Introduction: Multipurpose Floating Shelf With Hidden Compartment

About: Professional work in various electrical and mechanical fields, obscure sense of humour and typically willing to help... Currently under contract designing environmental monitoring equipment.

I wanted this shelf to serve more than one purpose.Currently it is above my workbench in the workshop but it would also be ideal for any small space above a desk.

I am thinking I might move it to my workout room so I can listen to 80's metal while I exhaust my body...

The main feature is, its a shelf!

Secondary it is a charging station for my phone or tablet.

Third it is an amplified speaker system; more music where I need it.

Fourth it has integrated LED lighting for my workbench, I'm getting too old for this S@#$.

Fifth it has a place to hide things with an unusual locking mechanism; no wallet for you!

Step 1: You Will Need

The wood used is one 2X4 stud

The speakers are from a decommissioned home theater unit

The amplifiers are made using 2 LM386N ICs.

The lighting comes from LED strip lights.

Also Required:

  • drill and bits
  • Dremel and bits
  • table saw
  • mitre saw
  • soldering iron and solder
  • wood glue
  • small coat hooks
  • orbital sander and paper
  • belt sander and paper
  • wood filler
  • stain and sealer

Step 2: Cut the 2X4s

I used the mitre saw to cut the 2X4 into two 24 inch, one 25 inch sections.

Both 24 inch sections were then cut into strips 5/16 inches thick as shown.

The 25 inch piece has 2 strips 5/16 inches thick cut from it.

The remainder piece is also cut into 5/16 inch thick strips.

If your saw is as bad as mine then you will also need to sand the surfaces of the strips smooth.

One of the remainder pieces and one 25 inch piece is cut down to a width of 2 3/4 inches.

The half thickness, 25 inch sections is then cut to 2 inches wide and then split down the middle with a 45 degree angle cut leaving 2 strips 25 inches long with an angle in one face.

Step 3: Assemble the Top of the Shelf

Begin by gluing 3 of the 24 inch strips together as shown to create a wide thin sheet. Clamp all pieces to a flat surface and wait for the glue to dry.

Sand the surfaces flat with an orbital sander.

Shorten one of the bevel strips and glue it to the wide edge of the sheet with the tallest side at the outside edge of the sheet.

On the narrow edges, glue the 10.5 inch by 2 3/4 inch wide strips as shown.

On the remaining wide edge, glue and clamp one 25 inch by 2 3/4 inch strip be sure to overlap the 10 1/2 inch ends.

Step 4: Build the Bottom of the Shelf

Glue and clamp a 24 inch strip to the bottom edge of the shelf so that it covers the shelf wall support.

Glue and clamp the 24 inch cut piece cut from the 2 3/4 inch strip to the inside of the bottom shelf strip as shown.

Measure the width of the speakers and glue in a divider section on either side of the shelf as shown. cut any sections needed to fit as shown.

Make a speaker support that will allow for a speaker grille to cover and hide the speakers.

The speaker sections need a front ledge to hold the grill in. this is a 3/4 inch strip cut from one of the remaining 24 inch sections. and glued onto the speaker support grille as shown.

Im my case I needed a 3/4 inch piece to fill the front edge to support the speaker grill.

All wood is glued and clamped until secure.

Step 5: The Electrics

The amplifier is exactly like the one shown in my guitar amplifier build With only small omissions. Check out that build for full instructions. The amplifier used here is a fixed gain and volume is controlled by the phone or tablet itself.

There is an audio input jack inside the top of the shelf.

There is a small power port inside the bottom of the shelf to plug for a 12 Volt wall wart.

The lighting runs directly off of the 12 Wall wart supply

The ctharging circuit is a Cigarette Lighter Adapter USB mini type connected to the 12 V Wall wart supply with a USB plug inside the top of the shelf.

All of the electronics are fastened to the rear lower strip inside of the shelf

Step 6: The Hidden Part

I have always had an issue with a pull down on the hook to open kind of secret latch. I thought that this ensures that hanging anything on the hook will cause the latch to release. I built one and found that you have to pull out and down. hanging on the hook does not open. Who knew and boy was I wrong!!!

The compartment is essentially a small box that fits inside of the lower opening in the shelf and when released lowers and hinges down towards the back. I left the box with an overhang at the back that while it hinges down it locks into position when closed, it is fully removable.

The leading edge has a 1/2 inch blank space for clearance when the box hinged downward. The edges are sanded for clearance and smooth movement.

Step 7: Tablet Holder

I made a dedicated tablet holder from a scrap piece of cut 2X4. this was measured, drilled with a step bit then cut on a scroll saw, then hand sanded smooth before gluing and drilling to the top of the shelf.

The holes spacing was done for my nexus tablet.

Step 8: Finish As Desired

I chose to stain the wood Varathane mahogany as shown. all exposed surfaces.

Step 9: Make the Latch

Use too long screws to fasten the hook to the side of the shelf just behind the speaker.

I used 2 cut sections of compression spring to hold the hook in place as shown.

Place the secret compartment in place and drill through all walls in line with one of the screws,

Use a cut section of a 1/8 inch rod to extend the screw through all by 1/4 of an inch.

Fasten it to one of the hook screws as shown.

When the hook is pulled outwards the latch will release the hidden compartment.

Step 10: The Lights

This is simply an adhesive strip LED light along the underside of the shelf. It is tied into the power inside with the 12V wall wart.

Step 11: Hang and Enjoy.

Locate 2 wall studs that are in the area that you would like to hang the shelf. Mark them with a line that is level.

Fasten the remaining 45 degree bevel piece to the wall as shown.

Place the shelf on the wall rail.

With the compartment down. drill a small hole through the bevel piece then screw them together. this will fasten the shelf to the wall permanently.

Epilog Contest VII

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Epilog Contest VII

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Shelving Contest

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