Fxguy

Puzzle / Secret Compartments

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I'm looking to build my son an Activity board, but he is 2 years old and would quickly tire of the traditional latches / knobs / buttons routine. I thought it would be neat to build him something that involves a bit of mechanical puzzling / manipulation for him to work on. The thought came from talking about how he tired of his marble run quickly but if I were to build a marble run with gates / slots / levers to direct the path of the marble then he would like it a lot more. I've seen a couple of "secret compartment" builds on pinterest / instructables , but I was hoping that since I plan to build it out of wood, that my fellow woodworkers might be able to chime in with some thoughts / resources for ideas. 

 

Open to suggestions! 

 

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Marc has a video on the free site, showing one style of puzzle box. I made a couple that use sliding dovetailed bottoms and one removable foot as the "key" to create hidden compartments. These might not be something a 2-year-old would figure out on his own, but my son certainly enjoyed having them to hide his "treasures" in!

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I often incorporate hidden compartments in furniture and cabinets for clients if I see unused space. They act like children with a new toy when I show them how to open it. Fun for all ages !   

Magnets are one of my favorite tricks. Sliding dovetails are another, but they can take much more time to execute.

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Thanks a lot guys! I have to admit that I spend more time on the forums than on Marc's site (probably due to the fact that I'm still working with tools that aren't nearly as nice and all that powermatic goodness is too much! :-) ) I'll have to hop over there and check out the video. 

Admittedly it will be as much fun for me to build as it will for him to play with / figure out! I like the idea of making a sort of lock and key mechanism and then hiding the key in the project somewhere (think The Room game for iOS ). 

I definitely will check out the magnets and sliding dovetails (I need an excuse to take my time and be patient so I can get tighter joints. 

 

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I often incorporate hidden compartments in furniture and cabinets for clients if I see unused space. They act like children with a new toy when I show them how to open it. Fun for all ages !   

Magnets are one of my favorite tricks. Sliding dovetails are another, but they can take much more time to execute.

ooh, cool idea with the magnets.  Can we convince you to post a pic?

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I built an end table that had a secret compartment in the back of the drawer. If I remember right you rip a thin strip of hardwood and it mounts toward the back of the drawer. When you pull the the drawer open you assume it has hit a stop, but if you know the secret and reach inside push the strip in you can slide the drawer out and TaDa a secret compartment. My wife hides spare cash and some of her jewelry in there. I believe the plans were in a Woodsmith magazine. 

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Doomwolf,

I believe what woodbutcher74 is referring to is called a quaker lock.  They look like they are pretty easy to make (I say that only because I haven't tried).  Google images will give you many ideas as to how they work.  HTH.

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Do you think you could show us a sketch or a picture? It sounds like it would be fun to reverse engineer.

The plans are in issue 127 of Woodsmith. If I tried to sketch it out nobody would be able to make it out. I can't even draw stick people.

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