Instructables
Picture of IKEA Shelf Safe with Magnetic Key
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Ever since I first laid eyes on a piece of chunky IKEA furniture, I've wanted to turn its hollow innards into a super secret hiding spot. I first tried (and failed) to make a trap door in the top and then leg of a Lack Side Table, but it is virtually impossible to make a clean cut without irreparably wrecking the clean lines. I then decided to purchase the small Lack Shelf (10$) which provides a hidden backside into which I could access the hollow interior. This project worked out better than expected with several accessories that amplify the spy geek factor (Neodymium-magnet keys hidden in antique razor tins, and an alarm system harvested from a musical birthday card). Check out the video below which shows how it works.


 
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Step 1: ITEMS and TOOLS

You will need a few items:

1. Lack wall shelf from ikea (10$)
2. 2 screws to install the shelf (not included with the shelf)
3. Wall anchors for installing the shelf (unless your wall studs are 8 3/4 inches apart)
4. Scrap fine grained particle board 1 foot by 1 foot (1/8 inch thick). You can use the backing of an old picture frame. 
5. Two old hard drives (or 4 Neodymium magnets)
6. Musical Birthday Card (for the alarm)

For this project you will need a few workshop tools:

1. Drill with bit wider than 0.5 inches
2. Jigsaw
3. Wood glue
4. Glue gun
5. Screwdriver
6. Vice
7. Set of Torx screwdrivers
8. Safety glasses
9. Small clamps



ozmango8 months ago
This is so clever and easy and cheap enough for an older woman to make on her own. You have my vote for sure
Renard_Bleu (author)  ozmango8 months ago

Thanks! Let me know how it turns out.

tsa'ad8 months ago

thank you for the Instructable its very nice. IKEA have a lot of hollow things and these shelfs also come in different siezes. i gues you could make it with other Ikea stuff to :)

Renard_Bleu (author)  tsa'ad8 months ago
Thanks! The advantage of the shelf is that you don't have to worry about wrecking a clean edge. I tried getting into a Lack table and failed miserably.
artducko9 months ago

this is my favorite Stash project to date. clean, simple, elegant.

Renard_Bleu (author)  artducko9 months ago

Wow, Thanks!

spark master9 months ago

looks nice, but the door is held in by friction?

tnx

Renard_Bleu (author)  spark master9 months ago

yep. I was going to put something weakly magnetic on the inside to keep the door closed, but it wasn't necessary in the end. I figure, once the perp knows its a safe, he can just walk away with it or stomp on it to get the valuables out. Thanks for comment!

Thanks I was not sure. You can do the top of any hollow core door same way. In an emergency I can imagine some one running out of a burning house clutching a door they ripped off the hinges, having placed the family jewels inside it!!!
Renard_Bleu (author)  spark master9 months ago

hahahaha. I've got the sequence playing out in my head. Hilarious! Good idea though, plus you could make a cover the entire length of the door and use it for longer items (german bonds and sceptres).

carsons239 months ago

Awesome job on the Instructable.

I have the same silver perpetual flip calendar you show on your shelf. It was my Grandfather's and is at least 60 years old. I've never seen another one. We use it everyday so the paper inside is a bit worn. I think of him everyday as we flip to the new date.

Renard_Bleu (author)  carsons239 months ago

Thanks! Ive never seen another one either. Mine looks like it was attached to a cardboard promotional material at some point. Still works really well.

cool idea, and good execution. If you don't have an stud finder, you can simply use one of the magnets (before installing them in hidden safe)! Fold the magnet in some tape (makes it easy to hold, and won't scuff the paint),start approx.16"-18" from the corner, and slide the magnet up and down the wall until you feel it grab; that will be a screw/nail holding the drywall to the stud. Pencil a small mark 1/2" above or below the spot (so as to not hit said screw/nail when placing new screws).

Renard_Bleu (author)  Ironwolfcanada9 months ago

Great tip! Its probably more precise than may cheapo Black and Decker unit. Thanks for the comment!

Did you not just publish to the world what you just built? Oh... Anyways, cool idea and neat execution. I think it would be highly unlikely that someone discovered that safe. Thanks for sharing!

Have you considered making the magnets pivot so you could use them as latches?

Renard_Bleu (author)  Dominic Bender9 months ago

I did. It was my feable attempt at sarcasm (they should make a font for that). Thanks for the comment.

I had considered having an actual latch after seeing this amazing work:

http://www.instructables.com/id/Magnetic-Combinati...

but I figure that if a devious person has realized that it is a safe, then he only has to walk a way with it and smash it with a hammer... The safety is really in the deception, after that there is no real protection for you stash.

If you do a latch put light gauss magnets inside to keep the pins from moving , your stacked neodids will snag the pins and pull them away from the weaker force.

Good and valid point... Yeah, a sophisticated locking mechanism would be pointless... Even if it prevented opening, it would not keep someone from stealing the safe...

Maybe stuffing the save with fabric or crumbled paper to prevent the loot from banging about in case someone removes it...

Renard_Bleu (author)  Dominic Bender9 months ago

Good point; if you look closely at the video I am hesitant to shake too hard because I had some heavy coins in there that want to bust out.

guds7779 months ago

you can also use gsm sms arduino modul to send you an sms to your phone directly.

http://arduino.cc/en/Guide/ArduinoGSMShield

Renard_Bleu (author)  guds7779 months ago

I'm going to starting plying with my first arduino this weekend. Maybe V.2 will be fully wired! Thanks

mgress19 months ago

Nice instructable, you should cut a piece of lexan for the top, it'd look decorative and you wouldn't need to pick everything up off the shelf every time you want to get into your safe, just slde the lexan off and everything stays in place.. make getting in and out faster not having to remove and replace items every time.

Really liked using a cannibalized sound chip from a greeting card. very clever.

Renard_Bleu (author)  mgress19 months ago

Thanks man, that's great idea!

xeijix9 months ago

You can replace the switching device on the music card with a reed switch so that the sound module can be triggered directly by the absence of the magnetic field rather than pulling on the nut.

Renard_Bleu (author)  xeijix9 months ago

Interesting. I never considered hacking that little module. I have a few more of those saved up. Thanks.!

cr8smthng9 months ago
I love the MacGyveresque of your materials. I never thought of using a greeting card.very cool
Renard_Bleu (author)  cr8smthng9 months ago

Thanks! I think that must be the ultimate complement on instructables.

This is a brilliant idea; I have a longer version of this shelf which I will modify next free weekend, kudos!

Renard_Bleu (author)  AerosolJackalope9 months ago
Thanks! I was looking at the wide one too, but I wasn't sure how the internal structure was distributed (full along the length of the posts?). It should be less tricky getting it off the wall though, the brackets on the short Lack are really finicky.
craftclarity9 months ago

I really like how you used a moving GIF to show the door opening & closing. Gonna have to pick that trick up for my own instructables......Nice work!

Renard_Bleu (author)  craftclarity9 months ago

Thanks. There are many cheap (or free) apps on smartphones to make these with basic editing.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then may an animated GIF is maybe worth a million?