I wanted to create a secret stash place for our passports, etc. that can be readily accessible yet hidden at the same time. I've seen secret stash compartments in books, electronics, and various other places that seem all too common. I wanted to create a place where a thief wouldn't look consider looking first. Our Amish coffee table seemed to fit the spot I had in mind. I'm disappointed that the cabinet magnets I bought aren't strong enough to hold up the compartment. A simple nail in a hole holds the pocket up and out of sight.
Step 1: Supplies
First, I cannot stress how important a decent pair of safety glasses are. Getting something in your eye while pushing a board through a table saw is just asking to lose a finger or two. Please get a pair and use them!
Having said this, I also purchased a pair of hinges and magnetic cabinet latches. The magnetic latches aren't needed. More about them later. The hinges set me back about $3.
The 4'x4' piece of 1/4" press board didn't fit into my woman's Hyundai trunk without breaking off a section first. I knew I should have brought the minivan! No matter, I used the broken section anyway. About $5 for the wood.
Other things I used I had on hand:
Table saw, wood glue, a drill, weights, clamps, screwdriver, tape measure, pencils, and wood scraps. Did I mention safety glasses?
Step 2: Measure twice, cut once, and add a lot of glue
After measuring the opening inside the table, I cut the wood to fit and give clearance to the (useless) magnetic latches. As the wood was so incredibly flimsy, I doubled the thickness and glued the sections together. 4 hours under the weight of ,...weights.. I was ready to proceed to the next step.