Introduction: Hidden Computer Drawer

Picture of Hidden Computer Drawer

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

Picture of Parts

You won't need many things and most will probably be found around your house if you collect junk like me.

Step 2: Tear Down Drive

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of Test Drawer

Test drawer and make sure that everything works as it should.

Step 11: Install

Picture of 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

Picture of 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!


darkrafts made it! (author)2015-06-25

Great I idea and nice upgrade to my old tower

tomatoskins (author)darkrafts2015-06-25

That turned out looking great! And I love how it blends in!

IRSk (author)2016-10-04

Great instructable! Do you have the measurements for everything? I don't have an old disc drive and can't get one, and do you know of any alternatives to polycarbonate?

bscolls (author)2016-03-17

I know this is pretty old, but if you still have that 3d model you made of the polycarbonite drawer, Id love to have it. I have 50g of free filament that I could easily use for this.

tomatoskins (author)bscolls2016-03-21

Unfortunately I only drew those up quick and dirty for reference of how to make it. I didn't have the mind set to save and upload the file. You should be able to quickly create the .stl from the measurements shown in those images.

Builders Shed (author)2015-12-23

Awesome! ill make that someday!

Darknessblade. (author)2015-12-06

my current pc case has already a drawer stock, but its still a good mod.

Fredfly (author)2015-08-04

That sad card got a hole two gigs!

joseph07 (author)2015-08-03

I put a finger scanner in one bay and I might do this with the other!

tomatoskins (author)joseph072015-08-04

That's a great idea! Which one would you suggest?

joseph07 (author)tomatoskins2015-08-04

I used the Eikon To Go but they do not make it anymore. You can still find it on amazon though. I am going to make an instructable on how to do it!

riff raff (author)2015-06-11

Wish I had an empty bay. Can never have enough drives.

rb765 (author)2015-05-12

This is great and would consider buying if someone was to do a kick starter with the empty drive case, so all you would have to do is bolt in and attach the front. (Hint, hint)

Working as a Community Service Officer for 25+ years and investigating thousands of residential burglaries, I can honestly say that criminals are not all that interested in desktop computers. The reason is that they are bulky and you cannot tell if a computer has the latest processor, or is a dual core dog on it's last legs by looking at the case. On the street, they have no resale value, so they leave them alone most times. The only time I have seen them take towers is when they have transport nearby and if they are into identity theft also, but those are a very small percentage of my cases.

acoleman3 (author)rb7652015-05-12

thanks for that second bit because you've put my mind at ease. i've been afraid of people twoking my tower, but it's just a quad core from 2009 running win 7. at least i know i won't have to worry about it vanishing.

LukasM9 (author)acoleman32015-06-11

Just put a Windows Vista sticker on, works like a charm

acoleman3 (author)LukasM92015-06-11

lol i love it. although with what rb has said. i won't have to worry about it anyway.

AndrzejR (author)rb7652015-05-15

interesting insight, i suppose this is not the case (ha) when the computer case is all blinged out with a window and neon watercooling/etc... :)

DavidE14 (author)2015-06-08

I need one of these. My wire cutters keep going walkabout.

AT (author)2015-05-28

Sweet project! Nice job. I always thought it would be fun to have a hidden drawer made from a CD or DVD drive. My idea was to keep the powered mechanism in tact to it would open and close on command. Also write a simple drive for it that had a built in password that would have to be entered. The drawer wouldn't be deep like the one you did. I am thinking I like you approach much better.

tomatoskins (author)AT2015-05-29

Yeah, I thought about the motorized approach but I didn't want to be limited by the space as well with the need for power. I often store small tools in it used when I work on computers myself. Thanks for the nice comment!

Syrinx2112 (author)2015-05-25

Very cool! Though to hide the contents better I would paint the front panel of the drawer black or put the metal knockout panel that was removed from the bay opening on there

KostaK1 (author)2015-05-15

How weird. I bought а PC case for my mobo and it already had a little drawer like that in it by design :-) Your idea surely traveled quick

zorzo (author)2015-05-15


naseermughal (author)2015-05-14

That's a great idea, love this... and try with my PC case as well :)

gravityisweak (author)2015-05-12

Oh man! This is great! Tower cases should come with these standard as an option for extra bays! Either that or I'd like to see these as kits. I guess that would make it less of a great hiding spot though. On another note, even if you didn't use this to hide something it might be a super easy way to add a smaller laptop sized hard drive without even really opening your case. Just run the extra wire to the back of your new drawer and its ready.

scristian (author)gravityisweak2015-05-13

there's plenty of space for a hard drive in the hard drive mount. It's usually not a problem in towers. Also, you need it to be held in place well since too much vibration (from itself) can actually damage the disks

RubbaBoy (author)2015-05-12

How would i go about this with my laptop, assuming I want everything still working?

scristian (author)RubbaBoy2015-05-13

on some you can take out the dvd reader so you could use that space, The laptop ones are quite a bit smaller than desktop ersions so you won't have much space, it would be bout 1-2cm smaller than the thickness of the laptop (not includinc screen

Swisscows (author)RubbaBoy2015-05-13

I would be quite surprised if you could find enough free space inside a laptop to do this. Most laptops are quite compact and have little room inside. Oh well. :/

tfellad (author)2015-05-13


JudoMants2112 (author)2015-05-13

Been wanting to do this for a couple years. Only in stead of push-in push-out you would press a secret button and the whole drawer would come out, to the tune of ether James Bond or The Imperial March, presenting my gun.... but great design!

CJA3D (author)2015-05-13

Great Idea !!

azsde (author)2015-05-13

Very nice and original project ! :)

mickgalt (author)2015-05-12

interesting idea, but I think a PC is something a thief might take, which means they also take this secret hiding spot.

SebastianT1 (author)mickgalt2015-05-12

yes but if you put some tracking device into the drawer

you can get your entire computer back

YngJoe (author)mickgalt2015-05-12

I would think of this as more of a 'hide things from your roommates/parents' type of hidden drawer, or, in my case, a great way to keep small screws and computer items, that blends in with the case. I think this is a great Instructable for computer nerds everywhere. Great job.

lights0123 (author)2015-05-12

Now I need to make one that uses the CD-ROM's motor to open/close it automatically...

MerlinTheGreat (author)2015-05-12

Great instructable!

Now I can make this to put my flashdrives in when I don't drag them around. :)

ElectroFrank (author)2015-05-12

Brilliant ! Patent it now !

This built-in slide-out coffee cup tray will surely become standard on every new desktop computer !

fishisteve (author)2015-05-12

Nice little junk drawer.I will have to try this one.

Love the idea. Thank you.

gungajin (author)2015-05-12

superb idea! Creativity at its best.

AndrzejR (author)2015-05-12

Brilliant! :)

acoleman3 (author)2015-05-12

i should make one of these to store my thumb drives in instead of the tea cup i have them in now hahaha.

HarrisCreekCentral (author)2015-05-12

How many 5.25 drives are left.. not many in our area..

kenbob (author)2015-05-12

This is brilliant! Great design, and well documented instructable! thanks for posting.

nightninja87 (author)2015-05-11

wow this is awesome

gravityride (author)2015-05-11

Great idea!

Ashlyr1 (author)2015-05-11

Wow, this is really creative.

The Green Gentleman (author)2015-05-11

Can't argue with that! All I need to do now is get my tower working again...

seamster (author)2015-05-11

This is a great idea. Nice work Troy!

About This Instructable




Bio: My name is Troy. I'm a Mechatronics graduate studying Mechanical Engineering. I love making things and doing anything outdoors (especially SCUBA diving). I am ... More »
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