Rommel's Fuel Dump Display Case w/secret compartments

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Project by Bill Huffman posted 05-23-2020 07:09 PM 1772 views 1 time favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a wall hanging display case for a Diorama I built called Rommel’s Fuel Dump. I build these things and because I have them in my shop/office, I have to cover them to keep dust from destroying them. I also just dig old museum display cabinets.

I started with the idea of a wall hanging display cabinet out of Sapele…... then got the bright idea of drawers…... with secret drawers behind them…... with a hidden latch…..

I typically don’t use plans, so these sort of things happen A LOT. Its finished with Wipe-on Poly and Paste Wax.

The latch is activated by inserting a small brass rod, “key” into an 1/8” hole under the cabinet. You can then remove the drawer by holding the spring loaded latch. They slide back in and latch without the brass “key”.

The brass 2 hold plate on the front of each secret drawer allows you to comfortably pull the drawer out without having an obvious handle if you glance in the cavity when the real drawer is removed.

The Diorama is 1:35 scale, and depicts an imagined private outpost for Rommel while he contemplated losing the war in North Africa, 1942.

-- Im so impressed with what people can do, and I wonder how they do it. Thats what keeps me doing it.

17 comments so far

View Oldtool's profile


3322 posts in 3434 days

#1 posted 05-23-2020 07:21 PM

Very unique and also very interesting. I like the degree of detail in the “dump”, which when coupled with your woodworking shows a high degree of talent.
Nice work.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View Redoak49's profile


5390 posts in 3232 days

#2 posted 05-23-2020 08:55 PM

I am super impressed with the cabinet and the extraordinary detail of the dioramas.

View recycle1943's profile


5853 posts in 2866 days

#3 posted 05-23-2020 10:02 PM

we have 3 different things to contemplate – the diorama, the cabinet and the drawer system – all 3 are great but perhaps my pick would be the cabinet
Great Job on all of them

-- Dick, Malvern Ohio - my biggest fear is that when I die, my wife sells my toys for what I told her I paid for them

View robscastle's profile


8268 posts in 3448 days

#4 posted 05-23-2020 10:02 PM

Well at least your brain didn’t fall out of the back of your skull doing this one!

Poor Rommel a brilliant strategic planner but fuel or lack of it led to his downfall
my vote is with recycle 1943 the cabinet is a fascinating work of art.

eagerly awaiting pottzzy and LBD’s diorama projects now.

P.S. Your room looks like a very interesting place to visit and enjoy your work, hence
Is that a phone box I see in Photo No 2?

-- Regards Rob

View JCamp's profile


1428 posts in 1794 days

#5 posted 05-23-2020 10:34 PM

Really nice project. I also like all those cabinets in your shop. If you’d wanna post those as projects I’d like to see them too
Congratulations on the beautiful work

-- Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might

View pottz's profile


20680 posts in 2228 days

#6 posted 05-23-2020 10:53 PM

wow bill your diorama’s are just incredible,the detail you put into them is said that cabinet is no slouch either,your crftsmanship is gorgeous.sorry rob but im no diorama builder,maybe the duck.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View Dawg23's profile


18 posts in 522 days

#7 posted 05-23-2020 10:56 PM

Wow. Just wow, that is amazing. I love the details on the diorama, and the hidden compartment, and the cabinet. Thank you for sharing

-- Most engineering is nothing but black magic, and alot of SWAG. (Scientific Wild Ass Guess) - Dawg23

View Bill Huffman's profile

Bill Huffman

269 posts in 2663 days

#8 posted 05-23-2020 11:19 PM

Hi Rob,

Thanks for the comments. Not sure what your looking at, under the Rommel cabinet is a small side table with 3 drawers….

-- Im so impressed with what people can do, and I wonder how they do it. Thats what keeps me doing it.

View BurlyBob's profile


9338 posts in 3509 days

#9 posted 05-24-2020 12:12 AM

That is an impressive piece of workmanship.

View Woodknack's profile


13584 posts in 3624 days

#10 posted 05-24-2020 01:02 AM

That is a handsome display case and I bet the diorama is even better. I used to build highly detailed scale models.

-- Rick M,

View robscastle's profile


8268 posts in 3448 days

#11 posted 05-24-2020 08:10 AM

Come on Pottzy you can do it !

-- Regards Rob

View robscastle's profile


8268 posts in 3448 days

#12 posted 05-24-2020 08:14 AM

I am looking at project picture 2, its the set of six,of which four don’t seem to zoom for some reason.

And wow more “stuff” to check out!
like the crossbows!

-- Regards Rob

View RCCinNC's profile


514 posts in 1570 days

#13 posted 05-24-2020 02:55 PM

I haven’t posted any project for awhile…but now I’m almost embarrassed too.

Bill – Everything you have posted reflects a mastery of the materials, attention to detail, and an artistic sense that is truly incredible. I am profoundly impressed.

I don’t suppose you have an old slapped together birdhouse or something laying around that you could post? No don’t…what you might call “slapped together” would probably only embarrass me further…; )

-- Live to putter...putter to live!

View Bill Huffman's profile

Bill Huffman

269 posts in 2663 days

#14 posted 05-24-2020 04:00 PM


I like birdhouses quite a bit, but have not built one in 16+ years. I have a burly old tomcat named Oscar that lives in the shop, and while he is 14-15 years old, he is still a terror to birds on the property. A birdhouse would just be a bait-well for him.

Here he is in his natural habitat, climbing up on my lap in the middle of something I was working on, because its really his shop, and his rules.

-- Im so impressed with what people can do, and I wonder how they do it. Thats what keeps me doing it.

View Skylark53's profile


2866 posts in 4304 days

#15 posted 05-24-2020 05:32 PM

That is quite a piece of work. Very well done. Interesting, very functional, beautiful and truly uniques. The Diorama is a great work in itself. Thanks for sharing.

-- Rick, Tennessee, John 3:16

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