After I completed my first computer build a few weeks ago, I was at a loss of what to do with my 4 extra 5.25" bays. Searching around the internet as to what to do with all that space, I decided that a simple drawer was the answer.
Not being happy with the look or functionality of any of the drawers found online, I decided that making my own was the only solution.
I wanted the computer tower to look as unmodified as possible. Following these instructions, you can build your own Hidden Computer Drawer.
Step 1: Parts
You won't need many things and most will probably be found around your house if you collect junk like me.
- Computer to put drawer in
- Old 5.25" drive
- Push-open push-close latch
- Scrap wood
Step 2: Tear Down Drive
Using an old 5.25" bay drive, tear all those old innards out. All you need is the outer case of the drive.
Step 3: Open Bay and Mark Case
Pull off the bay cover. Mine had a tab on each side. Remove any metal pieces that may be blocking the bay if it hasn't been previously used. Twist it back and forth till it breaks off. Align case to where it needs to be and mark where to cut it to make room for the face of the drawer.
Step 4: Set Up Switch
This push-open push-close switch is amazing! Set it up in a corner and draw a line along where the back of the drawer will be. This will help with future measurements.
Step 5: Cut Case and Bay Cover
Draw the line around the whole case and cut. I used a cut off wheel attachment for my Dremel. Sand sharp edges and wipe off all dust before getting this anywhere near your computer.
Step 6: Add Drawer Guides
Measure the inside of where you'd like your drawer to fit. Mine measured 4 13/16" across between the raised bumps for the screws. Cut the length of the bottom of the drawer a little bit long so that it can be trimmed to size in later steps.
Using super glue and scraps of wood (used from my labyrinth project) center the bottom of the drawer and glue in place.
Step 7: Mount Latch
Mount the latch in place by marking the holes of the latch, drilling, and tightening small machine screws. Cut off excess threads.
Step 8: Make Drawer
Measure the height that the drawer should be. Mine turned out to be 1 3/8". Cut and glue the back first. This will be needed for figuring out the depth of the drawer. The size of the front and back of my drawer ended up being 1 3/8" x 4 13/16".
Once the back is glued on, take the drawer and bay cover to your computer. Cut a little bit off at a time until the bay cover is flush with the computer case.
Once you have the correct depth, glue all pieces of polycarbonate together to form the drawer.
Close the latch and glue the catch in place. Make sure that the latch is closed BEFORE you glue in place. Otherwise the latch will not work correctly.
Center and glue the bay cover in place.
My drawer ended up running into the raised round part in the top of the case. I fixed it by cutting that part off and flattening.
Step 9: Glue Drawer Stop
On the top of the case, glue another piece of wood towards the front. This will be used to keep the drawer from falling out when fully extended. If you would like the drawer to be removable, do not perform this step.
Step 10: Test Drawer
Test drawer and make sure that everything works as it should.
Step 11: Install
Time to install into the empty bay. Insert the drawer until flush and lock into place. Mine has a push button latch, but make sure that you use screws to fully secure it in place.
Step 12: Done
This is a great project that can be added to the front of any desktop in just a few hours. If you happen to make a drawer yourself, please share a picture in the comments!