Sunday, February 24, 2008

Ultra-Secret Drawer

If you want to add the ultimate secret drawer to a piece of furniture, construct it so that even YOU can't reveal its contents!

While working on the PA German Hanging Cupboard, whose photo is shown in the sidebar, I decided to add a hidden drawer above one of the top two drawers, since both had so much empty space above them inside the cupboard. Carefully measuring for size from the back of the cupboard (since I hadn't yet added the boards for the back) I painstakingly handcut the dovetailed secret drawer, handcut dadoes for drawer runners, installed the runners so the hidden drawer would hang suspended above the top drawer, and inserted the drawer (still working from the back of the cupboard).

Walking around front to admire my handiwork, I reached in to remove the drawer. Uh oh. Forgot all about the faceframe that makes the drawer opening smaller in the front than in the back of the cupboard. That drawer will never come out once the back is installed. (Insert expletive here.)

Question is, should I fix it or leave it as is? If I leave it, perhaps some 22nd century person will come across the cupboard at a flea market, take it home, discover the secret drawer, and become mightily irritated in trying to remove it....(Insert bad inner child giggle here.)

Photos top to bottom:
1) View from the back of the cupboard. The secret drawer rests on drawer runners above the top drawer.
2) The secret drawer.
3) View from the front of the cupboard with secret drawer in place and top drawer removed.
4) ¡@?!!X#!

11 comments:

Al said...

VC,

I feel your pain. But you might be able to modify the back, such that the secret drawer *can* be removed. Would that be an option in your design?

Or would redoing the drawer be easier, dovetails and all? I suspect that craftsmanship should prevail; after all, this one *could* be considered practice for the final version.

Just a couple of thoughts... Please take it for what it is - free advice ;-)

Al said...

VC,

I feel your pain. But you might be able to modify the back, such that the secret drawer *can* be removed. Would that be an option in your design?

Or would redoing the drawer be easier, dovetails and all? I suspect that craftsmanship should prevail; after all, this one *could* be considered practice for the final version.

Just a couple of thoughts... Please take it for what it is - free advice ;-)

Jason said...

as is, I think it's usable. Is it tricky to get it back on the runners? If so, maybe you can fashion some sort of hinge so when pulled forward it hinges down on a dowel, or something.

Having said that... just fix it. It will annoy you forever if you don't.

Luke said...

Hey VC,

How about you cut out some of the material above the dado on the drawer. If you remove some of the wood near the back above the dado, the hidden drawer could be removed and be put back without a problem. What do you think?

Have I gotten me point across or should I be more specific.

Luke

Shazza said...

Before it's totally sealed up...put in the drawer a key and a note saying: This key unlocks my treasure...good luck to whomever finds it! Then add a little map going to absolutely no where!

johnjoiner said...

Hi VC.

Thanks for sharing a mistake with the rest of the world.

How did you go about handcutting dadoes for the drawer runners?

The Village Carpenter said...

Thank you for the comments.

Shazza...LOL!...your "bad inner child" is badder than mine!

Luke, I think I know what you're saying, but the amount of wood that needs to be removed is too much. The combined thickness of the drawer sides is still less than the amount of wood in the face frame that blocks the drawer from being removed. But thanks!

Al, I thought about having a removable part on the back (great minds!), but this cabinet will hang on the wall, so it would be difficult to get to it.

Jason, I agree; I am going to just redo it the right way. Hey, it's dovetail practice!

John, I have no problem sharing mistakes, especially if they're funny. : ) I wrote a post on handcutting dadoes on January 1st. Let me know if it doesn't make sense.

Wyldth1ng said...

Well, you have made up your mind by now.

It is still nifty.

Gary said...

I think you should put a slip of paper in there with the translation to you Latin quote on hair. That will surely befuddle anyone who finds it.

Gary

The Village Carpenter said...

HA! :o)

Charles said...

I know I'm late to the party on this post but somehow I missed it... My suggestion would have been the obvious one anyway. Attach it to a false wall with a hidden room that you can access via a secret door by pulling on a wall sconce. Course you could probably just put the contents of the secret compartment in the hidden room as well... sometimes the simplest solutions are the best!
-Charles