Introduction: Super Secret Book Safe

Picture of Super Secret Book Safe
Make a book safe with a secret compartment that needs a key to open it.

I made my first book safe when I was about 10.  I still have it, and although it's pretty rough, it still does exactly what it's supposed to - hide things :) 

I now own a lot of books so it's pretty easy to hide my little safe amongst the other ones on the shelf -  (even my wife doesn't know which one it is!).    If you only have a few books on your shelf though,  then you could be in trouble as there's a chance that someone might come along and find it. 


I waned to improve on my original one so decided to add an extra secret section which would need a key to open.  The extra section is located behind the initial"safe" in the book, and is kept hidden by the home-made lock and key.  

It's quite an easy project, it just takes some time and patience preparing the book.

Here's a short video
 

If the above doesn't work try this link

Step 1: Things You'll Need

Picture of Things You'll Need

Parts:

1.  A Book.  Try and find a large one with a lot of pages.  It's easiest if you have a book with very thick pages but if you don't it will still work fine.

Lock
2.  Copper tube - 3mm ID

3.  Copper tube - 4mm ID

4.  Copper plate - 20mm wide

5 Copper plate - 6mm wide

6.  2 x Small bolts and nuts

Key
1.  Copper wire - 1.2 mm thick

2.  Copper tube - 3mm thick

3.  Small copper washer


Tools:

1.  Dremmel

2. Tin snips

3.  Stanley knife

4.  Wood glue

5.  Paper glue

6.  Super glue

7.  Ruler

8.  Small blow torch

Step 2: Hollowing Out Your Book - Part 1

Picture of Hollowing Out Your Book - Part 1

The first step is to hollow out your book.  The book will have 2 hollow sections; one large one which will be at the front of the book, and a second "secret" one at the back of the book.

Steps:

1.  Grab your ruler and stanley knife and open your book.  Make sure that you leave about 10 to 15 pages before you start to cut out your hollow sections.

2.  Decide how big you want the hollow sections and start cutting.  I used the actual words and paragraphs to decide how big to make the hole.  

3.  Keep on cutting until you are about half way through the book.

4.  Glue cut pages together.

5.  The 20 to 30 pages that are directly underneath also need to be glued together and then glued to the base of the first secret section.  This will be the base for the first secret section as well as where the lock will be attached.  It's important that the base is at least 10-15mm thick.

Step 3: Hollowing Out Your Book - Part 2

Picture of Hollowing Out Your Book - Part 2

Next step is to make the "secret" section.

Steps:

1.  Leave about 20 odd pages before you start to cut your secret section.  This will be your base to the main section.  Glue these pages together and glue to the bottom of the first section

2.  Start cutting out the secret  section.  I made this section about half the size of the main one.  Remember it's a secret one so it doesn't have to be too big.

3.  Keep on cutting until you have about 20-30 left at the bottom.

4.  Glue the cut pages together.   Make sure that you leave about 7 pages NOT glued -  you will need to do some modification later.



Step 4: Making the Lock - Part 1

Picture of Making the Lock - Part 1

So now you have most of the book done its time to make the lock.  I have also included an exploded view of the lock which should hopefully help with the build - see below.  I will be using the terms that I have used in this drawing so you can also use this as a reference if necessary.

MAKING THE LOCK

Steps:

1.  Cut 2 equal pieces of the larger flat copper about 50mm each one.  These will be your top and bottom plates

2.  Trim the ends and round off using a file or dremmel.

Next thing to do is to drill some holes into the copper.  One hole will go in the middle, and 2 smaller holes on each end.  

Steps:

1.  The hole in the middle should be about 6mm.  Hold the 2 pieces of copper together and drill the hole.  Use a centre punch to get you started. 

2.  Next use one of the plates as a template and drill some holes into the bottom of the first secret section.  Make sure your placement is correct before you start to drill.  The hole needs to come out close to the right hand side of the super secret section as below.

