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Secret Shelf



Who doesn't like hidden storage! Jamison of RogueEngineer.com gives you these step-by-step plans that detail exactly how to make this floating shelf with secret hidden storage. This secret shelf can be built for around $30.

Check out more great DIY plans from Rogue Engineer here.

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  1. Project Steps

    1. Step: 1

      Large eafbbb27 382c 4d9f a8fc b560100ece92

      First start by cutting the wood you'll need by following this easy to read cut list.

    2. Step: 2

      Large 577317ac e370 4745 8c5b 59a088b35445

      Assembling the Shelf Assemble by drilling pocket holes as shown and assemble using 1-1/4" pocket screws.

    3. Step: 3

      Large 6885cc7a 08e4 4347 8935 c0f98bb8f175

      Assembling the False Bottom Assemble by drilling pocket holes as shown and assemble using 1-1/4" pocket screws.

    4. Step: 4

      Large 171b9bfb 900b 4472 a2be 6fbf588ecc95

      It's best to finish the project before installing hardware. Sand and stain the shelf and false bottom as desired. Then, when dry, apply polyurethane to protect.

    5. Step: 5

      Large fa4ebc51 fc6a 4e90 9f78 c5d9b9433aaa

      Install Piano Hinge Install piano hinge as shown using screws included.

    6. Step: 6

      Large 8d06a6b9 f7b9 457a a5fa 1661e70aa08a

      Install Friction Hinges Install friction hinges as shown using screws included and adjust friction so the false bottom stays upright.

    7. Step: 7

      Large 15acf2ac 72d8 4fc1 8e60 e33a68b02f46

      Using the Phone Works Laser Level, mark a level line on the wall where you wish to mount your Secret Shelf.

    8. Step: 8

      Large cdf62138 18a4 44ec a1df be75d952e63c

      Using the Phone Works Stud Finder, locate and mark two stud locations.

    9. Step: 9

      Large c98ae86b 36a4 40cf 840b d08e4fd57671

      Mount Secret Shelf using two 2-1/2" wood screws per stud location. Note: Adjust the friction on the hinges to so that the false bottom stays upright but can be pulled down. You may also install a magnetic catch to help keep the false bottom in the upright position. Check out more great DIY plans from Rogue Engineer here.

Comments (21)


  • This is amazing, what a great starter project for me :)
    By SoCraftySewCreative, on January 26, 2015

  • Can't read cut list to blurry
    By mjpaul4200, on January 26, 2015

  • If you click on the cut list thumbnail it will get larger and you should be able to read just fine.
    By RogueEngineer, on January 28, 2015

  • This seems like an awesome piece to have, and i would love to have it in my room.. But am i mistaken, or wont the the section where the false bottom meets the wall actually be preventing it from Fully opening up.. Because this is supposed to be flush up against the wall correct? Maybe i'm just not looking at it correctly.
    By grantwolter, on February 1, 2015

  • grantwolter: Look at Step 4 to view where the hinge is attached. This set-up will prevent the problem you are concerned about.
    By istuke, on February 2, 2015

  • All great questions. To allow for the recommended 1 1/4 pocket screws - How tick is this wood ?
    By geponu_110547, on February 4, 2015

  • grantwolter: istuke is correct, the hinge point location in fact causes the bottom back corner to swing up and away from the wall. This is good because the hinge is hidden and the side of the shelf seems to butt up against the wall.
    By RogueEngineer, on February 7, 2015

  • geponu_110547: All the wood used has an actual thickness of 3/4".
    By RogueEngineer, on February 7, 2015

  • How far in from the edge should the support arms be placed?
    By spikeb17, on February 9, 2015

  • I can't see the measurements for the location of the friction hinges. Could you please help me out with this? Thank you
    By Pen4956, on February 18, 2015

  • On the "Secret Shelf". A beautiful project with one problem. The small pictures chop off all the important measurements, and the enlargements, which have the measurements, won't print. How about putting all the dimensions on the small pictures so they can be copied?
    By ahorowitz, on February 19, 2015

  • Nice! I can see having these all over my house.
    By yvonneemueller, on February 21, 2015

