How to Open Doors With an L-Slide

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

Step 1: 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

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.

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    31 Discussions

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    thomasreadyedrainkona

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    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.

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    admiral001

    10 years ago on Introduction

    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.

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    ~Sasquatch~

    10 years ago on Introduction

    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.

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    locofocos

    10 years ago on Introduction

    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

    6 replies
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    b2gillslocofocos

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    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.

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    gannon12raiderscoolz

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    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.

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    locofocoscoolz

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    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.

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    coolzlocofocos

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    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

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    =SMART=

    10 years ago on Introduction

    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

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    MD_Willington

    10 years ago on Introduction

    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.

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    Bubbler

    10 years ago on Introduction

    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.

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    bhunter736

    10 years ago on Introduction

    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.

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    rogue13_13

    10 years ago on Introduction

    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.

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    estonianmk

    10 years ago on Introduction

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

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    sumguysr

    10 years ago on Introduction

    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

    1 reply
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    smithy813sumguysr

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    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.