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Old 12-03-2009, 12:26 AM   #31
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Building a secret compartment


I am thinking of the vent return for something similiar where I am trying to hide access to a large space hidden behind a wall. I can put a majority of tools and computers in it. I was thinking of covering it with a large vent return. my concern is some smart criminal might wonder why the return is in this spot or see the real one not too far away. I was trying to think of a way to build a fake vent that could be moved out of the way with a special trick.

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Old 12-03-2009, 07:01 AM   #32
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Building a secret compartment


When my dad built our house(40+ years ago) he built in a safe. A fairly large safe, maybe 3' x 3' wide. It was a heavy safe, big door, something you might see in a business, not a sheet metal kind of thing. The space was framed, the safe installed(it had steel wheels) and the walls finished with paneling. The door into the safe area was cut in the panel grooves and you could not see the seams. The section of base and chair rail was cut at 45 degrees and dropped in to the correct spots. Looked totally built in.
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Old 12-03-2009, 08:30 AM   #33
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I was trying to think of a way to build a fake vent that could be moved out of the way with a special trick.
once more, i'd be inclined to mount magnets to the wall so the cover just sticks there and can be easily taken off in a half second. fake screws glued to the cover for disguising it as well, of course.

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Old 12-03-2009, 08:36 AM   #34
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Building a secret compartment


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ok, how's this? since the illusion of a normal wall is important and we're looking at new construction 2x4 wall, simply create a "dropdown box" that will slide freely up and down between studs. that will be held up to a cross support 2x4 by one or two old hard drive magnets and old steel hinges or straight bracing with holes available at any hdwr store. add a drawer handle to the bottom, be sure to set it's height so as it will be hidden from view. then simply install a false cold air return grate for the opening after you drywall! 2 or 4 screws, reach up and pull it down, do whatever, then shove it back on the magnets!
damn, that's a such a good idea, I'M gonna do it! hahahaha

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Why not use some old window sash weights in the wall? Of course you would need to add access doors thru the adjoining studs to retrieve the weights if the sash cords (ever wondered where that name came from?) rotted and broke.
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Old 12-03-2009, 08:46 AM   #35
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Why not use some old window sash weights in the wall? Of course you would need to add access doors thru the adjoining studs to retrieve the weights if the sash cords (ever wondered where that name came from?) rotted and broke.
-=chuckle=- i think you answered your own question as to why not.
magnets last for ages and are a lot easier IMHO

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Old 01-29-2011, 09:51 PM   #36
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Building a secret compartment


This gives me ideas, could be a lot of fun, and fairly easy to do depending on how far you go. Fake vents are probably the easiest for mid size hidden spots. Nobody would ever think of unscrewing a vent to look inside.

I have a crawlspace under my garage. This is very uncommon, so I could make a vault out of that if I wanted to. Could even build a door out of cinder block to match the rest of the wall. Nobody would ever ever suspect there's something other then sand on the other side of that. Great place to store bodies before a search warrant.
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Old 01-30-2011, 01:12 AM   #37
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Building a secret compartment


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This gives me ideas, could be a lot of fun, and fairly easy to do depending on how far you go........

.........Great place to store bodies before a search warrant.
Note to self: Don't say anything to make Red Squirrel angry.



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Old 02-03-2011, 08:36 AM   #38
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Building a secret compartment


Secret door, eh? While not exactly DIY, this guy's project is really over the top. One of the coolest builds I've seen. His secret door is around page 25.

http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/s...ad.php?t=12234
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Old 10-21-2011, 12:07 AM   #39
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Building a secret compartment


Does anyone know of a place to buy special hinges and hardware that isn't sold at regular hardwares?
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Old 10-21-2011, 09:11 AM   #40
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Building a secret compartment


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Does anyone know of a place to buy special hinges and hardware that isn't sold at regular hardwares?
Rockler is a good source.....

A good latch to look for is the magnetic spring loaded ones....you push on it and it pops out a little so you can grab it.

I have built a few hidden compartments....one was in the top of a cabinet. The whole top lifts up to expose 2" deep tray.
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Old 10-21-2011, 10:10 AM   #41
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Building a secret compartment


Thanks ddawg.

I'm thinking about making a hidden compartment(s) in the wall behind a shelving unit in my scrapbooking room. The whole unit would open like a cabinet door.

Here's a picture of the one I'm talking about. It's the unit on the right. The hinges would be on the right side.

I could probably get away with doing it to the left shelving unit too, but there is an electric wire running behind that one.


EDIT: Thanks for adding the picture DM!

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Old 10-21-2011, 11:32 AM   #42
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Building a secret compartment


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Originally Posted by gma2rjc View Post
Thanks ddawg.

I'm thinking about making a hidden compartment(s) in the wall behind a shelving unit in my scrapbooking room. The whole unit would open like a cabinet door.

Here's a picture of the one I'm talking about. In the first picture, it's the tall unit on the right in post #2.

http://www.diychatroom.com/f49/my-scrapbooking-room-45796/

The hinges would be on the right side.

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Barb, that link didn't open for me.

My crew made a drawer unit for a bedroom which installed into an inset about 4 feet deep. The inset was just dead space so they installed the unit at the front of the inset and the unit had really deep drawers which went beyond the back of the unit with a false back and hidden lock. The man hide some of his guns in the drawers.

I have made swing out bookcases with hidden spaces behind them, computer desk with a hidden room behind the unit with access through the knee space of the desk and hidden doors.
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Old 10-21-2011, 01:00 PM   #43
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Building a secret compartment


Sorry about the link. I'll try to figure it out. DangerMouse said it's not working for him either.

Do you have any pictures of your work Jim? I'd especially love to see the ones of the swing out bookcases.
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Old 10-21-2011, 01:09 PM   #44
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Building a secret compartment


This site has some cool hardware: http://www.rensup.com/

(and the catalog makes for some good BR reading, keep you occupied till you legs fall asleep )

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Old 10-21-2011, 01:34 PM   #45
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Building a secret compartment


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Sorry about the link. I'll try to figure it out. DangerMouse said it's not working for him either.

Do you have any pictures of your work Jim? I'd especially love to see the ones of the swing out bookcases.
Barb I do have some pictures of my work but I didn't start keeping pictures until about 10 or so years before I retired. I didn't take any of the swing out bookcase. Here is the one I was talking about having a full room behind for guns and was accessed through the knee space of the computer desk. These are before and after finish.

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