Step 5: Making the Lock - Part 2

Picture of Making the Lock - Part 2

MAKING THE LOCK

Steps:

1.  Once the holes have been drilled you will then need to push a piece of the 6mm copper pipe through the hole and work out how much you will need.  The tubing should sit flush with the bottom of the super secret section and about 5mm should be left poking through the top.  This will be the latch arm chamber.

2.  Cut the latch arm chamber to the correct  length and solder onto one of the copper plates with the holes.  The tubing should sit just inside the hole.  Use some flux and a small solder torch for best results.

3.  Use the other copper plate as a template and drill a hole for the latch arm chamber to go through.

4.  Push the latch arm chamber through the hole in the book and make sure that the plates match-up.


Step 6: Making the Lock - Part 3

Picture of Making the Lock - Part 3

Now that you have your main section to your lock attached, it's time to make the actual lock arm and key section.

LOCK ARM

Steps:

1.  Take a piece of the small tubing (8mm) and push this through the other tubing on the lock.  The tubing needs to be cut so there is about 10-15mm sticking out the top.  The best way to cut this tubing is with a dremmel.  This will be your latch arm.

2.  Next you need to solder a small piece of 5mm flat copper to one of the ends of the latch arm.  This will be your locking mechanism or latch.  The length of the copper will depend on how large your cut sections are on the book.  The latch itself will slide under the bottom of the super secret hole so make sure that the latch is about 5 to 10mm shorter than the edge of the book. 

3.  Once soldered, slide the latch arm through the bottom plate and latch arm chamber 

4.  The next step involves making some cuts into the bottom of the super secret section.  First make sure that the latch is under the hollow section and resting on the pages that will be the bottom of the super secret section.  Slowly twist and mark the area that is covered by the latch as it moves.

5.  Next cut out the marked section to about 5-10 pages deep (depending how thick your pages are) and test again with the locking arm - see below.  The latch should move from under the book to about half way out of the book as shown below.

6.  Once you are happy with how the arm moves you can move onto the next section.


Step 7: Making the Lock - Part 4

Picture of Making the Lock - Part 4

Now you have to make some modification in the book so the latch works correctly.

1.  The next step involves making some cuts into the bottom of the super secret section.  First make sure that the latch is under the hollow section and resting on the pages that will be the bottom of the super secret section.  Slowly twist and mark the area that is covered by the latch as it moves.

2.  Next cut out the marked section to about 5-10 pages deep (depending how thick your pages are) and test again with the locking arm - see below.  The latch should move from under the book to about half way out of the book as shown below.

3.  Once you are happy with how the arm moves you can move onto the next section.

Step 8: Making the Lock - Part 5

Picture of Making the Lock - Part 5

LOCK ARM AND PLATES

Steps.


1.  Now it's time to add the plates to the book.  As before, use the plate as a template and drill 2 holes for the screws.

2.  Add the screws and bolt together.  If necessary, cut the bolts down as I did.

3.  Next you need to make a small collar out of the same tubing you used for the latch arm chamber.  cut a small piece of the 10mm tubing no longer than 3-5mm.

4.  Place this over the latch arm and super glue into place.

NOTE: I decided to use a larger collar as I was finding that the top of the latch arm was bending.  The collar that I went with went flush with the latch arm.  This worked well and gave it more strength.  See the photos of the finished book.

5.  Lastly with a dremmel, cut 2 small grooves into the latch arm as shown below.  This is how you will open the lock with your key.




Step 9: Making the Lock - Part 6

Picture of Making the Lock - Part 6

MAKING THE KEY

Initially I made the key out of some thick copper wire (check out the images below)  I decided to scrape this and went for something a bit more cleaner

Steps:

1.  First cut a piece of copper tube about 40mm long.  The tube needs to be able to slide into the to of the latch arm chamber easily.

2.  Next use your dremmel and with a metal cutter fitted, make a small slice in the to of the tube.

3.  Into this slice goes a small copper washer.  I had one in my parts bin but you can also get these at most hardware stores.

4.  Solder into place.  Remember to use some flux.

5.  Next drill a small, 25mm hole into the tube.  Make sure you use a hole punch to start you off.

6.  Thread a thin piece of copper wire through the hole.  Remember, the copper has to turn the lock so don't make it too thin!  Mine was about 1 1/2 mm thick.

