(Usual disclaimers about there being little, if any, of educational value in here)
“Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead” – Benjamin Franklin
It’s been cold and raining, and something called “Christmas” and then, as if that wasn’t enough to destroy one’s rhythm, “New Year” came up, so I haven’t had much time to spend in what is laughingly called my “shop”.
No-one, however, can stop the brain from ticking over, so that’s where I’ve been putting in the work, even whilst wearing the silly hats.
Analysis is what I’ve been doing, and I thought I’d dump some of my thoughts for your general amusement.
But first off, let me say I know I haven’t a hope in h$$l of winning – I looked through the entries for the last competition and was, frankly, gobsmacked – awesome stuff. In any event, I don’t have a half-inch router so those bits would be no good to me anyway (sob sob sob).
Still, I’m English, so the whole “it’s in the taking part and not in the winning” thing is in the genes.
However, I did come to one decision in that regard – if I’m going to build something with a hidden compartment, it has to actually be genuinely useful – we travel a lot, and almost invariably forget where we’ve hidden the stuff we hid when we get back – to this date we’re missing 2 credit cards, 3 cheque books and a mobile phone – they’re here somewhere, but where?
This has lead to…
Problem number 1.
Ok, so I build the most beautiful box you can imagine (with all that pine and my complete lack of skill, yeah, right!), with the most devilishly hidden compartment that even Prof Hawkins on drugs wouldn’t be able to find, or even know existed. We get broken into – they’ll simply nick the box!
Conclusion 1. Either build something that doesn’t look great (I favour this – sorta suits my woodworking modus operandii), or build something fairly immovable, or, at any rate, not desirable – wooden toilet with hidden compartment?
Problem number 2.
Size matters, ya know. I came up with several ideas where I could stash my valuable collection of pin-heads. Cute, neat, and, with suitable skill, possible winners. But not a lot of use.
Conclusion number 2.
It needs to be big enough to store some cash, cheques, passports, travellers cheques and keys (the car would be useful too) – real stuff.
Problem number 3.
Obviousness. I’ve looked at literally hundreds of hidden compartment things on the ‘net (my “shop” has no lights), and, whilst I don’t dispute that a lot of them are hard to find, I suspect a lot of them are not hard to find with a sledgehammer. If I were a thief and I broke into someone’s house and saw a cool old-fashioned table, I might well figure there was a hidden compartment with someone’s valuable pin-head collection in it. I wouldn’t spend 3 hours trying to find it, I’d just trash it!
The same applies to all that “subtle locking mechanism” stuff – great for after-dinner discussion, for the intellectual challenge, but not sufficient for my “real-life” needs.
Conclusion number 3.
You must never dream in a month of sundays that it’s even worth looking at the thing (I’m liking the wooden toilet idea more and more)
Problem number 4.
I like to be contradictory, or at least my head does, and it’s nice to WIN! I wonder what people will use to judge? Will a reasonably made and incredibly clever thing win out over a beautifully made but rudimentary thing? I suspect I know the answer.
Conclusion number 4.
No conclusion, since my skill set leaves me little choice. I’m a mathematician (or I was in my previous life), so the “devilishly cunning” appeals to me. I can’t, of course, make it, but it still appeals.
I think that’s as far as I’ve got.
But don’t get me wrong. When I see that beautiful box or desk, with that oh so cool locking mechanism, I’ll still vote for it as a piece of art, it just isn’t what I want to be building, even if I could.
PS The internet is a scary scary place – did you know there’s a “purse blog”? Did you know that the state of Illinois banned secret compartments in cars (struck down – it was declared unconstitutional in April 08, but it was on the statute book for 6 years!)
-- "Do not speak – unless it improves on silence." --- "Following the rules and protecting the regulations is binding oneself without rope."