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Thread: secret compartment

  1. #1
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    secret compartment

    Granddaughter asked me to make a bedside table with a secret compartment. Has anyone tried this?
    Here is a pic I made in SketchUp. It looks a little heavy because of the top rail on the end that is the front of the secret drawer,
    Bill Gebhardt

    bedside table.jpg

  2. #2
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    You can hide a compartment behind the drawer. Except for cabinetmakers, nobody notices that the drawer isn't as deep as the cabinet. You take the drawer out and set it aside, to access the chamber behind the drawer.

    You can do this with undermount slides. The drawer disconnects from the slides easily, without tools.

    Or you can do this with traditional wood-on-wood sliding surfaces. Have you ever been around old furniture with wood slides, where the drawer threatens to fall on your toes if you pull it out too far? That's how you could do this drawer-plus-secret design. Or you could get tricky, and include an out-stop. It stops the drawer from pulling all the way out of the cabinet. But - here's the trick - it can be defeated so you can pull the drawer all the way out of the cabinet.

  3. #3
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    I built a couple of nightstands that have a secret door that drops open when you push a button. The door swings down for access to the “emergency equipment”. The door is a false bottom under the drawer. The button consists of a spring loaded dowel with a smaller diameter in one place that allows a notch to pass when it lines up. For light stuff like papers etc. you could use a magnet.
    Charlie Jones

  4. #4
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    I have made a false bottom in a drawer before. Used a magnet to lift out the false bottom. Not high tech but still gets an oww and aww....

  5. #5
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    Dustin Penner (yes, the hockey player) has made several projects with secret compartments and posted them on YouTube. For ideas, you might find watching these videos to be worthwhile. He is a pretty good woodworker too.

    Charley

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Jamie Buxton View Post
    You can hide a compartment behind the drawer. Except for cabinetmakers, nobody notices that the drawer isn't as deep as the cabinet. You take the drawer out and set it aside, to access the chamber behind the drawer.
    I like to do that as well, except it doesnít hide a secret compartment, it holds an old valve spring. Itís a mark of authenticity, and a provocation to future generations.

  7. #7
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    Another alternative is to hinge the top, leaving a shallow tray below. This would not interfere with a standard drawer construction.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derek Cohen View Post
    Another alternative is to hinge the top, leaving a shallow tray below. This would not interfere with a standard drawer construction.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek
    A downside to the hinged top, and to the false bottom in the drawer which others have mentioned, is that you have to clear off the top or the contents of the drawer to get to the secret compartment. That's a bit of a pain.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamie Buxton View Post
    A downside to the hinged top, and to the false bottom in the drawer which others have mentioned, is that you have to clear off the top or the contents of the drawer to get to the secret compartment. That's a bit of a pain.
    I know, but that can be a good point ... if you really want to hide something

    This ...



    Becomes this ...



    Regards from Perth

    Derek
    Last edited by Derek Cohen; 05-17-2021 at 1:00 AM.

  10. #10
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    Another idea ...

    I built this blanket box with a secret drawer ... very accessible. And NO ONE finds it when they stand in front ...




    It depends, of course, on the construction/design. If the bedside table has a skirting ....



    Link: http://www.inthewoodshop.com/Furniture/Kist.html

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derek Cohen View Post
    Another idea ...

    I built this blanket box with a secret drawer ... very accessible. And NO ONE finds it when they stand in front ...




    It depends, of course, on the construction/design. If the bedside table has a skirting ....





    Regards from Perth

    Derek
    Boy is that a spectacular chest! ...and a fine secret drawer too...

  12. #12
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    Thanks for all the good ideas, some of which have me concentrating on:

    this: but not with IKEA.


    Bill Gebhardt

  13. #13
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    It's important to understand the frequency and ease of access that she requires for this secret compartment idea...it's a security vs "just privacy" kind of thing. That will affect the design materially.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  14. #14
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    I tend to like the "magnetic lock" where a wooden key, like a knob, has a magnet imbedded in it that you use to unlock the hidden compartment with, when the magnet is placed against the piece in just the right position to unlock the secret space/drawer. The "key" is part of the piece, so you have to know that it's a key and also how to use it to unlock the secret. The magnet could lift a steel pin that is lightly spring loaded in a hole so it is preventing the drawer or door from opening until the magnet moves this pin and unlocks the drawer or door.

    Charley
    Last edited by Charles Lent; 05-17-2021 at 11:22 PM.

  15. #15
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    You could do something like this below the drawer. A rare earth magnet would be more than enough to hold it up and a couple friction lid supports would make sure it didn't drop open.
    huge_1c055507-4e99-40b2-88bc-c1b8647523ab.jpg

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