7.  Solder the copper wire into place.

Done


Step 10: Gluing the Rest of the Pages Together

Picture of Gluing the Rest of the Pages Together

Once you are happy with how the lock works its time to glue the rest of the pages together.

Steps:

1.  Use wood glue to glue the bottom pages together.

2.  Be careful not to add any glue to the cut section where the lock arm will go.

2.  Once everything is glued, add some heavy weights to the book so the glue spreads evenly.

3.  Ensure that the key still turns ok.

Step 11: Finished!

Picture of Finished!

That's it.  You now have a super secret book safe.  All you need to do now is to find a place to hide the key!

 

Comments

ElaineW7 (author)2015-10-14

Hi! I bought this beautiful book online (it's a replica book from ABC's Once Upon a Time) and being a avid writer and collector of skeleton keys...I thought it would be awesomeee* to add a lock on it and use a skeleton key to unlock it. Do you think it is possible? I figure the back of the book you'd screw in what's needed or whatever and then top of the book is the 'lock/clasp' part where youd need to insert the skeleton key to open it. Do you think this is possible? if it is I'd pay for someone to make it for me bc I am definitely not a handy one. Skeleton keys are so hard to come by nowadays let alone a lock AND a skeleton key .. so i know people will look at me as if i had 5 heads if i ask them at a Home Depot, Michaels, Loews. etc. So if you or anyone you know think this is possible I'd gladly pay for it! E-mail me if you think you can?

ElaineW7 (author)ElaineW72015-10-14

My email addy is Ewo4186@gmail.com

SaxonL (author)2015-03-24

Awesome! This is a great design and a brilliant idea, definitely one of the the best instructables author I've seen!

lonesoulsurfer (author)SaxonL2015-03-26

Cheers! It was a really fun build.

abathe1 (author)2014-02-08

or unscrew the lock while I'm on the subject of using a screwdriver? all I'm asking is why not pull a lock tumbler out of a padlock or something so you can use a real key?

lonesoulsurfer (author)abathe12014-02-09

The whole thing is made from paper so if you really wanted to you could just rip the thing open. I don't think adding a tumbler lock would help that much.

It's not meant to be Fort Knox, just somewhere to hide sh*&.

THEMONEY (author)lonesoulsurfer2014-04-24

lonesoulsurfer, my grandfather once told me "A wink is as good as a nod to a BLIND mule". Anyway, that is a class piece of work.

dryan22 (author)2014-02-18

Just skip the lock altogether. The idea of a book safe is to be able to hide your valuables inside something that looks inconspicuous.

THEMONEY (author)dryan222014-04-24

Really, that's what you take away from this creation?

hluke1 (author)2014-02-21

This is awesome and creative! I cant believe people are picking this apart when there are instructables like "duct tape pencil grips" that they could be trolling. This however is too cool

lonesoulsurfer (author)hluke12014-02-25

Thanks dude.

Don't diss the duct tape pencil grip - that's damn genius ;)

kracken42 (author)2014-02-21

Cool! Just voted!

lonesoulsurfer (author)kracken422014-02-25

Muchas Gracias :)

mmarrington (author)2014-02-18

Nice work! I think the compartment inside a compartment idea is cool, nice instructable.

Thanks

misko13 (author)2014-02-19

I think it's great too. I've never made a hollow book because I've always been afraid that someone could open it and take what's inside of it, but now the problem is solved. In fact, I think the mechanism and the key are very beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

lonesoulsurfer (author)misko132014-02-19

Anytime - thanks for looking.

hammer9876 (author)2014-02-18

I think it is great. If I accidentally picked up that book, I would think, oh, cool. Nice hidden compartment.

Cheers.

LeZombieHunter (author)2014-02-09

'You could also use this to shoplift stuff!'

abathe1 (author)2014-02-08

can't I just use a flathead driver to open it

About This Instructable

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Bio: I've always liked pulling things apart - it's the putting back together again that I have some issues with.
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