How to Turn an Old Medicine Cabinet Into a Secret Storage Unit

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About: Me and My Dad's YouTube channel is about creating secret/puzzle furniture in a fun and interactive way. We thoroughly enjoy working together and hope to create many more projects in the future that will hope...

Believe it or not, me and my dad created this project based on a dream he had (he's got secret compartments on the brain if you can't tell). Unlike some of our other projects, this one was super easy to build and we got it done in about a days work collectively.

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Step 1: Materials

Step 2: Reassembly

You might be able to skip this step depending on the type of cabinet you have, but we had to break our old one down and reassemble it in the shop so that we could reattach it to the new one that we were going to build.

Step 3: Attaching Your Hinges

Depending on what type of hinges you use, you may have to router out some sections for your hinges. We used a very basic type of hinge that requires zero friction between itself and any wood. So we used our router to cut out the areas that our hinges would be sitting in so that the rotating pin wouldn't be touching anything.

Step 4: Milling Your Plywood

For our new cabinet design, we decided to make it very basic with two shelves in the middle. We made sure to put dadoes in the side pieces so that the shelves would have ledges to rest on. Then we glued and nailed everything together.

Step 5: Milling Your Trim

Obviously, we could have gone with something a little more fancier than regular old 2/4s, but seeing as we're cheapskates, this is what we went with. All we did was rip them on the table saw and cut them all to the size of our new box. Then we slapped them on there with a couple of screws and called it good.

Step 6: Woodburning (Optional)

We like to Woodburn all of our projects as sort of a ritual with cool designs and a Bible verse but you don't have to if you don't want to. Also, make sure that you're woodburning everything in the right alignment unlike how I did it (see video). We just like it because it makes otherwise cheap lumber look more expensive than it really is. Not to mention you get to play with fire!

Step 7: Installing the Magnetic Lock

It should really be called the magic lock, but installing this bad boy can be quite tricky as you need to perfectly line up your ramp and lock latch perfectly otherwise it won't seal correctly. Magnetic locks are absolutely perfect for secret compartments because they leave no trace of an additional storage place. Why would anyone think there was storage on the other side of something if there's no lock in sight.

Step 8: Staining and Installing

To finish up our cabinet, we put on some very dark wood stain to match the paneling in our bathroom. Normally we go with something lighter, but we wanted it to look like it blends in with the rest of the room.

For the installation, we reattached our mirror and simply put screws on the inside of the secret compartment. We simply drilled into the studs and vwallah!!!! You got yourself a great secret storage area that only you know about.

If you have any additional questions on how we built this, make sure to watch the video as it goes into a little more detail of how we did it. Don't hesitate to ask me either in the comments section. I love having discussions so I usually respond within a couple of hours!

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    8 Discussions

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    Alex in NZ

    5 months ago

    Neat hiding place. Well done, and thank you for sharing the design and build :-)

    1 reply
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    secretstashbrosAlex in NZ

    Reply 5 months ago

    Your, welcome Alex! Some people think that secret compartments are like magic and that you shouldn't show anyone your secrets. We on the other-hand find joy in showing people how to make them. Thanks for the comment!