Armoire with Hidden Drawer Mechanism

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Project by RSmike posted 1287 days ago 5869 views 20 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 2280 days

#1 posted 1287 days ago

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

-- -=Den

View CharlieM1958's profile


15655 posts in 2816 days

#2 posted 1287 days ago

Extremely cool!

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

View mafe's profile


9435 posts in 1687 days

#3 posted 1287 days ago

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. Democraticwoodworking.

View EyeGuy's profile


7 posts in 1287 days

#4 posted 1287 days ago

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 2008 days

#5 posted 1287 days ago

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

-- Rod -Cincinnati, Ohio

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 2472 days

#6 posted 1287 days ago

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


1546 posts in 1585 days

#7 posted 1287 days ago

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

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

View lightweightladylefty's profile


2592 posts in 2310 days

#8 posted 1286 days ago


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


-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View RSmike's profile


21 posts in 1287 days

#9 posted 1286 days ago

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


13495 posts in 2371 days

#10 posted 1285 days ago

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


654 posts in 2106 days

#11 posted 1284 days ago

Brilliant! Thanks for showing the details.

-- Jason - Colorado Springs

View NBeener's profile


4806 posts in 1772 days

#12 posted 1284 days ago

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


21 posts in 1287 days

#13 posted 1280 days ago

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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