Prototype Secret Drawer

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Project by dustbunny posted 02-27-2010 10:43 PM 22208 views 85 times favorited 45 comments Add to Favorites Watch

After drooling all over Andy’s art boxes, and building one myself, I decided the next box I would like to have a secret drawer. Thought about it for a long time, drew some pictures, and this is what I came up with. Now mind you, the structure of this pine prototype is far from perfect, I was really more interested in the spring mechanism and function of the drawer. The only thing I found, which became so obvious when I was almost completed, is the magnetic latch needs to be centered on the drawer. Even still it works great. The fourth picture is actually how far the drawer springs out. This will be slightly different with hard wood due to the weight, but that can be compensated for.
Function- pic six- push the button, this pivots the arm, pulling apart the rare earth magnets, allowing the side compression springs to launch the drawer. There is a stop block to keep the arm from swinging too far, allowing the button to fall inside. The arm has a tension spring to keep the button in the out position flush to the outside of the box.

Comments and critiques are ALL welcome : )


-- Imagination rules the world. ~ Napoleon Bonaparte ~

45 comments so far

View blockhead's profile


1475 posts in 3911 days

#1 posted 02-27-2010 11:02 PM

Wow! Now that is a cool piece of engineering. I look forward to the box.

-- Brad, Oregon- The things that come to those who wait, may be the things left by those who got there first.

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3717 days

#2 posted 02-27-2010 11:02 PM

thank´s for sharing it
and the use of magnets and springs
ain´t a bad idea
but you called for it
cuoldn´t the hole construction be made
a lot more delicate it seam to me it´s on
the heavy side for installing in a real project


View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18783 posts in 4278 days

#3 posted 02-27-2010 11:29 PM

Great idea. Now a matching button on the other side and nobody will be the wiser.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View jack1's profile


2136 posts in 4629 days

#4 posted 02-27-2010 11:38 PM

neat idea.

-- jack -- ...measure once, curse twice!

View webwood's profile


626 posts in 3852 days

#5 posted 02-27-2010 11:41 PM

pretty darn cool lisa

-- -erik & christy-

View dustbunny's profile


1149 posts in 3897 days

#6 posted 02-28-2010 12:17 AM

Yes, matching buttons !! That was the plan.
Dennis- it can be more delicate, and probably will be. I just grabbed scraps and put it together to verify whether or not the magnets would be able to hold the force of the compression springs. The button will be smaller also.
This design can certainly be modified to meet the structural needs of the piece it is in. Lighter or heavier. It is hard to tell from the pictures but the whole mechanism takes up about 2+” in the length of the box.
Thanks for noticing, the real one will be smaller ; )


-- Imagination rules the world. ~ Napoleon Bonaparte ~

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 4564 days

#7 posted 02-28-2010 01:44 AM

mighty clever!! can’t wait to see the finished product

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View woody57's profile


650 posts in 4029 days

#8 posted 02-28-2010 02:01 AM

looking forward to seeing the finished product

-- Emmett, from Georgia

View ScienceNerd's profile


24 posts in 3627 days

#9 posted 02-28-2010 03:39 AM

Very cool, Lisa. I’ll file this one away for future gift ideas. Keep those magnets away from your laptop. :)

View buckeyedudes's profile


155 posts in 3730 days

#10 posted 02-28-2010 04:43 AM

Very cool and nice lever arm design.
I’ve also been thinking of a hidden drawer latch design.
Thanks for the inspiration.

-- Before you louse it up, THIMK!

View alexsutula's profile


96 posts in 3656 days

#11 posted 02-28-2010 06:08 AM

Incredible! Great problem-solving abilities. It looks like it would work perfectly every time and it is still relatively simple. I have been thinking of incorporating a hidden drawer in a project, and this just motivated me to get on it. Great job, I can’t wait to see the finished project.

-- You can't stand apart unless you're prepared to stand alone. Alex, Cleveland

View patron's profile


13694 posts in 3943 days

#12 posted 02-28-2010 06:15 AM

lisa ,

i didn’t comment earlier ,
because you said it was a secret .

somebody spilled the beans !

you are a very crafty and clever lady ,

well done !

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Karson's profile


35209 posts in 5003 days

#13 posted 02-28-2010 06:20 AM

A great design. Can’t wait to see the finished project.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View Dark_Lightning's profile


3750 posts in 3711 days

#14 posted 02-28-2010 06:37 AM

OK, no complaints, that looks pretty cool. You ever think about working as a mechanical engineer?

A suggestion- make the pushbutton look like an ebony knob, ala the Green & Green Arts & Crafts style. Of course, that might not work with the rest of your design. I like this idea, and I’m soon to be making a caddy for my stuff when I get home from work. That secret drawer would be a nifty add-on.

-- Steven.......Random Orbital Nailer

View mikethetermite's profile


601 posts in 3868 days

#15 posted 02-28-2010 06:38 AM

Clever, can’t wait to see the finished project

-- Mike The Termite ~~~~~ Working safely may get old, but so do those who practice it.

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