One of the best aspects of covering the woodworking industry is running across a project that is especially clever and fun. Case in point is a custom bookcase by Brian Grabski of Designed and Made in Minneapolis, MN, that was featured recently on YouTube. It has a secret drawer triggered by an elaborate mechanism that would make Rube Goldberg smile.
The bookcase “requires you to pull open each of the visible drawers before a hidden control springs out and allows you to trigger the secret compartment built into what looks like normal moulding,” Grabski says. “To make things more complex, each of the drawers must be pulled out to a certain point before the latches they control slide out of the way, similar to how the pins in a regular lock work.”
When that is done, it allows a length of wooden dowel, which itself is hidden as a knot in the wood, to slide out. “When the dowel is twisted and pushed back in, a cable tracked around the back of the cabinet allows the hidden drawer to spring out,” Grabski adds.
The really fun part is to watch the videos to see how it works. I wasn’t sure exactly what I was watching in the first video,

which shows the finished bookcase in operation. After I re-read the description and watched a second video shot during the piece’s production, which shows the interior mechanisms,

I realized just how clever it is.
The videos are short. If you want a quick break, take a look — and let me know if you have ever seen anything else like it.

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