You've seen it copied around the internet, but here's the original!
This is another SYAH (Stuff you already have) Instructable. In it, I will be showing you how I created a secret compartment for money or paper that fits inside a working pencil. It can also be used as a handy way to store a grocery list, reminders, or pass secret messages to friends. It may take a couple of tries to get one that comes out right, but it is pretty simple to do. I used a similar idea in a pen, but I was not as pleased with how that turned out. As a result, I have chosen to come back to give this one another try in a more effective, sleek, and clever design.
If you are interested in the original pen version, click Here.
Step 1: Supplies
Okay, so the supplies list is pretty short for this one. You will need...
- A paperclip
- Something to put into the compartment (Paper, money, note) and of course, a...
For tools, we will be using...
-Drill press (With a vice or some other method of mounting the pencil vertically to the press)
Step 2: Opening
In order to keep the compartment hidden, I found the one place we could keep it covered up: the eraser. Just give that a nice, slow tug and it comes right off. Hold on to both the pencil body and the eraser, we will be joining them together later.
Step 3: Prepare for Drilling
Before we can drill, we will need to choose our drill bit. By holding the end that goes into the drill, we can see how big a hole we will create. Choose your bit wisely: The bigger the hole, the easier it is to mess up. However, with a bigger hole comes the ability to hold more stuff.
Step 4: Prepare for Drilling Part 2
Once the bit is chosen, we will put it, along with our pencil, into the vice mounted on the bed of the drill press. Notice how the pencil is perfectly vertical, as found by the square tool. (That's the one that looks like a metal triangle in the second image.)
I also set the height of the bed such that the drill would bottom out before it hit the two-thirds mark of the pencil. When I was sure that the all of these things were true, I set the bit to line up with the center of the pencil. With everything set, I drilled away all that I didn't want, and I had a hollow pencil. When I was done, I marked how deep in the hole was. It's information that will come in handy later.
Step 5: Adding a Hook
We could just put the eraser back on and end it there, but sometimes the paper will get stuck inside the barrel. What we really need is a small wire that will pull the paper out for us, or at least give us a tool to use if we find ourselves in a jam. I choose to use a paperclip for this task.
To use the paperclip as a hook, I simply straightened one piece of a paperclip and cut off the rest that I didn't need. I compared the length of my wire to how deep the hole was, and found it was far too long. To fix this, I trimmed the excess off, too. When I had a satisfactory length, I pushed it into the eraser that we removed earlier. I then took two pliers to add a small bend in the end of the wire.
Step 6: The Inserted
Now that we have a compartment, what will we put in it? I choose to put in some paper, so to do this, I cut an appropriate height based on the length of the wire. I then rolled it into a loose cylinder and rolled it tighter. (See the photo for the best way to roll in order to tighten the paper.) When it was tight enough to slide over the wire and fight inside the metal holding for the eraser, I slid the paper over the wire and continued my rolling. At some point, it became tight enough to put into the compartment in the pencil, and so I slid it inside. Be careful that you aren't forcing it too much, as I did that and ended up getting the paper stuck inside the hole (and because I could not remove it, I had to start over). If it is too tight, you have a few options. You can widen to hole, trim the end off of the paper, or try to twist the further. A combination of these will probably works best for you.
Step 7: Completion
Now that's all of the pieces done. All we need to do is put it all together, but proceed with caution! As I said before, the paper can get stuck, and all of the graphite in there will get all over your paper. There is a simple solution: Take a piece of paper you cut to the right size, put it in, and swirl it around. Tear off the dirtied part, and repeat. You could also try to wash it out, but watch out for mold.
Step 8: TaDa!
And there you have it! With your new pencil, you can stash money, secret messages, or perhaps a grocery list, all at the convenience of a pencil. Please let me know what you thought, including your comments, thoughts, and suggestions. As always, have a nice day!
If you want to see the original pen I was talking about, you can see it Here.