|Project by PhilosopherSteve||posted 06-28-2015 01:44 PM||1356 views||4 times favorited||5 comments|
Here is a technique I have been yearning to figure out for years and I finally got it. I love the antique boxes with spring activated drawers but there is so little information on how any of these actually work. Moreover, none are made with parts you can buy from, well, anywhere. But, with the help of some other’s here (like Brice and his Betjemann box!) and a few well placed searches, I found some information.
The drawer’s power usually always seems to come from a flat spring on the antiques. You can still find companies who will make such springs, but I’m guessing it’s not cheap. I first tried the coil spring that acts as a winder for a chainsaw. It worked, but was a bit too small. So then I took off my overly dull bandsaw blade and tried that. It worked great (and now I have to go file off the teeth!). I just snipped of a section and then carefully bent it so that each “arm” was the same length and about the same bend. Since the bandsaw blade isn’t real wide, I fastened it with the two little wooden plates (I’ll replace the screws with pan heads once I can head out to grab some).
The catch is just a flat stick with a wedge glued on. It sits in a track and at the back end I put a pen spring under it. The little screw in front keeps it in place but lets it move. The lip on the bottom of the drawer catches on this when it’s closed. The pin at the back just depresses the catch, releases the drawer and the springs pop it out.
This is my prototype. It’s a bit clunky, but I wanted to figure out how the mechanisms worked before trying to refine anything. I’m fine making the springs, but I do wish something else existed for the catch, since wood has to a certain thickness not to fail. A reason to keep searching!
Oh, and with a bit of room that existed because of the mechanism, well, I added more secret space!
I also put together a video to talk about how this works : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4GHjI6W6s6M