So, Bob Baker was reading too many news articles and became concerned for the safety of his favorite toys. He decided that he needed a better place to hide them so no stray dogs could come and steal them while he is busy with me in the shop or away winning agility competitions. So, after a brainstorming session, we decided to make a hidden drawer in my nightstand.
After toying with a couple ideas, we decided on a drawer within a drawer design. My goals for this were to maximize the space, and particularly the depth of the drawer. This way it will not be as obvious that something is concealed below. For the locking mechanism I decided on a RFID lock. The one we used can be battery powered or plugged in via a USB adapter.
So, I removed the existing drawer, measured the space and got to work. Unfortunately, I probably should have done a little more planning because I ran into a few bumps along the build. While I did take into account the space needed from the underside of the drawer for the locking mechanism, I forgot to consider the size of the lock. It ended up being too big for the hidden drawer. My solution was to cut out the bottom of the drawer so the lock could slide below it and sit flush with the top of the drawer. The bottom piece did not protrude below the drawer face, so it didn’t interfere with the drawer’s function and stayed hidden.
The next issue was that the back of the drawer needed to be notched out so it doesn’t block the installation of the drawer. This was an easier fix since a jig saw made quick work of the issue.
The last issue was how to actually install the drawer face. For this project, it cannot be attached to the upper drawer, and it does not have a drawer pull, so my usual methods didn’t work. I tried some double-sided tape, but the inner drawer sat back just enough not to bind to the tape. I ended up just setting the drawer face in place, clamping it to the upper drawer and carefully measuring the position. Then I removed the hidden drawer and positioned it based on the measurements. This ended up working well. But I think drawer face installation clamps would have made this way easier.
In the end, the concealed drawer works perfectly and Bob Barker can rest easy, knowing his toys have an extra layer of protection.
I do plan on making new nightstands at some point, and this worked as a learning project, giving me lots of useful information on how to make things work when I do that project. I do intend on have a hidden drawer and some other hidden compartments for that build.