loading
Picture of Hidden storage in plain sight!
53b49cadf92ea1bec90000d1.jpg

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.

 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Supplies

Picture of Supplies
53b4a54bf92ea1bec90000de.jpg
53b4a585f92ea10e76000131.jpg

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

Picture of Measure twice, cut once, and add a lot of glue
IMG_20140530_215116.jpg
IMG_20140530_220250.jpg
IMG_20140530_220634.jpg

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.

Step 3: Create a pocket

Picture of Create a pocket
IMG_20140601_120155.jpg
IMG_20140601_121023.jpg

Using the broken piece, I measured and cut a piece that will hold my stuff in place when I drop it down from the table. A scrap piece of 2" x 4" I ripped down to size, as the depth of the table space isn't more than 3 inches. I drilled a hole for my finger to fit in, so when the magnets (HA HA) held the pocket shelf up, my finger could pull it down. More gluing and waiting.

Step 4: After this, redo that

Picture of After this, redo that
IMG_20140601_113512.jpg
53b4ac8af92ea1c4860000ae.jpg
53b4ad7cf92ea1b394000017.jpg

I really wanted to skip over the magnetic latches, but they were a part of the project from the get-go. I know how strong earth magnets are, and I asked at Lowes and Menards if they carried them. They obviously don't, but I foolishly believed the ones I bought would work anyway.

After considering which way the hinges should mount, so the pocket would drop down correctly, I added them. After attaching the whole thing to the table, I was in for a shock. It wouldn't close! The pocket, aligned with the shelf face, came into contact with the underside of the table, stopping it from going up inside. I forgot to do my geometry on this one! So carefully prying the sections apart again (I didn't use a LOT of glue) I moved the pocket in a half inch. This allowed the whole assembly to swing up into place.

Step 5: So add a nail and call it finished.

Picture of So add a nail and call it finished.
53b4b51ef92ea164c9000012.jpg

After smacking my forehead, I simply drilled a tiny hole and added a nail to hold the pocket shelf up into place. It easily pulls out and I can put it back in without having to look underneath for the hole. I can easily find it within seconds.

So now our passports and what-have-you can be accessed quickly while evading detection from prying eyes.

Leathaldose1 month ago

that OSB plywood is terrible. a sheet of cdx at least would have been a lot better, the glue used in the OSB stinks. OSB is great for exterior and sheer walls, but for something like what you did, cdx or acx or even a sheet of masonite. if price is an issue some places offer cut pieces at lower prices. fricken awesome Idea though. last thing i added to a coffee tables was a computer.

koroshiya17758 months ago

Good idea! Use a peice of scrap steel or a steel screw and neodymium magnets x3 ;1/2"x1" should do.


deadsystem8 months ago

good use of existing things and upgrading them. i like the idea and just might use it

Wheeltrax1 year ago
nice idea! would strong magnets work to hold it up and in place?
crkrjak2001 (author)  Wheeltrax1 year ago

I was looking for strong earth magnets. If I ever run across some big ones, then yes they will work. They are a bit pricy though. The ones at the local hardware shop are not made to hold up wood against gravity.

If you want really strong magnets for free, find an old microwave that someone has thrown out. They have good magnets inside them. They would definitely hold that thing up. Also Home Depot or Lowes will cut plywood that you buy there with a panel saw if you ask them.

Nice work. I've been wanting to do something like this I just have the wrong kind of table for it at the moment. Hard Drives have very strong magnets in them that could easily suspend that panel if placed properly. If you or a friend have a old junk HDD laying around, problem solved, and for free!

kbc21 year ago
nicely done, by the way.
crkrjak2001 (author)  kbc21 year ago

Thanks. I like to add my failures to my indestructables so others can see and learn from my mistakes without going through the same pains of frustration I get.

stateit1 year ago
Great Instructable.

...Now then, what's your address?
crkrjak2001 (author)  stateit1 year ago

123 Any Street. Maintown, USA. Yours? ;-)

neo716651 year ago
Thanks now I gotta find a different spot to hide the guns under my tables.
crkrjak2001 (author)  neo716651 year ago

I was going to say something about it not working under a glass table to begin with. ;-)

kbc21 year ago
I was thing about something like that. having worked in a wood case shop and making hidden panels in cases, a simple latch just inside that finger hole would work. will do my version ( when the other-half ain't home, she would flip out modifying her entertainment center) and do a I'ble.
crkrjak2001 (author)  kbc21 year ago

I'd like to see the latch you're talking about, as a nail is just a quick-n-dirty fix. I almost didn't post this as I see this as incomplete.