Introduction: Diversion Safe / Can Safe

Picture of Diversion Safe / Can Safe

Here's how to make a diversion safe to store/hide small valuables or cash.

This version has a screw-off bottom, so that the whole thing can be picked up without falling apart and plaster makes it of comparable weight to its original contents to fool those that pick it up.

Step 1: What You'll Need

Picture of What You'll Need

Epoxy (preferably quick-setting)
Plaster of Paris
Soup can or other type of can
Small(er) plastic jar with threaded lid (with label removed for mildew resistance)
Side-cutting Can Opener (did I mention it HAS to be a side-cutting type?)
Several hundred dollars in cash
Hungarian Vizsla (optional)

Step 2: Open Bottom of Can

Picture of Open Bottom of Can

With your fancy side-cutting can opener, open the bottom of the soup can leaving the top intact and remove the newly created lid.

Step 3: Clean the Can

Picture of Clean the Can

Eat the soup, then clean out the can with hot water, but be careful not to get the label wet. Rinse off the lid and dry everything out with a paper towel.

Step 4: Pet the Hungarian Vizsla

Picture of Pet the Hungarian Vizsla

Scratching behind the ears is best.

Step 5: Attaching the Internal Lid to the External Lid

Picture of Attaching the Internal Lid to the External Lid

Mix up some epoxy and put a glob on the inside of the metal lid.

Stand the small container upside down on the metal lid and center the two lids as best as possible. You can slowly spin the metal lid around to see that the small lid is aligned along the same center point as the metal lid.

Let the epoxy dry until it can be handled.

Now the plastic jar should fit in the soup can.

Step 6: Adding the Plaster

Picture of Adding the Plaster

Mix up some Plaster of Paris. You'll only need enough to cover about an inch of the jar inside the soup can and if it's a little watery, it's easier to work with.

Pour the plaster of paris into the upside-down soup can then push the jar into the can and apply pressure so that the plaster makes good solid contact.

Wait until the plaster starts to set (2-4 mins) and unscrew the lid about a half to a full turn, then push down some more. This way when you screw down the metal lid in the future, it goes very snuggly in.

Let it sit for 20-30 minutes to solidify.

Step 7: Look at the Hungarian Vizsla

Picture of Look at the Hungarian Vizsla

Look at the Hungarian Vizsla to make sure he's still interested.

Step 8: Use It

Picture of Use It

Put several hundred dollars inside and close the lid.

Let the Hungarian Vizsla inspect your work.


Swansong (author)2017-09-22

Your dog is adorable :)

Beszels Magyarul (author)2010-03-03

Nice dog, tell it I said "csa" he will know what it means.

gma24 (author)2010-02-03

 If I left mine in the cupboard, either I or someone else in the house would inadvertently donate it with other canned goods when there is a food drive.

I'll probably remove the food label, cover the can with card stock and put a label on it that says 'ribbon' or something like that.  I'll keep it in my craft room. 

Danny (author)2007-01-09

only problem is if you have something like car keys or coins then they rattle

gma24 (author)Danny2010-02-03

Fill it with Great Stuff spray foam.  That will buffer a lot of the noise too.

It will expand past the top of the can, but can easily be cut down to size with a serrated edged knife. 

bighead3 (author)Danny2007-01-09

Stuff it full of cotton I guess. This jar is plastic, so that should attenuate some of the noise. You get a lot of earthquakes or something?

sumlunatik (author)bighead32007-01-17

you could coat the inside with the Plasti-kote stuff, that should deaden the sound. Nice instructable. Thanks

tubbychick3n (author)2010-01-31

Great instructable. I plan on doing this, and i might try to make a small business out of it. I will probably be using soda/energy drink cans and cooking sprays or whipped cream, etc. Does anyone know where I can purchase empty jars (plastic or glass), that will work for soda cans, in a decent quantity? Maybe somewhere between 7-10 dollars for 10-12 jars?

would these work? (right size and whatnot?)

bighead3 (author)tubbychick3n2010-01-31

No, not really;
1) Those are for canning.  The lids are typically in two pieces. 
2) They're glass. 

