Improvised Locksmith Tools

Anything that can be accessed by an authorized person can be accessed by an unauthorized person. The key to defense is making that access as painstaking for the unauthorized person as possible. To demonstrate various fallibilities in access control systems, I constructed the following tools. The following is intended as an academic assessment of vulnerabilities in physical access control systems.

Under The Door Tools

Custom engineered three-piece kit with carrying case can compromise most doors by creeping under the door and opening it from the inside.

The Ramsey Jr.: Under The Door Lever Tool

Named after an ex-FBI burglary investigator, this is a custom tool I made to open doors which have handles (as opposed to knobs). The device, which is only about 4-5mm thick, is slid between the bottom of the door and the floor. It is then lifted such that the wire can hook onto the latch. Once this occurs, the device is moved to the opposite side from the handle, and the wire is pulled down. This will instantly and easily open the latch.

The design is very simple, and thus very elegant. The sheer number of doors this can compromise is amazing. Most public buildings (businesses, schools, etc.) exclusively use latch handles because government regulation mandates it. In addition, indoor doors are generally not made to fit snug with the ground. In most cases, there is enough room to slip such a device under. If not, a crow-bar, screwdriver, or airbag device can gently raise the door just enough to fit this under.

In order to combat such a device being used, various measures can be taken. These include, but are certainly not limited to: install knobs instead of handles, install secondary locks such as deadbolts, use high-security door frames and flush mounted, or better yet, recessed doors to prevent devices from being slipped under, and install handles that will not open from the inside if locked with a key (although this fix may violate certain building/fire codes).

Jaclyn II: Under The Door Push bar Tool

After some toying with the Ramsey Jr., I started to look at door handles with a new sense of wonder. A very common commercial door is the push-bar type door. The Jaclyn II opens push-bar type doors.

Since the push-bar needs force exerted towards the operator instead of downwards, this device differs in where the force is directed. A small cord is pulled upwards in the door jam to gain leverage and apply force in the correct direction.

Jaclyn III is a smaller tool used to wedge between and open a double door push bar setup.

Covert Entry Kit

This kit I made includes the custom latch bypass kit (described below), lock shims, various lock picks, torque wrenches, a knife, a PVC door carder (with grip), various slim jims, various bolt manipulation tools, a butane torch, a Swiss file set, digital caliper and key blanks (not shown), and an under-the-door mirror. This kit does not include any alarm system bypass tools. Those are contained in a separate kit.

Custom Latch Bypass Kit

This is a custom-machined kit I designed and fabricated that has three tactical-black aluminum handles and a variety of interchangeable accessories. It is designed to manipulate the latch used to prevent the door from opening.

All of the tools pictured above fit into slits on the black handles. This allows for comfortable bolt manipulation. The wide tube second to the right is the holding container for the smaller attachments.

A slide made of metal package strapping that can go around latch guards.

An extra long Slim-Jim to bypass long latch guards

A wallet-sized mini slide... something nobody should ever leave the house without.

"The Hook" - perfect for more exposed latches. Shown below the hook, with the aluminum handle, is a bolt manipulator designed for doors that have a guard (it slips around the guard).

A latch turner for doors where the lock core has been removed. This will act like the rear of the lock and pull the bolt mechanism back into its housing.

The WonderBoy: Remote RF Fuse Igniter

The WonderBoy is used to remotely set off various pyrotechnic devices. The device uses an integrated RF circuit with a digital data output tied to a microcontroller to trigger. After receiving the proper ignite signal, the microcontroller brings an output line to high, activating a relay, allowing current to flow through an electric rocket engine igniter (available from most hobby stores). E-matches available from many magician stores are also very good. The igniter is, in turn, in a custom casing which contains black powder. A fuse can be inserted into this casing, and when the remote triggers the device, the fuse is lit. The model I constructed that is shown has about a 1500 foot range. While the igniter can be directly inserted into homemade devices, the fuse offers an added layer of safety. If for some reason a false signal were to occur, one would have time to move away.

The WonderBoy also has a self-trigger feature, which allows an operator to use it as a wired blast trigger. On top there are two ports for connecting the blast wire to the device.

For safety, the unit has various indicator lamps, an on/off switch, and a continuity tester to ensure the explosive has been properly rigged.

The device is well suited for hobbyist fireworks, pyrotechnics for film, and on the government side, not so covert entry.