Floating Shelf W/ Secret Compartment (I Made It at TechShop!)





Introduction: Floating Shelf W/ Secret Compartment (I Made It at TechShop!)

This shelf was inspired by the "lack" shelf you can buy at Ikea. I have many of them and really like how minimal they are, but since they are basically a box hanging on the wall i didn't like the waste of "inner space". So to solve that problem i incorporated a bottom that opens to reveal a small storage compartment. this entire project was made at the TechShop Detroit, check it out here http://techshop.ws/

to make this shelf you will need the following:
-chop saw

-wood (i used a 6'x12" pine board)
-2 cabinet hinges
-wood glue
-small finishing nails
-1' length small chain
-4 screw in eyelets
-magnetic cabinet latch
-2 heavy duty keyhole picture hangers
-paint of your choice(or leave wood finish)

Step 1: Materials

again here are all the materials i used (and some i didn't)

-wood (i used a 6'x12" pine board)
-2 cabinet hinges
-wood glue
-small finishing nails
-1' length small chain
-4 screw in eyelets
-magnetic cabinet latch
-2 heavy duty keyhole picture hangers
-paint of your choice(or leave wood finish)

Step 2: Cutting the Wood

the finished shelf measures 14"wide x 10"deep x 3"tall

so the first thing you want to do is to cut all the wood pieces.

i started by cutting out the larger pieces and working smaller, so here are the measurements for each piece in the order that i cut them out of the board.
top: 9.25" x 12.5"
bottom: 9.25" x 12.5"
front: 14" x 3"
both sides: 9.25" x 3"
back: 12.5" x 2.25"
remember measure twice and cut once!

Step 3: Attaching the Pieces (bottom)

next step is to attach the bottom piece to the front. make sure to center the bottom and leave 3/4" of the front piece on either side
put a small line of wood glue down the entire surface that will be connected together then clamp them tightly while it dries. i also put a few finishing nails in to reinforce it.

Step 4: Attaching the Pieces (top)

now we need to connect the back and sides to the top piece using the same method as the bottom. use wood glue and clamp together till dry. also use the finishing nails for extra support. make sure to let the glue dry for at least 30 minutes before removing clamps.

Step 5: Inserting the Eyelets

after the glue is dry you can remove the clamps. once this happens you can screw in the eyelets to the bottom piece. i put mine about 1.25" in from the sides and as close to the front as i could.

Step 6: Hinges!

next we need to loosely attach the hinges. i attached mine to the bottom first, measuring 3/4" from the back to account for the back piece. once the hinges are attached to the bottom open them and place the top next to it like the second picture. you can now line up the holes and loosely screw in the top half.once both sides are loosely screwed on you can open and close it and make any adjustments before tightening  to make sure it has a snug fit.

Step 7: Magnetic Latch

to make sure the compartment stays closed when we want it to, i used a magnetic cabinet latch. i first find the center of the board and used a chisel to make the metal plate sit flush with the wood instead of on top of it. then screw the magnet mechanism to the bottom half. once both pieces are in place the compartment should stay firmly in place when closed.

Step 8: Attaching the Chain

now we can screw in the top eyelets with the same measurements we used for the bottom ones. cut the chain using pliers into two equal sections and attach each end to one of the eyelets. this will make sure the compartment doesn't slam open and possibly damage the wall.

Step 9: Attaching the Hangers

to attach the hangers to the back, i first figure out where i want to place them. mine are centered 3" from each side. then i used a chisel and hammer to remove a section of the wood so the hangers are flush or slightly inset to the back of the shelf. this will allow the shelf to hang tightly against the wall. once you have chiseled the spot you want the hanger, use a pencil to outline the keyhole then use a drill to drill out slightly behind the keyhole so the screw will have room to go behind it.once that is done you can screw on the hangers firmly.

Step 10: Hanging the Shelf

lastly, to hang the shelf, insert two screws and anchors in desired spot on the wall using a level, making sure to put them the same distance apart as the hangers are on the shelf (8"). leave the screws about 1/4" out from wall to leave room for the keyholes. put the shelf on the screws, tightening or loosening the screws until the shelf fits snugly to wall.

Thats it!
now you have a floating shelf with a secret storage compartment inside it!
paint it any color you wish or leave the wood finish like mine is.
this was my first attempt at this shelf so i know there are many different ways it can be done, if you make one and enjoy it let me know or let me know how you altered this idea to make it your own!

this entire project was done at techshop detroit, a makers paradise. check it out here http://techshop.ws/



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    12 Discussions

    Can you give me an idea of what kind of weight this latch will hold? Do you just pull the bottom down to open it?

    I think the top is supposed to be 8.5"x12.5 or it would never fit together like that with the back sitting on top of the bottom. Am I wrong?

    I love this, but I think I would add some crown molding to the finished product to make it look a little nicer and less like a box.

    that is a really neat idea ! nicely done instructable as well

    This would be a great idea for an entryway or something so you can stash your keys or random pocket objects and not have to look at them if you don't want.