Hidden locks, drawers, secret storage etc.

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Forum topic by vhcconstruction1 posted 10-22-2020 03:45 PM 450 views 1 time favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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11 posts in 880 days

10-22-2020 03:45 PM

I have been trying to find any books or blueprints for making hidden or secret locks, latches you name it. If you have seen the movie National Treasure, with the resolute desk, with its trick door… that is what I am looking for. For instance, I built a hidden bar for a client, wanted to do some kind of hidden latch sequence to get the door to open. Tried magnets and some other latches but really did not work to well. Now I am building him a office and would like to do some hidden storage areas and drawers. If anyone knows of some good books, Please let me know.

6 replies so far

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260 posts in 1647 days

#1 posted 10-22-2020 04:57 PM

Chris Becksvoort had an article in FWW this summer illustrating hidden wood spring latches in his desk gallery.

There was also an article in 2002 FWW of secret spaces by Mark Schofield

-- derek / oregon

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10788 posts in 4565 days

#2 posted 10-22-2020 05:02 PM

A fellow over on is in the long process of building a roentgen desk with a lot of mechanical features. He’s blogged about it extensively on a thread on that site.

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129 posts in 233 days

#3 posted 10-22-2020 06:47 PM

Woodcraft Magazine Vol. 15/91 OCT/NOV 19 had an article titled “Top Secret Table” by Larissa Huff with several different types of locks mentioned. RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) lock, a dowel incased magnet lock, and standard magnetic push locks are all used to show the different types one could use in a woodworking project.
Hope this helps.

-- It's not a mistake it's a design opportunity

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132 posts in 217 days

#4 posted 10-22-2020 06:50 PM

If it were published and widely/easily available , it wouldn’t be so secret and special ; would it ?

This stuff has usually been closely held and handed down to a select few craftsmen over time.

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214 posts in 104 days

#5 posted 10-22-2020 09:11 PM

To me, that is part of the fun of design, so I make all my own plans and mechanisms. But that doesn’t help you. There are two classes of secret compartments, hard-to-open and hidden-in-plain-sight. Do you want to have an obvious door/drawer just hard to open, or do you want to have areas that no one expects to be a compartment?

Pinterest seems to have a lot of useful images to give you ideas.
You might also google “puzzle boxes” and adapt the designs to your cabinet

I had the pleasure of going through an Empire Traveling Desk (Walnut so old it was almost blond). I found about a dozen compartments, from the typical decorative fluted pillars that are tall drawers to a ribbon-suspended box behind and below a secret cubby hole. I think I found then all, but…

-- Mike (near Boston) ... Laziness is the mother of invention, necessity is the mother of exhaustion - me

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214 posts in 104 days

#6 posted 11-01-2020 01:22 PM

Found another:

-- Mike (near Boston) ... Laziness is the mother of invention, necessity is the mother of exhaustion - me

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