LED Book Safe W/ Secret Compartment




About: Hi I'm Linn and on my Youtube Channel I have lots of great videos about building, construction and fun projects. You can also check out my site @ http://darbinorvar.com

I wanted to make a really cool book safe that featured a wooden insert and a LED light that turns on when you open the book. I've always loved the idea of secret hiding places, and it seemed like such a fun project to attempt to make a really nice safe.

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Step 1: Finding a Book

The first thing I did was to check out my local used book store for a book that was nice looking, yet not interesting enough that people would be curious about it and want to open it up. I found this beautiful copy for only $5, and decided it would be the perfect fit.

Step 2: Gluing the First Section

I wanted to be able to close the book with magnets in the corners, so I decided to mark how far down a small neodymium magnet would go down, and then glue those pages together with Mod Podge. Once glued together I placed them in my book press which I made previously, however you could just use some weights or anything heavy on top.

Step 3: Gluing the Sides

At this point I first placed a piece of wax paper in the section where I had glued the pages together, and then I applied a couple of coats of Mod Podge to the sides of the the book.

I placed the book back in the press and let it set up.

(I later realized, that I could have simply glued together the sides of the part where the magnets will go as well, it's not necessary to glue the individual pages together, you can simply glue the outside, and you will get a flatter, nicer result.)

Step 4: Removing the Inside

To remove the inside pocket of the book, I decided to use a drill for a faster result. First I marked out where I wanted the pocket to go, then I clamped a piece of MDF and marked those measurements there as well.

I used a drill bit that I set at a good depth (just deep enough to reach 4/5 down of the book) and then I drilled the four corners.

At this point I used a razor blade and a ruler to remove the pages in between the drilling points.

Step 5: Wooden Insert

I wanted to add a nice wooden insert, so I first cut up a some nice thin Rosewood I had on hand to fit inside the book. I glued them on the bottom and three sides with regular yellow glue. I found a vaseline jar that perfectly worked as a clamp, and used a small clamp on the other side.

Step 6: Drilling Wood

I'm adding a small section in the top of the wooden pocket to house some electronics, so I began with drilling a hole that fit a small LED light in one of the pieces, and on the second one I drilled in a small screw.

I also have a piece of wood cut, that will act as a lid for this section. There will be a spring coming out of the corner, so I marked that out and cut out that small section with a coping saw.

Step 7: Magnets

To make sure the book closes, I decided to add small neodymium magnets in the corners of the book. So I marked out where I wanted them, drilled holes and epoxied the magnets in, making sure I matched the magnets properly so they wouldn't repel each other as the book closes!

Step 8: Planing the Wood

As I tried to close the book once the magnets were glued in place, I realized that a few sections were a little high, so I used a small mini plane to plane the wood down at a few high points.

Step 9: Electronics

The electronics that I'm using is a small LED light, a coin cell battery with a holder and a small spring.

I began with soldering on some wires to the LED light.

I placed the light in the wooden piece which I drilled earlier, connected the black wire from the LED directly to the battery, and the red wire from the LED I wrapped within the spring that acted as a switch.

I then soldered on the red wire from the battery to the screw I previously screwed in to the wooden piece. I made sure to use a lot of solder to cover large section of the screw.

Then I added some solder and bent the wire coming from the spring so that it would touch the screw when the spring is upright. However when the spring is pushed down (as in when the book is closed), the wire will be pushed down and no longer touch the screw with the other red wire. So only when the spring is upright will the two wires connect and complete the circuit, which will result in the light shining.

Step 10: Connecting Everything

Now I used epoxy to glue the spring in place, as well as the piece of wood holding he light. I put on the cover to hold everything in place as it was setting up.

Once dried, I cut out a small piece of paper which I glued to the side of the little pocket with yellow glue, and the other side I glued to the "lid". That way you can lift the lid up to access the battery when you need it.

Step 11: Finishing the Wood

Finally I put on some of my tung oil beeswax polish on the rosewood to give it a nice, darker finish.

Step 12: Conclusion - Watch the Video

For a much better perspective, make sure to watch the video that goes over all the parts of the build!



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    8 Discussions

    Bill WW

    1 year ago

    Nice work Linn, you do keep busy!

    All the best to you and family.



    1 year ago

    I read the title and thought there was going to be an extra super secret compartment as well as the one you show. Next project, perhaps?


    1 year ago

    great project! I would be inclined to hide the magnets under the open page surface, though it would take a bit of extra work.

    Was there a reason for your choice of the thickness of the walls? I didn't catch that part.


    1 year ago

    Thanks for the great information about gluing the pages I have plan to make something similar for my grand daughters but with a silver keyed lock to hide their treasurers


    1 year ago

    My dad used to have a book similar to this. The title was "Shocking Sex Stories" and when you opened the cover, it literally shocked you. (It had a 9V battery inside. )


    1 year ago

    Good idea, and the light inside is handy. If you want the LED to last a little longer, you can add a resistor in series to limit the current. It is basically a short circuit , and the only thing limiting that current at the moment is the capacity of the button cell. 150 ohms for a 3 volt cell will give you about 20mA through the LED.


    1 year ago

    Nice idea, steps, and execution ...Congrats !!


    1 year ago

    Great job! I really like how you lined the inside with wood. It gives it a nice finish. Embedding a cigar box of the right size could be an option too. I'll add this one to my long to-do one day list...