First, let me start by saying, 'I get ideas'. I have a friend that was wanting something different to put his flat screen on and he was willing to let me have creative control, ...and he was willing to finish it, lol. Buddies, ya gotta love 'em! The element of cool went from sweet to OMG in the few moments it took to show him the two small and one very large secret compartment that I had added for him. Not seen in the pictures, ..however, the whole unit is held to the wall by using the French Cleat system.
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Step 1: Step 1: the Gusset
Using 3/4" veneer core plywood I made one large gusset template and one template about 1" smaller in width and length but matching the same profile. The eventual top shelf depth will be about 17" and so I laid out a shape that looked fairly balanced and proportioned for its intended use. The gusset template was approximately 14" x 18". A completed gusset is made up of four layers of plywood, two larger pieces and two smaller pieces sandwiched inside the two larger ones.
Step 2: Step 2: the Middle Layer
After the middle blank was cut I marked and cut out an inner section that had the bulbous section as its handle. When slid all the way in the cuts disappear and you would never know that the middle part came out. To help keep appearances and keep the drawer in tight, I used a pair of Neo magnets at the end of the drawer and inside the gusset frame.
For it to slide in and out nicely some minimal sanding was needed on the belt sander, I chose to do it before adding the sides. After that I used a router bit to rabbet a dado to accept a 1/8" ply for the drawer sides. Glue and clamp. Once dry, check again for fit, sand to soften as needed. The better the fit, the better the deception.
The gussets are attached to wider pine that has been chamfered on the exposed edges before being attached to the top section.
The secret space isn't large, but it does hold money. ;
Repeat for the other gusset.
Step 3: The Top Section
Here I built a plywood box to sit on top of the huge gussets with about a 1" overlap at the front.
The top section is trimmed up with whatever you find appealing.
Part of the top section on the back half (closest to wall) is left open for the French cleat and the front half is made into a secret compartment.
The secret drawer is attached to the outside end of the top section, hidden between layers of trim. The use of Dentil moulding helps to disguise and break up the lines.
A spring is pushed against as the drawer is closed and when the drawer is all the way closed a another pin will fall into a hole in the side of the drawer keeping it locked. To unlock the secret drawer he used his curved metal tongs to reach down through the standard 2 1/2" "access port" to pull the pin.
I heard it took him two months to finish it, ...rookie ; )