Hidden Drawer Tutorial


I built this dresser for my home back in 2009, and at that time I was very inspired by the veneer work that Tom Schrunk was doing in collaboration with Steinway for their “Art Case” pianos.

I was also inspired by the mechanical woodworking being done by Matthias Wandel of Woodgears.ca.



The hidden drawer is controlled by a bolt on the back side of the upper right drawer box.  Before you can activate the hidden drawer system, you need to unlock the bolt with the correct combination.  


Lets be honest, I didn’t invent the pad lock and I wasn’t the first person to build one out of wood either.  If you’re interested in a detailed explication of  how to build the lock, click here.

What I did with this particular project was expand on the idea.  The combination lock is the first step of a series of actions that opens a hidden drawer located within the toe kick of the cabinet.

Below is an illustration of how this lock can be incorporated into any furniture piece with a stack of drawers by taking advantage of the 1” void between the drawer slides and side of the cabinet.


From (01:08-01:10)  in the video, you can see how after the combination has been entered, the lever that controls the bolt is now able to pass through the lock.  Now with the bolt fully extended, when you push the top drawer back into the cabinet, the hidden drawer pops out.


The top section is made out of a 1/2” thick piece of wood that is 2.75” wide by 8” long.  There is a Blumotion soft close plunger inset into the point of contact where the bolt hits the block of wood.

The block is connected to a 8” KV8400 full extension drawer slide.  On the back side of the wood block there are two additional Blumotion soft close plungers.  These act as a soft backstop; eliminating any clunking or banging.



Both sections are connected with 1/4” nylon rope.  Click here to see a trick for cutting nylon rope without it fraying.



The bottom section is very similar to the top, except that when the hidden drawer is closed, the 8” drawer slide is in the extended position.


There is constant back tension created by a spring that pulls the bottom slide back to the extended position.  From (00:30-00:40) in the video, you’ll notice how the top drawer springs back open after its been pushed in.  When the bolt on the back is retracted, the top drawer box is able to function normally.





  1. WOW, this is insane, I consider this next level wood working, done by a true master of a the craft!

  2. This is insanely awesome. Love This!

  3. Wow, that is fantastic work. What a great job you have done and such a clever idea. Thank you for sharing it. Cheers

  4. Love that dresser. Are there plans??


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