You should secure the outer container first then find inner containers that fit inside the outer containers -- and I recommend using a plastic container on the inside.  I'd be afraid to use glass anywhere in it, but I suppose it could be done.

I made one out of a can of Edge shaving cream and a couple of brown cylindrical medicine bottles.  I cut the top off of one medicine bottle and the bottom off of the other and taped them together, to make one roughly twice as long -- since the shaving cream can was so tall and skinny. 

Now, if you're not too proud -- and you're doing it über-cheaply -- you may find some luck rummaging through an apartment complex's dumpster or a neighborhood recycling bin.  You'd be looking mostly for aerosol cans, since the soup cans would not have been opened in a way friendly to your work.

I also found some small plastic generic spice bottles on sale at the local grocery store, two-for-a-dollar sort of thing.  Those worked reasonably well.

And on the bottom of any of these plastic containers, you can typically find the name of the manufacturer.  Google it and contact them and see what they have -- never tried this one, but I can see how it might work.

Good luck.

heathbar64 (author)2009-06-30

nice Job!, but probably my wife would get it out and cut the top out the first time she got hungry. and then be mad at me because she was all set for soup. I think maybe I'll make one out of an oil bottle or something that goes in the garage. it would be safer all around.

DurkaDurka (author)2009-03-01

AAHAHAHAHA When i was looking at the step on picture..... it took me like 5 min to realize that your dog was there.... hahha Cool instructable though

shadow12952 (author)2008-11-27

but what if i got hungry and wanted a can of turkey pot pie?

Grey_Wolfe (author)2008-06-13

Perhaps a thick Layer of epoxy in the can to Hold the jar, let set then fill in the sides with distilled water (or isopropyl, to prevent nastiness), then put another ring of epoxy around the tope of jar to seal (below the threads. Leave a bit of air between epoxy and liquid. When all set, this would creat the weight, while also sounding like the can has goods in it when shaken. Just an idea.

James Haskin (author)2008-05-22

I made one a few minutes ago... so cool. I used a big Chef Boyardee can and a glass peanut butter jar.

rjohnsonspam (author)2008-01-13

Great step-by-step guide! Thanks -- can't wait to try it. This should be a lot more fun and less expensive than paying $25 to buy one on-line!

jpmartineau (author)2008-01-11

Well done! The design is simple, yet elegant. I like the idea of using Plaster of Paris.

poolman (author)2007-08-07

Do you have to use epoxy if not what other types of adhesives could you use?

daPerik (author)2007-07-28

Just wondrin', could u ask the Viszla something about the sharpness of the edge of the can? And if u can, could u please ask him?

Yerboogieman (author)2007-05-28

can i use a plastic pepsi bottle?

bighead3 (author)Yerboogieman2007-07-26

You'd have to get creative on a means of obfuscation. They're clear you know.

jaytotharrr (author)2007-04-07

cool thanks great instructable

jaytotharrr (author)2007-04-05

how do u think a soda can would work

bighead3 (author)jaytotharrr2007-04-06

Ive seen them made from sodacans. You'd just have to cut off the top as soda cans are made from 2 pieces. All access to the contents of the safe would have to be from the top....but it would work.

jaytotharrr (author)2007-04-05

could i use glue instead of plaster

bighead3 (author)jaytotharrr2007-04-06

There were a few reasons I used plaster; -it's what I saw when I looked at an example can safe before I made this instructable. -it's heavy so it can approximate the weight of the original contents. -it holds the inner can in place. -it would set quickly so I wouldn't have to babysit it. If you go with glue (elmer's type I assume) then you'll probably need to do it in several layers so that each layer has a chance to dry. Glue dries, but plaster "sets". The difference is that glue needs ambient air with lower humidity so that water molecules within the glue are able to move out. Plaster would harden in a vacuum whereas glue would not. So yes, but it would be tedious and take a while to do it right as you would have to do multiple thinner layers, I would imagine.

