Hidden Computer Drawer

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Introduction: Hidden Computer Drawer

About: My name is Troy. I'm a Mechatronics graduate studying Mechanical Engineering. I like to make things and spend time outdoors (especially SCUBA diving). I am a Community Manager for Instructables.

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.

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!

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user

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48 Comments

user

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?

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.

1 reply

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.

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

That sad card got a hole two gigs!

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

2 replies

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

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!

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

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.

4 replies

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.

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

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

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... :)

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

user

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.

1 reply

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!

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

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