Keepsake Box With a Secret

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Project by AEdad posted 11-26-2011 05:19 AM 4674 views 11 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I would like to start out by saying I got most of my ideas for this box from fellow LumberJock, John M (Secret Compartment Toy Box). Thanks for the inspiration!

As a kid (who am I kidding, as an adult too), I always had a thing for boxes to keep my “treasures” in. I would have killed for one with a secret compartment. So I thought it would be great to give my kids something I always wanted. This is the first of two boxes for my kids for Christmas gifts. This one will be for my son and my daughters will have and E and hearts will replace the stars (hers is just waiting to be stained.)

Anyway to the box. The entire box is made of pine. It measures 16 inches long, 10 inches deep and about 14 inches high. As a beginning wood worker I’m afraid if I spend the money on nicer wood, I’ll screw it up. I guess thats part of learning. For the main box I went with a butt joint because my table saw is a hand me down and I can’t get it to cut a good miter to save my life. I think the butt joint ened up looking pretty good. I used an ogee bit to route the molding around the base of the box. For the lid I made something like a picture frame, rounded over both edges and then rounded over the top side of a rectangle that fit down into the opening.

Now the secret. Shh don’t tell anyone. If you turn two of the stars a quarter turn and then pull them out the molding and attached draw will pull out of the side. The stars are attached to a dowel that has another smaller dowel through the end (perpindicular) on the inside of the box that way they can not be pullled out all the way and get lost.

As requested I have added pictures that show the locking system. Picture # 5 shows inside the base of the box. The dowel on the left is in the locked position and the dowel on the right is in the open position. Picture #6 shows the side of the draw. I chisiled a 1/4 circle groove in the draw and the base to allow the pin to turn and lock. I also put a rare earth magnet in the draw and the head of nail in the pin to help hold it in place. Hope that helps.

8 comments so far

View Neight's profile


112 posts in 3445 days

#1 posted 11-26-2011 11:37 AM

Great box!
Like you, I have also always loved boxes, and have always wanted something with secret compartments. I have been thinking on ways to make such a beast, and it seems like you have discovered a great and simple way of doing it (even if the inspiration came from someone else, that’s how we learn)
excellent work, and thanks for sharing!

-- Work consists of whatever a body is OBLIGED to do, and Play consists of whatever a body is not obliged to do. -Mark Twain

View cassady's profile


16 posts in 3460 days

#2 posted 11-26-2011 04:25 PM

Great looking box! I too have a fascination with the hidden spaces concept but sometimes it is hard to picture the mechanics of the special locks or releases. Any chance you could post a pic or two of the locking mechanism that holds the secret drawer in place?

-- Cassady in Denver, CO

View workerinwood's profile


2717 posts in 4119 days

#3 posted 11-26-2011 04:44 PM

Great job!! Like the idea of secret compartments.

-- Jack, Albuquerque

View Eagle1's profile


2066 posts in 4116 days

#4 posted 11-26-2011 05:20 PM

Great box. The added secret compartment is cool. I have to agree with cassady would like to see how you did the lock mech.

-- Tim, Missouri ....Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the heck happened

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3742 days

#5 posted 11-27-2011 03:53 AM

Great build! I really like the way you did the secret compartment. I think you are way ready to branch out into more exotic woods without need to worry about ‘screwing it up’.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View itsmic's profile


1419 posts in 4170 days

#6 posted 11-27-2011 05:10 PM

Nice Box, Very ingenious secret compartment, fine job on this, keep up the good work, thanks for sharing

-- It's Mic Keep working and sharing

View cassady's profile


16 posts in 3460 days

#7 posted 11-28-2011 05:34 AM

Thanks for posting the lock pics, that definitely helps us newbies!

-- Cassady in Denver, CO

View Sanding2day's profile


1016 posts in 2898 days

#8 posted 06-18-2013 07:59 PM

Very nice… Presently working on a toybox for my daughter and unfortunately past the base and looking for additional ideas for the lid etc. Added this to favorites as I will certainly need to incorporate the hidden drawers into something at some point… Thanks for sharing :)

-- Dan

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