Introduction: Secret Storage Wall Shelf

About: I've been working on construction since the age of 15 and as specialized glazier,aluminum structures,curtain walls. In the last 10 years I've been doing lot of residential renovation and restoration. I like ti…

Hi isntructable lovers and welcome to my third instructable.
I came with the idea of making a shelf that will contain a secret storage where you can hide your valuables.
I wanted to build this shelf as much as possible from MDF without adding hardware like hinges, bearing sliders etc. to keep the expenses as low as possible so that whoever wants to follow this project can afford it. For sure you can make it better by adding hardware but my philosophy is to share with you a project that can be accomplished by most of the people.

Although this shelf is not that hard to be built ( I'd say intermediate level) I must tell you that YES you need plenty of tools to accomplish this project (Sorry, I know that not everyone has all of these tools). Of course making a shelf with a hidden storage of this kind is possible in different ideas and sizes so you can probably choose to go with any design or size that you think it works better for you.

Safety first:
Please bear in mind that working with tools, especially power tools, you need to protect yourself by wearing personal protective equipment like eyeglasses, gloves, mask, ear protection, face shield etc.

Step 1: Tools and Materials

The materials I used for building this shelf can for sure be substituted with equivalent materials, depending on how fancy you want your shelf to be.
I wanted to make it from the cheapest but still good looking and quality materials, considering that not everyone can afford putting too much money in these kind of projects.
So, the materials:
- MDF for the casing
- Carpenters glue
- "Sureply" plywood (yeah I know it's for underfloor but I like the texture and remember that I wanted to avoid expensive materials)
- wood screws
- a piece of 90° "L" shaped bar (steel), length depending on the size of the shelf you're making.
- bolts to attach the "L" steel bar.
- stain and clear semi gloss spray can for finish.

As for tools, you'll need as many tools as possible for woodworking. The more you have the easier the work and the better the results.
Table saw, chip saw, nailer, clamps, drills, power sander, router ....

Step 2: Building the Box

Using 1/2" MDF I decided to make the box 10"x 2 feet and 2 1/2 thick.
So my choice was to make this a sliding shelf even though At first I wanted to make it with the bottom part dropping but that would require hardware parts like hinges, locker and other parts that would make this project harder and more expensive. So I decided to keep it simple by only using MDF.
The photos will explain each step on how to make this. For joining parts I used carpenters glue and screews and the clamps for sure until you put the screws.

Step 3: Adding the Support

This is for the shelf to be attached to the wall.
I used a "L" shaped steel bar from an old steel bad frame. You can cut it to the length you need. The picture will give you the idea how long you should cut it. Using bolts I attached this bar to the upper part ( the static part that will be attached to the wall)
I used three round head bolts and with a forstener bit I made holes for each of the bolts so they be flush with the surface.
Then I drilled holes on the steel bar for the screws that will hold the shelf. The distance of one hole from another was 16" and made one extra on each side to avoid using anchors.That means finding one stud on the desired wall the shelf is going to be attached and the other one would normally be in 16".

Step 4: Wrapping the Box

I used the "sureply" plywood to wrap the box on each side and for the corners I made a 45° on each end to give it the best finish.

To make the 45 degree cut on each end of the plywood I used the table saw and a Dremer router. Too attach them to the MDF box I used the carpenters glue to attach each cover.

Step 5: Finalizing

Finishing is the most important step as this will show the most of your work. I borrowed some stain from a friend ( because you only need a small amount)and I bought a clear lacquer spray can with semi-gloss finish.
Apply the stain with an adequate brush for the stain or use the adequate cloth for it. Wipe the excess stain after about 10 min of applying it. Let it dry at least 24h and then apply the lacquer. when lacquer dries out the surface wouldn't be very smooth when touching but this can be solved by using a piece of paper to literally sand the surface ( NO SANDPAPER only PAPER).
With this done your shelf will be ready for installation.
For the installation remember to drill at least two holes on the "L" steel bar in a distance 16 inch one from another so that you screw into the wall stud. This way the shelf will be stronger and you won't need to use any anchor.


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