It is frequently desired to have some handy place for storing valuables where there is but little chance of discovering them.
Secret drawers in tables usually require special and expensive changes, but with only a few simple changes on a regular drawer of any ordinary table, a secret compartment can be made which is as secure as can ordinarily be figured on, outside of a steel safe.
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—Contributed by Paul Durst, Detroit, Mich.
Excerpt from the book:
THE BOY MECHANIC – BOOK 2
1000 THINGS FOR BOYS TO DO
HOW TO CONSTRUCT DEVICES FOR WINTER SPORTS, MOTION-PICTURE CAMERA, INDOOR GAMES, REED FURNITURE, ELECTRICAL NOVELTIES, BOATS, FISHING RODS, CAMPS AND CAMP APPLIANCES, KITES AND GLIDERS, PUSHMOBILES, ROLLER COASTER, FERRIS WHEEL AND HUNDREDS OF OTHER THINGS WHICH DELIGHT EVERY BOY WITH 995 ILLUSTRATIONS
PUBLISHED 1915, BY H. H. WINDSOR CHICAGO
POPULAR MECHANICS CO. PUBLISHERS
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Having chosen the desired table, a partition should be placed across the entire back part of the drawer, allowing for necessary space in the secret compartment. This partition should resemble the real back of the drawer as closely as it is possible to make it.
The compartment must not be too wide, for the resulting small width of the front part of the drawer might then arouse suspicion.
On the lower side of the secret compartment a strip of wood, A, should be attached with a screw, as shown in Fig. 1, allowing sufficient looseness so the strip may be turned end for end when necessary.
With the strip set as shown, it will strike the front side B of the table when the drawer is pulled out, leaving the secret compartment still hidden. In order to expose this, it will be necessary to turn the strip, as shown in Fig. 2, when the drawer can be pulled out to its full length.
Two Positions of the Strip for Holding, or Giving Access to, the Secret Part, and a Hinged Strip (Fig. 1, Fig. 2, Fig. 3)
It being necessary that the strip A be as long as the secret compartment is wide, to fully expose this, there may be cases where the drawer is not wide enough to allow the strip A to turn around. In that case the strip can be hinged to the back of the drawer as shown in Fig. 3. When it is hanging down, as shown by the dotted outline, the drawer may be pulled out to its full extent.
When it is desired to lock the secret compartment, the hinged strip must be swung up in position, and fastened. An ordinary thumbscrew or eye can be used which, by a turn or two, will either release it or fasten it in place.