Instructables

False Bottom Secret Compartment

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Picture of False Bottom Secret Compartment
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Secret compartments are extremely useful (and awesome!). If you're a deep-cover government agent trying to keep important documents out of the hands of sinister enemy agents or just a kid trying to keep their cash out of a greedy sibling's hands, you have probably wanted a secret stash spot at some point. I'm not a secret agent risking it all to save the world (yet), but I do like to have a place to hide my stuff. I was drawn towards building a false bottom because of the obvious advantages; they are
A) simple: no fancy electronic locks required
B) easily adjustable: you can change the depth of the compartment to suit your needs, or remove it altogether
C) easily made without major structural modifications: I'd love to have a secret wall compartment, but my mom would kill me if I cut a hole in the wall, and
D) they are just plain cool.
Now lets get to work!

Thanks to everyone who voted for me in the Secret Doors and Compartments Contest!
 
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Step 1: What You Need:

Picture of What You Need:
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- 1/8" drill bit
- Drill
- Wood glue
- Sandpaper around 80 grit
- Metal rod or bar, 1/8" in diameter or less
- Tape measure
- Four objects identical in size, preferably under and inch high; these will be used to support the false bottom, and the shorter they are the less noticeable the secret compartment will be. I used four identical corks, but you can really use anything; Lego bricks, bottle caps, erasers, it doesn't matter as long as they are the same.
- Hacksaw
- 1/4" thick plywood
- Old t-shirt (optional)
auntiemichal2 months ago

Nice instructable. Another, possibly better, way to use magnets would be to glue a biggish washer (or other flat object attractive to magnets) on the underside of the false panel and then use a strong magnet to lift it up. This way nothing will cling to strangely to the bottom of the drawer and electronics and magnetic strips won't be damaged. Just keep the key magnet someplace else, like on the refrigerator.

M3G (author)  auntiemichal2 months ago
That is a great idea! I like the idea of not having magnets attached to the false bottom; if metal objects were sticking to the bottom of the drawer I'm sure someone would get suspicious! I attempted to use magnets to lift up the bottom, but I didn't have powerful enough magnets.
Another good Idea would be to buy a few very strong magnets and glue them in a corner of the false bottom. Using any substantial piece of metal the corner could be lifted up

I did that in my instructable, which was also entered. Really don't understand how this was better than mine.

srstreil3 months ago
Instead of attaching the back corks right at the back you could glue them a few inches closer to the front so that if you wanted to get in quick you just reach in the drawer and push at the back of the plywood to lever the front up enough to grab.
M3G (author)  srstreil3 months ago
Good idea, thanks!
patron_zero3 months ago
Nicely presented and most clever !

Don't forget a false panel can be attached beneath a drawer (such with side-runners a must !) by use of rare earth magnets if said drawer has a small 'recess' available.
glarive3 months ago
Yes, when the Main character goes to his drug abusing x wife's house after she gave birth to her baby 10 weeks early, he finds her remaining drugs in one...
PossibleFire4 months ago
Very nice!
M3G (author)  PossibleFire4 months ago
Thank you!
Add some combustible chemicals and a current and you have a false drawer like Light had in Death Note :)

I'v always wanted one of these...too bad I don't have a desk that has deep drawers like that.
M3G (author)  Allegrathegamer4 months ago
It's less secure, but a wooden box also works well.
glarive4 months ago
Did you get your inspiration from the first episode of son of archer?
M3G (author)  glarive4 months ago
I haven't seen the show, is one of these featured in it?
chanman4 months ago
This is so awesome!! I'm totally doing this. I don't have any thieving siblings, but this is just awesome. And it reminds me of the drawer in the anime Death Note which makes it even cooler to see in real life.
M3G (author)  chanman4 months ago
Thanks for the kind words!
marhar4 months ago
Great job, I'm gonna do this! And I love the suggestions in the comments!
blackweb4 months ago
This reminds me of when we were kids. There was a small drawer under the table and was pretty much always filled with unwanted food!!!!
M3G (author)  blackweb4 months ago
Haha that must have annoyed your parents!
hammer98764 months ago
Great job!

Another suggestion is to mount the two back corks about a third of the way towards the front. To remove the false bottom, just push down at the back. The panel will pivot on the back corks and the front will lift up.

To keep things from sliding around to much, try one of those rubber shelf liners.
M3G (author)  hammer98764 months ago
Those are great ideas, thanks!
billgeo4 months ago
SIMPLE AND AWESOME!!!
No more, no less!

Also consider gluing a metal bar underneath the piece of wood so then you can lift it up
using a magnet (an old speaker magnet, or HDD neodymium magnets will do the trick)
M3G (author)  billgeo4 months ago
Thanks for the suggestions!
haugenka4 months ago
Great job! I hope your sneaky sibling doesn't like Instructables, though. I really like the magnetic knob as well as the felt idea in the comments. And if you're just trying to hide cash (or secret documents), you don't need the supports at all.
bob30304 months ago
Great job. This is something even a teenager could afford and might need. I had a thieving brother as you mentioned and could have used this as a teenager. Thanks for posting.
M3G (author)  bob30304 months ago
Thanks! A thieving sibling is one of the reasons I built this.
MimArt4 months ago
Great idea - couldn't a shorter metal pin stay in the hole in the real drawer bottom full time and just get pushed up by your finger when the drawer is open, instead of taking the drawer all the way out? Or, if you go with the magnets idea, glue a strong magnet to the underside of the disguising panel, and have another loose magnet, disguised as a toy or some lil thing just rolling around in the drawer? Then, only YOU know where to touch the toy magnet to the hidden magnet and lift the panel up enough to grab it. Does this make sense? hope so, you got my vote!
M3G (author)  MimArt4 months ago
Thanks for commenting! I like the magnets idea. Unfortunately, I couldn't leave a permanent pin since my drawer is part of a set, and the pin would get caught on the drawer below, but if your drawer is standalone that is a great idea!
iwtbarockstar4 months ago
Even though I can't make it that is still pretty cool
M3G (author)  iwtbarockstar4 months ago
It actually isn't that difficult.
M3G (author)  iwtbarockstar4 months ago
Thanks!
IronInspired4 months ago
Very cool, just a couple of suggestions. Line it with foam or felt, maybe? This would make it less detectable if you shake the drawer. Again, thieves would turn the drawer upside down and shake it, so why not add some magnetic catches to hold the bottom in when the drawer is empty? Do this, and you have my vote! Excellent idea, though.
M3G (author)  IronInspired4 months ago
Those are very good ideas, thanks for commenting!
knexlad2434 months ago
really good idea :D
M3G (author)  knexlad2434 months ago
Thank you!
mikeasaurus4 months ago
That's pretty clever
M3G (author)  mikeasaurus4 months ago
Thank you!
nathconley4 months ago
That's a really good idea! I'm gonna have to try this!
M3G (author)  nathconley4 months ago
Thanks!
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