Instructables
Picture of Kitchen Pantry Computer (Hidden)
IMG_0266.JPG
IMG_0267.JPG
IMG_0269.JPG


I was excited to start this project because I’ve wanted to do something like this for a while, and when I saw Instructables was opening a contest, it gave me the motivation to give it a try. My wife and I love cookbooks and music (music in the kitchen is a must), but when you’re using a cookbook, inevitably you spill something on it. That's when I got the idea of placing an old computer and an LCD monitor in our pantry door. It will be used for looking up recipes, watching videos, and listening to music that will be integrated through the whole house. But who wants to looks at an ugly black screen all the time?.......aha! Let's hide it behind a dry erase calendar.

If you enjoy this Instructable, feel free to vote for me in the Hidden Doors / Secret Compartments contest.
 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Materials Needed

So the materials for this is a guideline, mostly because I used a lot of stuff on hand. I like to call myself a precision pack rat, I only throw stuff out I know I won't use (or at least that's what I tell myself)

  1. So first we need a door, I originally was going to alter an existing door but scrapped that idea and found making one allowed me to have more freedom with placing parts. So for the door I used :
    3 - 2x3x8 studs
    2 - 4'x8' sheets of 1/4 Masonite or Hardboard
    And the rest was out of my scrap bin, which you will need random pieces for blocking/supporting and the
    keyboard tray
  2. Trim - Low profile for the door panels
  3. A motor - I had an old 18v cordless drill with a dead battery and a broken switch (yeah! pack rat)
  4. Dry Erase board (we already were using it on the existing door)
  5. Power supply for drill motor (check my stash and found a 9 volt dc adapter)
  6. Switches for motor and computer on/off switch (local computer store sold me 5 switches for $2)
  7. Computer
  8. LCD monitor
  9. Pulleys (I used the line tensioners from our clothes line, it's winter and we don't need them right now ;) )
  10. String or Rope (Let's continue a Canadian stereotype and use Hemp string)
  11. Bluetooth Keyboard
  12. VGA monitor cable (12 feet)
  13. Computer Power Cord (12 feet)
  14. Cat5 cable (12 feet)
  15. Random Screws (5/8",1",1 1/2" and 2")
  16. Nails for nail gun
  17. Glue
  18. Foam Board
  19. Tape
  20. Paint (I use Kitchen and Bath paint, for my trim)
wtie8 months ago
Using an Ipad would save lots of work, in my opinion.
MoserLabs wtie8 months ago

iPad loses the "coolness" factor. Plus, when you have to access buttons you have to remove it from it's hidey hole (not hiney hole...)

All in all it's a very cool project and congrats on the award! I tried a smaller one in a cabinet with touch screen but no one used it and my feelings got hurt and I removed it.

designforhire (author)  MoserLabs7 months ago

Hey MoserLabs, Thanks for the comment. This project is a hit or miss for people for sure. I like to think Instructables is more for inspiration than straight up recreating. Everyone will have different needs or wants, the least I want people to take away is an idea to create something that works for them.

gadget-man wtie8 months ago

I agree

ramdu8 months ago

Great Instructable! I was thinking about doing something like this. I never thought of puting it in the pantry door, what a great idea. I will probably use XBMC with it as well.

designforhire (author)  ramdu8 months ago

Awesome, XBMC would be perfect. I would love to see whatever you come up with

chabias8 months ago

WOW! That is fantastic. I love the added touch of the magnetic letters. Great job.

designforhire (author)  chabias8 months ago

Thanks, I think I have more fun with those magnetic letters than my daughter :)

Really good idea! I'd dismantle an old laptop, connect the external power button [this would require pretty good soldering skills] and build the motherboard and display into the door. That'd leave only the power wire to route, and we could use a spiral or hi-flex variety so that it won't break due to material fatigue after opening/closing the door many times :).

BTW. Is that a Linux box with LXDE desktop?

designforhire (author)  ElegantAndrogyne8 months ago

Hey there, I actually planned on using an old broken laptop (broken hinges, power plug and missing keys). But with limited time to enter the contest I went with the monitor idea. I just didn't want to run into problems and not have the time to fix them. And the computer is an ATX case running windows 7 with Omnimo UI.

Thanks for the comment!

claudiopolis8 months ago

Great job. Congratulations! A touchscreen kit would have been better methinks. See my instructables, I managed to find one on ebay.

designforhire (author)  claudiopolis8 months ago
Hey there, thanks for the comments. I did think about the touchscreen option, definitely in the makes for version 2.0. It's funny that after I started my project I did a search for kitchen computers and found your instructable. It was excactly what I was going for as well, you did an amazing job at blending it into the kitchen. I do have a 2 year old and so far I'm lucky that she hasn't really bothered it yet :) What type of design do you do?

You're lucky. My little rascal got used to the Windows 8 tile screen (that kitchen PC is running it now) and anytime he sees on, it he knows there are pictures, games and videos waiting to be seen. He even learned how to call out the charms bar.

A word of advice: If you want a touchscreen PC, don't settle for a touchscreen kit like mine. Instead, find a Windows 8-compatible touch screen display. You won't be sorry.

As for my work, see my website at www.homegraphics.ro. Mainly commercial print design.

Oh, and I'm a graphic designer too! :-) That's weird. As a sidenote, you might want to hide your project should you have small kids (or planning to have). That was the only thing I haven't foreseen. And I'm paying the price now as my 3 years old wants to see nothing else but that touchscreen and the games in the Microsoft Store.

mixma8 months ago

Absolutely fantastic! I've been looking for a good project to take up some time, and I think this is it.

designforhire (author)  mixma8 months ago

Thank you, it was really fun and I think it adds a lot to the kitchen, send me pictures of your final project when you are done

napoleaum8 months ago

SOOOOOOO FREAKIN' CLEVER!!! Now it's on my to-do list!

designforhire (author)  napoleaum8 months ago

Thanks for the comment, I would love to see your final project

kelemvor8 months ago

Really need to add a video of it in action...

muddog158 months ago
I would try a wireless adapter to power it on and off. You can look on eBay as they have a ton of stuff for that purpose.
foobear8 months ago

legit!

gfry8 months ago

Sweet! This is what I love about Instructables...seeing stuff done that just never dawns on you to begin with. This would also work well as an "in cupboard door" application with an under cupboard keyboard. Beautiful! Practical. Thank you.

designforhire (author)  gfry8 months ago

Thank you, I'm with you about loving this site!

flyingpuppy9 months ago

Looks like you still need to enter it into the contest. I tried to vote...

designforhire (author)  flyingpuppy8 months ago

Hi flyingpuppy, I'm still waiting for it to be approved, thanks for your vote!

andrea biffi9 months ago

Let me say that you made a magnificent work! Great start with your first instructable!

designforhire (author)  andrea biffi8 months ago

Thanks Andrea, it was a lot of fun, and I'm happy to finally be able to post some work

Renard_Bleu8 months ago

Amazing project! You've got my vote.

designforhire (author)  Renard_Bleu8 months ago
Thank you for your vote!
thegridrunner8 months ago

I like the idea but I was thinking you can just use an Ipad and a Bluetooth speaker to do the same thing (recipes and music).

designforhire (author)  thegridrunner8 months ago
I totally agree with you, unfortunately I don't have an iPad yet (hopefully soon). I often like to solve problems that no one has :) thank you for the comment
kenbob8 months ago

I love this. Well done! great instructable! Please post a video of the finished product in action.

designforhire (author)  kenbob8 months ago
Thank you, I will be posting a full video soon!
joey569 months ago
Nice
emilkaram9 months ago
Great idea