"Bad Moon Rising" A Secret Box

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Project by Andy posted 06-13-2009 08:02 PM 26775 views 170 times favorited 52 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Just another box….BUT with a twist! This box looks like any other,you pick it up and open the lid like usual.But give the handle a tug and the center panel ( medallion)pops up and a tray pulls down by the hanging ribbon.
The handle fits perfectly snug against the edge of the lid,there are no pins or screws,and the medallion fits nicely.All of which means that there is no give-away to the fact that the center panel lifts up.
This box was designed for the last contest we had but I didnt finish it in time. I missed it by 3 hours.haha Oh well…if it hadnt been for the contest this box would never have been designed.
I wanted to enter this box in that contest which would incorporate both the Knot and the Secret elements in one project.

The knot was just a matter of finding one that lended itself to the scene without being too obvious.This piece of Myrtle Wood was selected because it made me think of a moon rising over the desert,or a storm blowing across a barren planet,but thats just my over active imagination.

This is what I came up with after a lot of thought,but wasnt sure if it could be done.But I had to try.
How was I going to make a lid and tray fit within a 3/4’’ thick lid,and conceal the opening and closing device from every angle? It had to be a secret after all,no tell tales to give it away.
So I made a full size prototype box out of pine and started laying out the hinges,trays,etc in the lid and knew it could be done if I was very very careful. Part of the problem is allowing for wood expansion and only removing enough wood on the lids so all the joints still appear to be tight. How its done: I made one of my miter corner boxes 11’’ w x 7’’ d x 3.5’’ h I routed out a 5/8 recess around the top of the box edge to recieve the lid which is 3/4’‘ I routed out a 5/8 recess in the lid to recieve the medallion which is 3/4’‘ On the backside of the medallion I routed out a 1/2 recess for the tray The tray is 1/2’’ thick and I routed a 7/16’’ recess I used Soss 10mm barrel hinges for both the lid and tray
  • The tray hinges on brass pins in the side.
    Because the top of the lid is so thin (1/8),I had to carefully shape the top to a soft pillow shape.That was nerve wracking :) The Mechanics:
    To access the tray under the medallion,you gently pull outwards on the handle.
    The handle has two 1/8’’ brass alignment pins to guide it in and out and they also act as the hold down for the pop up lid.
    The pop up mechanism is two opposing super magnets.
    I am out of room here,so will post more below.
    More details here:

Anniversary present for my wife Marilyn

-- If I can do it, so can you.

52 comments so far

View CharlieM1958's profile


16289 posts in 5101 days

#1 posted 06-13-2009 08:19 PM


I wish you had finished in time for the contest. It would be nice if GaryK had some competition now and then. :-)

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View majeagle1's profile


1426 posts in 4379 days

#2 posted 06-13-2009 08:20 PM

Wow Andy, you are just full of these little “bags of tricks” !!!!
What a super neat design and idea, I love it!!!!

Beautiful work as usual and am very patiently waiting for your tutorial.

thanks again so much for taking the time to put it together

-- Gene, Majestic Eagle Woodworks,,

View Ben Kahmann's profile

Ben Kahmann

231 posts in 4155 days

#3 posted 06-13-2009 08:23 PM

That is absolute GENIUS! Very clever, wish you had a video. I would like to see it in action…......

-- Ben Kahmann Dayton, OH

View YorkshireStewart's profile


1130 posts in 4784 days

#4 posted 06-13-2009 08:27 PM

Hello Andy. That is delicious! Beautifully worked out, designed and crafted. It’s got my vote!!

-- Res severa verum gaudium - True pleasure is a serious business.

View Ampeater's profile


441 posts in 4630 days

#5 posted 06-13-2009 08:28 PM

That is one cool design.

-- "A goal without a plan is a wish."

View Paul's profile


46 posts in 4486 days

#6 posted 06-13-2009 08:47 PM

Wow! Awesome! Very beautiful, but I must admit I am predigest for just the fact that it is a secret box. The best secret is the one you don’t know that is there. This box has my all time favorite one you have made so far.

-- Paul Allen

View Triman's profile


50 posts in 4465 days

#7 posted 06-13-2009 09:04 PM

Using opposing magnets to open the compartment….genius!!!!

-- Bruce, San Jose, Ca

View Jim's profile


80 posts in 4960 days

#8 posted 06-13-2009 09:05 PM

‘Just another box’... yeah right! Thanks for sharing the details of your building with us. Beautiful piece of work!

-- Jim,

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4217 days

#9 posted 06-13-2009 09:49 PM

A real WOW box that has everything and more! Great design, beautiful woods, extremely interesting features and last but not least, flawless workmanship. You did yourself proud Andy.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Christopher's profile


576 posts in 4803 days

#10 posted 06-13-2009 10:15 PM

This is ingenious!

View bamasawduster's profile


321 posts in 4477 days

#11 posted 06-13-2009 10:32 PM

Wow, what a box. Did you know there’s a seal peering out of the top? In the first picture, it looks as if it’s looking to the right.

-- Gary, Huntsville. Two wrongs don't make a right, but three lefts do.

View scrappy's profile


3507 posts in 4313 days

#12 posted 06-13-2009 10:33 PM

Beautifully designed and crafted! Love the secret lid!

Fantastic job.

Keep it up.


-- Scrap Wood's the best...the projects are smaller, and so is the mess!

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 5043 days

#13 posted 06-13-2009 10:43 PM

For the contest, you have my vote! :)

the “secret” – ingenious!
the “seal” – I thought it was an alien create or “the bad moon”

love the title; love the wood; love the box design; love the box

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 5129 days

#14 posted 06-13-2009 11:09 PM

I’m with Ms. Deb. It’s an Alien on the box top. I think that’s how Andy come’s up with these ingenious inventions. He’s an Alien or he has Alien plans from Area 51. They are not of this world. “The truth is out there.”

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View Loucarb's profile


2388 posts in 4328 days

#15 posted 06-13-2009 11:15 PM

That is an amazing design and a gorgeous box. Well done.

showing 1 through 15 of 52 comments

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