  • Just looking at the cut list....if you rip 1/8" off of the 10" width, wouldn't that be 9-7/8". Just wondering if that is a typo or the actual length?
    By Mstripling13, on February 22, 2015

  • @spikeb17 The support arms should be placed 1" in from the edge of the top. Sorry I didn't realize I left that off until after I posted this.
    By Rogue Engineer, on February 26, 2015

  • @Pen4956 If you click on the picture it will expand and you should be able to see the measurements. If you would like the printable PDF of these plans head on over to http://rogueengineer.com/diy-secret-shelf-plans/
    By Rogue Engineer, on February 26, 2015

  • @ahorowitz Unfortunately that is one of the limitations of this platform however, if you would like the printable PDF of these plans head on over to http://rogueengineer.com/diy-secret-shelf-plans/
    By Rogue Engineer, on February 26, 2015

  • thanks @yvonneemueller@gmail.com
    By Rogue Engineer, on February 26, 2015

  • @Mstripling13 a 1x10 nominal board is actually 3/4" x 9-1/4"
    By Rogue Engineer, on February 26, 2015

  • Cool project . This will be a great present for my Sister.
    By Nicoya77, on March 17, 2015

  • If I wanted to increase the length of this shelf by 10" inches and make it out of maple would the friction hinges still work? Also I am assuming for mounting that I would want to hit 3 studs?
    By Shnake, on October 25, 2017

  • Can you use a different type of friction hinge or does it only have to be the curved friction hinge? Just curious because I’ve read many poor reviews about the curved friction hinge. Thanks.
    By Eagle04, on December 30, 2017

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Secret Shelf

by Rogue Engineer
Jan 25, 2015
Medium 3f4b9ce2 8c10 4270 b26a fef4f9f2d099

Who doesn't like hidden storage! Jamison of RogueEngineer.com gives you these step-by-step plans that detail exactly how to make this floating shelf with secret hidden storage. This secret shelf can be built for around $30. <a href="http://rogueengineer.com" target="_blank">Check out more great DIY plans from Rogue Engineer here.</a>

Project Steps

  1. Step: 1
    Huge eafbbb27 382c 4d9f a8fc b560100ece92

    First start by cutting the wood you'll need by following this easy to read cut list.

  2. Step: 2
    Huge 577317ac e370 4745 8c5b 59a088b35445

    Assembling the Shelf Assemble by drilling pocket holes as shown and assemble using 1-1/4" pocket screws.

  3. Step: 3
    Huge 6885cc7a 08e4 4347 8935 c0f98bb8f175

    Assembling the False Bottom Assemble by drilling pocket holes as shown and assemble using 1-1/4" pocket screws.

  4. Step: 4
    Huge 171b9bfb 900b 4472 a2be 6fbf588ecc95

    It's best to finish the project before installing hardware. Sand and stain the shelf and false bottom as desired. Then, when dry, apply polyurethane to protect.

  5. Step: 5
    Huge fa4ebc51 fc6a 4e90 9f78 c5d9b9433aaa

    Install Piano Hinge Install piano hinge as shown using screws included.

  6. Step: 6
    Huge 8d06a6b9 f7b9 457a a5fa 1661e70aa08a

    Install Friction Hinges Install friction hinges as shown using screws included and adjust friction so the false bottom stays upright.

  7. Step: 7
    Huge 15acf2ac 72d8 4fc1 8e60 e33a68b02f46

    Using the Phone Works Laser Level, mark a level line on the wall where you wish to mount your Secret Shelf.

  8. Step: 8
    Huge cdf62138 18a4 44ec a1df be75d952e63c

    Using the Phone Works Stud Finder, locate and mark two stud locations.

  9. Step: 9
    Huge c98ae86b 36a4 40cf 840b d08e4fd57671

    Mount Secret Shelf using two 2-1/2" wood screws per stud location. Note: Adjust the friction on the hinges to so that the false bottom stays upright but can be pulled down. You may also install a magnetic catch to help keep the false bottom in the upright position. Check out more great DIY plans from Rogue Engineer here.