HOMEPIE64 (author)2007-03-28

this is pretty awesome cost effect and smart pretty good you get a 5!!!

place name here- (author)2007-03-08

I have discovered that most "I don't know about all "can openers can cut side ways. :O but I don't know how smooth the edges are compared to Safety Cut.

LaxLovaLV (author)2007-02-22

HA HA I love Geocaching! Lots here in Washington!

lemonie (author)2007-02-12

Make sure you put it in the cupboard with all the other tins. Just like an artificial stone (concealing spare house keys) this will arouse suspicion if you leave it in the wrong place. Fairly obvious, but often overlooked...

themanjam (author)2007-02-11

were can i get a can opener at that dont leave marks on can rim?

Calltaker (author)2007-01-25

THis is a great instructable. One word of warning though. If you plan to use this for hiding a stash of illegal Pharmaceuticals, it will not prevent a K9 unit from finding it. I made one and used my training materials to test it out with both my German Shepard and Golden Retriever (both trained for scent tracking) and they both nailed i right off the bat. I used 8 differnt cans, 1 of which was the safe and handled all of them prior to letting the dogs go. This post is not to condone use of illegal substances, merely to provide a little advice to anyone who may consider this. Also, I dropped a few 'treats' in the safe and the Chihuahua and Poodle nailed it right away too. Gorgeous Viszla. Pure breeds are great, but i love the mutts too. ~C

clipper (author)2007-01-17

Thats a beautiful vizsla you have there

bighead3 (author)clipper2007-01-21

Thanks. I told him, but he just kept neurotically looking around for the laser.

clipper (author)bighead32007-01-24

hahaha, i know what you mean

smithw6079 (author)2007-01-13

Word must be getting around. I've worked in a state prison for the last 12 years and a new policy restricts employees from bringing in cans, including sodas. My Chicken-Noodle was confiscated last week. : (

jjsonp (author)2007-01-10

very nice! i will probably use silicone caulk rather than plaster-of-paris mixing, and i feel like it will make the unit a bit more fireproof and soundproof.

bighead3 (author)jjsonp2007-01-10

The plaster helps to hold the internal jar in place so that one can screw on the cap. It seems like without a firm (stone-like, not old-jello-like) base it will behave very differently. Let me know how it turns out.

jjsonp (author)bighead32007-01-11

still haven't tried it, but in my experience with silicone it is very firm when it dries, esp. a large mass of it. it's fairly cheap when you buy the big (standard caulk-tube) size too. i'll probably goop it around the sides of the jar too for extra gripping force, but it is a pretty strong glue. maybe this weekend i'll be able to pick up one of those side-openers.

crapflinger (author)2007-01-09

what if you don't have a vizsla? can you still make such an effective safe? i've jut got mutts...will that make my safe lower in quality? (i feel that it might...darned pure breeds...always making can safes better and what not :( ) good instructable!

bighead3 (author)crapflinger2007-01-10

I believe any dog will work. I just used a Vizsla because I had an extra one in the pantry.

bighead3 (author)2007-01-10

Yes it is. Target product number 070052217. $8.99+tax in Dallas, TX.

PetervG (author)2007-01-09

I'd probally do this but without the jar and everything because of the supplies. One too many comments on your Hungarian Vizsla.

PetervG (author)PetervG2007-01-09

Opps, this is only for the last step. : / Oh well.

Robotic_mage (author)2007-01-09

Hey Bighaed3, remind me to never play poker against you! Excellent Instructable! Do you by chance remember the Brand Name of your can opener?

bighead3 (author)Robotic_mage2007-01-09

Chefmate. I just edited the photo to accent the packaging next to the can opener. I don't remember the model number, but I think the words "Safe Cut" or "Safety Cut" were on the package.

Spencer (author)2007-01-09

i like your dog!

bighead3 (author)Spencer2007-01-09

Thanks, I'll tell him you said so.

JakeTobak (author)2007-01-09

I recommend getting a can of something gross that no one will open when they're hungry for Chunky soup.

bighead3 (author)JakeTobak2007-01-09

Good point. If only Chunky made "Fish Eyes, Kale & Tripe", it would sit on the shelf for a while. :)

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