Introduction: Super Secret Safe Made From Firewood

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Sometimes the best place to hide something is in plain sight.

Using an ordinary piece of firewood and a few basic tools found in most small garage woodshops, I will show you how to build a secret safe in which you can hide your valuables.......just be sure and remove it before starting any cozy campfires!



Neodymium Magnets


Wooden Shims

Masking Tape

Wood Glue

Hot Glue

Step 1: Stabilizing the Piece of Firewood

The first thing I did was go to my fire pit and select the perfect piece of firewood. The size will vary depending on what you plan on putting in the safe.

Before I can do any work to the piece of firewood I need to stabilize it. The curved shape of the bottom of the firewood causes it to rock back and forth which could cause issues when trying to cut it on the bandsaw. In order to get this piece as stable as possible I slid a shim under each side of the piece and hot glued it in place. This prevented the piece from rocking.

Step 2: Cutting the Top and Bottom

Using my bandsaw with a 3/4 inch resaw blade, I cut off a slice from one side of the fire wood to create the top section of the safe. In order to keep the piece stable I temporarily reattached the slice I just cut off using masking tape. With the top reattached, I then cut off another slice to create the bottom of the safe.

Step 3: Marking Perimeter and Drilling Holes

With my compass set to approximately 3/4 of an inch wide, I ran it along the perimeter of the piece to create a guide of where I will need to cut to in the next step. Using a 1 and 1/2 inch forstner bit I drilled a hole in each corner making sure to stay inside the lines I drew. In order to get the cleanest holes possible I would drill about 3/4 of the way on one side and then finish up the cut on the other side.

Step 4: Creating the Cavity

Next up I'll be creating the cavity that will hold all of the items I want to put in the safe. In order to do this I need to cut out a chunk of wood in the middle section of the firewood. I originally wanted to do this with a jigsaw, however I didn't have a blade long enough to cut all the way through this piece, so I ended up using my bandsaw. The downside to using a bandsaw to do this is that it creates an entrance cut into the middle section that will have to be closed up.

I have a 3/4 in blade on my bandsaw which is great for resawing but terrible for navigating in tight areas like this cavity section. The holes drilled in the previous step really helps the bandsaw blade maneuver effortlessly in those tight corners. With the center block cut out, I removed it from the cavity. This allowed me to really tidy up the corners

Step 5: Gluing the Entrance Cut Shut

The bandsaw left an entrance cut when removing the center of the cavity. Using Titebond original wood glue I glued the entrance cut shut.


You can skip this step if you used a jigsaw to cut out the cavity.

Step 6: Making a Set of Center Points

In order to ensure that the top lines up with the cavity section of the safe I used center points to transfer the hole locations for the magnets that will be used to keep the lid closed. You can purchase center points at almost all home improvement stores but I decided to make my own. I first cut the heads off of several nails. The factory point of the nails weren't in line with the center of the shaft. To correct this I chucked the headless nails into my drill and spun them against my bench grinder and ground them to a point perfectly in line with the center of the shaft.

Step 7: Lining Up the Lid and Cavity Section

This is a very critical step. If the lid and the cavity don't match up it will shatter the illusion that this is all one piece. Using the center points made in the previous steps makes it very easy to ensure that everything lines up perfectly.

Using a 7/64th inch drill bit chucked up in my drill press I drilled three holes for the center points and inserted them into the cavity section. I left only the very tip of the nails sticking out. I made sure to take my time and lined the lid up with the cavity section just right. Once everything was lined up I used a mallet to tap the lid into the nail tips poking out of the cavity section. This left me with three impressions that lined up perfectly with the cavity section that will be used at the drill press in a later step. I could then remove the nails from the cavity section.

Step 8: Drilling Holes for Magnets

In order to provide easy access to the contents of the safe, the lid will be held in place with magnets.

Using the nail center point holes drilled earlier as a guide, I drilled holes into the cavity section and lid using a 19/64th inch drill bit. The impressions made into the lid using the center points in an earlier step ensured that the lid and cavity section would line up perfectly.

Step 9: Inserting the Magnets

Once all of the holes were drilled I inserted the magnets into the cavity section. The holes drilled for the magnets were purposefully drilled slightly too small, this allowed me to tap the magnets into the holes and provided a nice, tight, friction fit for the magnets to stay in place without the need of glue. In order to keep track of the orientation of the magnets, I made a small mark using permanent marker. Making sure that the magnets were facing the right way I inserted them into the lid.

Step 10: Gluing the Bottom

I removed the stabilizing shims and glued the bottom of the safe back onto the cavity section using Titebond Original wood glue. In order to keep the piece in place until the glue dried I used masking tape to act as a clamp as more traditional clamps wouldn't be able to grab onto the angled surface of the firewood. Using the tip of a utility blade, I cleaned up any glue that squeezed out on the inside of the cavity.

Step 11: Remove Tape and Test Fit Lid

After letting the glue dry overnight, I peeled off all of the masking tape. I then test fit the lid onto the rest of the safe and everything lined up beautifully.

Step 12: Fill With All Your Treasure!

The only thing left to do now is to fill the safe with all your treasure!

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