So my son got to big for the crib I made for him a couple of years ago and I was starting to feel bad for making him sleep on a mattress on the floor. It kind of reminded me of a scene from a movie where they find the kidnapped kid in a room with a grubby mattress. So to make up for that I had to make him a cool bed with secret compartments.
I think hidden doors and secret compartments are in our dna. We all want to have that bookcase where you pull the right book that reveals the hidden room. Or lift the candle stick to make the fireplace spin to go down to your secret lab. I know you remember that scene from Young Frankenstein. Remember the Nes game Shadowgate? Or the pc game Myst? Those were full of secret spaces that you had to discover to find the next clue.
The boat bed I built has three..possibly four secret compartments. One is pretty obvious. The hatch in the prow of the boat opens to store blankets and other big items. The name plate on the...um..just a sec...wikipedia...Starboard side is a small drawer to hide goodies in. My guy put a Mickey Mouse toy in there first thing. Also on the...port side there is a flag pole that you push down on to reveal a hidden panel (click on pic 3). That's the cool one. You can also lift off the mattress and store stuff under the bed itself...
Step 1: Design and Materials
I'm not much for making a real exact drawing of what I build. I tend to just go for it. So for this project I did a basic sketch (on paper) with the mattress dimensions, finished height, and the space I had to work with. Then I just used my tape measure and eye-balled the shape I wanted. Another big design factor was that I wanted to be able to take it apart easily if I end up moving in the next two years. So that made it a little more difficult. As I went along in the project I had to make a few minor adjustments in my original dimensions to allow for plywood bending and for the tools I had on hand.
I up-cycled a lot of materials from other projects (crib) and stuff I had on hand. I did buy one sheet of 5/8" ply for the mattress to sit on and 2 sheets of 1/8" to cover the boat. The structure is made mostly from 3/4"material. Plus paint and Polyurethane. Nails, screws glue...all the basics.
Palm sander (random orbit)
Japanese style pull saw
Various drill bits