instructable. Always proceed with caution whenever you subvert security measures, mechanical or electronic. Keep studying the locks, you may make a great locksmith some day. It is still fun breaking in to things even when you have permission from the locked out owner right there with you. You also get to be the hero of the moment and the pay is good without having to serve time. : ) Houdini was a locksmith in a way, he didnt practice locksmithing but knew more about locks at the time than most locksmiths.

rogue13_13 (author)2008-06-05

I would be careful before making one of these... many states have laws which categorize tools like this as "burglary tools", which you can be arrested for possession of.

estonianmk (author)2008-06-05

you can use these to rob a house, you probaly can get areted for udeing these

sumguysr (author)2008-06-02

most doors I've encountered in places I would actually care to do this have a second finger that recedes when the door is closed, not allowing the latch to be opened this way

smithy813 (author)sumguysr2008-06-04

they've got em, but the door has to be PERFECTLY aligned in the frame for it to work, other wise it just stays non-depressed and you can open it with a card.

theRIAA (author)sumguysr2008-06-02

yea, when the door open out, and your outside, the lock is on the inside ledge

Lord Unlikely (author)2008-06-04

Great Instructable but at my school the looks are just flat so it wont work.

monkeywithawrench (author)2008-06-04

This doesn't usually work on French doors or industrial doors, with or without industrial locks.

biggyeyes (author)2008-06-04

did this using a prepaid card when our Computer room was locked. also did this to one of our school doors(which had a slide guard.) this is hard to do if the slope part is on the opposite side (what the school did to the class doors.) Had to use a wire from a Christmas decor to open it by inserting a U-shaped wire the puling it out while pulling the door(knob) hehe. It worked.

SWV1787 (author)2008-06-02

nice easy and effective in theory... but if a door is properly mounted it should not have enough gap to get the shim into the gap between latch and catch... better study lock picking too so you have another trick up your sleeve.

Big Bwana (author)SWV17872008-06-04

Not if you cut open a soda can and use the aluminum cut into a L shaped piece, unless you have mounted the door so tight you have to shoulder check it to open and close it. ((( I"ve seen doors like this and this is not Properly mounted, because as soon as the temp changes you won't open the door, and you can damage the jamb / door and buildings do shift / move all the time ))) But a good locksmith would use a proper lock set which would not open in this manner, they only cost a few bucks more, there is some thing to be said for those $10 wal-mart special lock sets, and if you use them, you might want to get rid of them ... And maybe a steel guard over the lock / latch making prying attempts that much harder, and even a good rose so when the thief uses a jack to bust the handle off they can't open the door easily... But then again it's only as strong as the 2x4 or 2x6 stud holding the wall/ jamb together... So with that all said, as long as your lock / door is better then the person living next to you all should be good for you .....

stasterisk (author)SWV17872008-06-02

no door is properly mounted.

microman171 (author)2008-06-03

I use my school ID card and it works on the non-slide guarded doors

mrmath (author)2008-06-03

breaking and entering 101

Patrik (author)2008-06-03

When I stayed in one of the grad student apartment buildings at Stanford, I discovered that I could open my apartment door in two seconds with an ordinary credit card.

In fact, I discovered that I could open all the doors in th entire, 12-story apartment building with a simple slide of a credit card! 8-/

threecheersfornick (author)2008-06-02

Nice. The only time I've done it was with a loop of weed-eater string... we had to improvise. Slightly unrelated, the doors to the gym at my school lock with posts that slide into holes in the ground. I discovered that you could open the door and let yourself in by sticking your hand under the door and pushing the pin up. A couple of weeks later they added a guard so your hand wouldn't fit....

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