Better Book Safe




I wanted a book safe and didn't like the versions that I saw that looked like they were hacked out with a rusty hatchet. So I came up with my own way of making one.

Materials needed

Thick book - find a book that will look like it belongs in the bookshelf. Don't put "The Works of Shakespear" in a shelf with electronics books just because it was the right size. It looks out of place. Better to use that book "10,000 Electronic Diagrams" that you never use anymore. You can get really nice thick well built books for free or very cheaply at garage sales, library sales, old book shops or just around the house. Just ask for permission if it's not your book.

A sharp utility knife or single edge razor blade or exactco knife

Band saw (recommended) or coping saw (useable)

6 min. epoxy or thin super glue - I like 6 min. epoxy because it is thick and will stay where you put it and I'm sensitive to the fumes of super glue.

Strong cloth or paper to reinforce the binding if necessary.

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Step 1: Removing the Cover

Lets get started!

The better book will have a binding that looks like this. The cover of the spine is separate from the actual spine of the book and you can just cut down the hinge line and separate the cover from the pages.

If the cover is not separate from the spine carefully peel it away after you have cut at the hinge line.

Step 2: Half Way There

This is what you are trying to achieve. The book cover is separated on one side from the book pages. But the spine of the pages is still intact and the pages are still held together.

Step 3: Cover Removed

Turn the book over and cut down the back hinge so that you can separate the book completely from the cover. You should end up with something like this.

Step 4: Starting to Cut the Well

Use a band saw to cut out your "safe" area in the book starting from the spine and cutting in a straight line. I suggest you draw a guide line to show where you want to cut. I wanted a square safe but you could round the corners to make it easier to cut.

If you want square corners you have to cut the straight lines in the top and bottom first then cut a diagonal line so that you can get to the vertical line at the front.

When you are cutting make sure that you put pressure on the top of the stack and push from the bottom of the stack. If you push from the top of the stack the pages will buckle and the cut won't be aligned. And you stand a good chance of cutting off a finger when the stack buckles.

You could do the cuts using a coping saw but it's going to take much longer. To cut with a coping saw you should clamp the pages between two sheets of plywood already cut to the shape you want so that the book holds its shape while you cut. I did not find this necessary using a band saw.

Step 5: Cut Finished

This is what you will end up with after you are finished cutting.

Of course you can and should recycle the cut out portion of the book.

Step 6: Putting It Back Together

Lay the book back in its cover front side up. Mix us a small amount of epoxy and paint the inside of the safe with the epoxy. Make sure to get some under the bottom sheet to glue the book to the back cover. You can use thin super glue just dribble it all over the cut surface of the book. This glueing will hold the pages together and help the book to keep its shape.

Step 7: Cover Back On

After the glue has hardened, apply more glue to the remaining back of the spine so that you can glue the cover back on. I was going to use the white material to reinforce the hinges but didn't feel it was necessary on this book. You can choose depending on what kind of book you use.

If you want a more finished appearance you can paint the interior or glue felt to the inside to cover up the glued edges.

Step 8: Finished

It's finished. You now have a book safe you can be proud to hide your "stash" in. No more embarrassing looks when your mom finds your stuff in a crappy looking book safe.

1 Person Made This Project!


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104 Discussions


10 years ago on Introduction

This is awesome and sooooooo easy! And now I will finally have a use for the bandsaw my uncle left in the basement when he moved out!

19 replies

 So wait, a silk tie is stronger than my entire upper body and back? My back would break before the tie would shred?

just double checking.

1) Except that I'm pretty sure I'm stronger than the tie...

2) The motor, while having a high power, low rpm (the way one would be pulled into the blade) on the input is converted to high rpm and low power for the output to the blade...

2.5) ...and if you've ever held a loose blade in your hands you'd know how light they are. the same as when you stop a fan blade with your hand. momentum and mass go hand in hand. just because it's going fast doesn't mean it's unstoppable.

3) There is also a handy-dandy device called a blade guard that only exposes a designated section of the blade. unless your guard is set at a foot above the table of the saw or your face is two inches high i see no possible way to saw ones face with a bandsaw. 

I don't mean to sound rude i just don't like it when people take what they learned in shop class and expect it to be the 100% truth.


Reply 1 year ago

needs_more_to_do: stay away from power tools, you'll live longer and keep your fingers and face intact. You really need to listen to others. Other people just like you, who scoff at safety advice, are missing fingers, teeth, eyes, arm muscle, etc. If you really want to mangle yourself, you're in for a lifetime of pain.

While the likely hood of catching a "tie" and being drug into the blade is very slight, the idea that you are stronger and would just "fight the force" is insane.

Picture getting your tie caught in a low rpm lathe.  A really good one belts tight and all that.

Even a low rpm it would happen in an instant and you wouldn't have ANY time to prepare for it.  If your neck wasn't broken by hitting the lathe, then you would choke to death before you could free your self.  Believe me, I've had a couple of accidents in the shop (never hurt though) and it happens so quickly that you are dumbfounded.  Even your young quick reflexed won't always protect you.  You ain't BULLET PROOF!

Only an idiot argues basic safety precautions.

In now way did I imply that I am invincible and in no way did i suggest that one should wear whatever around the shop. It is definitely important to keep loose ends clear however, I think I was pretty clear stating that my point was to dispel the myth that Tie + Saw = Face-shred.

So before you jump to conclusions why don't you go ahead and SCROLL UP.

Well you didn't dispel anything except that you don't really have the common sense that you think you do and someday will find that out.


Reply 1 year ago

1 HP is the ability of 1 Belgian type horse to life 250,000 pounds 1 foot. If a band saw motor has 1/2 HP, that means you are fighting 125,000 pounds of pull. You are also talking about blades that can cut through oak or steel, as well the band saw is probably not bolted to the floor, making that a falling hazard. So, remove the tie! :)


Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

God u guys are arguing over what would happen if your tie got stuck in a band saw. thats really cool btw