|Project by jeff_wenz||posted 02-29-2012 03:38 PM||21336 views||88 times favorited||36 comments|
I had two goals for this project. First, upgrade our keychain holder that hangs by our front door. Second was to store and hide my handgun when it isn’t in my pocket.
Goal #1 was accomplished by building a 12×18 x 5” keychain holder made of cherry. It is finished in a couple coats of Deft brushing lacquer (satin). Rather than using hooks to hang the keys, I decided to use tmagnets. I bought one of those 18” magnetic tool holders and covered it with a thin veneer of cherry. I had experimented with 1/8” cherry to cover the magnet, but I lost too much pull from the magnet. I used a dentil molding design to hide the magnet. As long as the keychain weighs under 6 oz, the magnet design works well.
The cabinet also has three drawers where I was able to practice cutting finger joints. The drawers are made from ¼” cherry stock. I put a ¼” cherry face on the drawers as well as I didn’t really want the finger joints to attract too much attention.
Goal #2 was accomplished by making the cabinet swing open on 3 euro style hinges. The ¾” back of the cabinet and the 2 top trim pieces make up one assembly. Everything else swings open. This allows me to take advantage of the 2” depth of wasted space behind the 1/8” mirror (which is dado’d into the cabinet. I then mounted a rubber coated Magna Arm magnet so my handgun could be held securely. I picked up the Magna Arm at a gun show recently. It works very well for my purpose. Basically, it is a strong magnet that is rubber coated (this prevents scratching the gun). It has two holes for screw mounting it to surfaces. I think it is meant to be mounted under the dash of cars or on the underside of other surfaces to conceal a handgun.
To ensure the 3 drawers do not fall out when the cabinet is swung open, I mounted some stop blocks and also magnetized the back of the drawers so they are attracted to the stop blocks and stay in place when they are supposed to. I also plan on mounting some more “accessories” inside of the hidden compartment in the future. Maybe a keychain holder for those keys that get used only once in a blue moon.
There was one issue I had to solve after testing the swing of the compartment. Due to the weight of the case that swings open, when closed, there was a gap on the side opposite the three hinges. This was not satisfactory to me. So I mounted a dowel in the top right corner and sanded it at an angle so when it is closed, the moldings wedge back together creating a snug fit which maintains the secrecy of the hidden compartment. If I were to do this project over again, I would integrate this feature into the width of the molding hiding the dowel.
I am very happy with how this project turned out.
Question… Can I really keep calling it a “secret” compartment if I always show it off to my friends?
-- Jeff, North Carolina