Armoire with Hidden Drawer Mechanism

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Project by RSmike posted 01-14-2011 11:35 PM 15960 views 24 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

We have zero closet space in our 1920s Arts and Crafts home. I built two monster amoires to function as closets. The drawers were pretty big and I was inspired to incorporate a hidden drawer into one of them. This one has hidden drawers across the top.

The drawer opens normally but once open if you push on the two buttons near the bottom edge of the drawer the front face pops away from the main drawer revealing a thin drawer for hiding stuff.

It’s not meant to foil the FBI, DEA, or any of those other three letter organizations that don’t exisit but it is pretty cool.

-- Mike

13 comments so far

View Denappy's profile


116 posts in 4797 days

#1 posted 01-14-2011 11:41 PM

That is some great engineering and even without that feat, it is an awesome piece of woodworking! Top notch!!

-- -=Den

View CharlieM1958's profile


16292 posts in 5333 days

#2 posted 01-14-2011 11:46 PM

Extremely cool!

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

View mafe's profile


13202 posts in 4204 days

#3 posted 01-14-2011 11:48 PM

Now we know where it is!
It’s not exactly secret now!
Well done, I also love these…
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View EyeGuy's profile


7 posts in 3804 days

#4 posted 01-15-2011 12:08 AM

This is extremely nice work. I think the hidden drawer is quite well done and the overall piece is excellent looking.

-- Chris K in Georgia

View Rod_B's profile


4 posts in 4525 days

#5 posted 01-15-2011 12:18 AM

That’s a great idea. Very creative and well done.

-- Rod -Cincinnati, Ohio

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1427 posts in 4989 days

#6 posted 01-15-2011 12:33 AM

That’s very cool! You have the same problem I do: when you make secret compartments, you tell people about them, and then they aren’t secret anymore!

-- -- --

View SASmith               's profile


1850 posts in 4102 days

#7 posted 01-15-2011 01:35 AM

Very clever.
Thanks for posting the close up of the Mechanism.

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3654 posts in 4827 days

#8 posted 01-15-2011 05:13 AM


That’s quite the engineering feat! A wonderful armoire; great-looking piece of furniture. Thanks for sharing.


-- “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin -- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View RSmike's profile


30 posts in 3804 days

#9 posted 01-15-2011 01:34 PM

I spent about 30 hours trying to make something that would latch the hidden drawer. I wasted a lot of time trying to find some purchased lock system. Ultimately what worked was completly homebrew.

I built a mock-up of the whole thing to be sure I could make it work. I was so unsure it wouldn’t work that I even built standard drawers for the top locations. I go in these drawers every day and after 3-4 years they still work and have never released without pushing the release buttons.

Waxing the surfaces was the key to make it all work. The only downide is the drawers are slightly heavy. But they are big drawers so it’s difficult to perceive.



-- Mike

View ND2ELK's profile


13494 posts in 4889 days

#10 posted 01-16-2011 05:31 AM

Great minds must think a lot. You did a beautiful job on this piece. Very impressive hidden compartment. I have always loved hidden compartments. Take a look at the dresser I made for my granddaughter. The hidden compartment is opened by a fairy house. Let me know what you think. This one has to go in my favorites. Thanks for sharing.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View Jason's profile


660 posts in 4623 days

#11 posted 01-17-2011 07:15 PM

Brilliant! Thanks for showing the details.

-- Jason - Colorado Springs

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 4289 days

#12 posted 01-17-2011 07:42 PM

That is a VERY cool design, within a beautiful piece of furniture.

I know … in the 20’s … people didn’t really have “wardrobes,” so … I get why there wasn’t a lot of lineal feet of closet space, but … the darned things are so shallow that you can’t put a six-pack inside them !

We loved our 19-teen’s craftsman house, but … you had to love it to live with the day-to-day tradeoffs that it presented.

Really nice work. Thanks for sharing !

-- -- Neil

View RSmike's profile


30 posts in 3804 days

#13 posted 01-22-2011 12:52 AM

A fifth laying down will fit. :)

I will add that my house has zero closets and the tinest bedrooms. To your point, people “back then” didn’t have ten pairs of pants and month of socks, so closets weren’t so necessary. Were people tiny back in the 20’s? ;)


-- Mike

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