A few years back Fine Woodworking magazine did an article that gave me a new inspiration. That was to utilize space on a piece of furniture that would otherwise be wasted and install a secret compartment. Now I don’t have sensative government documents I am hiding nor do I have priceless pieces of art I am trying to hide nor secret documents that once I give it to the press will make us feel differently about, let’s say, Coca Cola. I just felt inspired to try a new kind of challenge. I added three secret compartments in my daughters desk. She has allowed my to mention them, but not show pictures of them. I also made a pair of bed side tables to match the cherry built-ins I made (I have no pictures of them) that I added a secret compartment to. When the second National Treasure movie came out it inspired me yet again. I believe it is something that I want to engineer into most of my pieces. I think it is exciting to add a compartment to a piece of furniture that is both functional as a storage space and not noticable from the outside. Let’s say you take a piece of furniture like a blanket chest and can hide a false bottom that nobody but a CIA agent would suspect, that is a lot of fun. Maybe a bed with a post that can open in such a way to hide a rolled up document or small jewlery. You might make a chest of drawers with raise panel sides and make one of the stiles hinge out of the way to access a false back. I think it would be most challenging to add it in an area that is more out in the open. I know that this gave my daughter a kick to have something that her brothers don’t know about.
In the end try something new and act like a secret agent.
-- Michael A. Brailsford