Fig. E: Chessboard with top removed, secret door closed.
Fig. F: Secret door open. Note the drawer runners underneath the drawer. Fig. G: Close-up of the magnet slots.
Note the small wooden stop to keep the magnet from
falling out. Fig. H: Remember not to glue the corner
trim to the sides!
left unvarnished, while the tiles will benefit from a
layer of clear acrylic (Figures B and C, previous page).
the strength of the glue with heavy-duty staples or
tacks, but these aren’t absolutely necessary.
4. Install magnets in 2 chessmen. 3. Add the drawer guides and runners.
You need to install bar magnets into 2 of the pieces, Cut a slot the same size as the bar magnets across
so that they can be used to activate the locking the top of each drawer guide, then glue the guides
mechanism. The easiest way to do this is to hollow into place on the base (Figure E).
out the bottom of the chess pieces with a hobby drill A small plug of wood should be glued into the
or similar tool, and then glue the magnet in place outside end of each slot to stop the magnets from
before covering the hole with plaster (Figure D). falling out (Figure G). Also glue the ¼"×½" drawer
runners to the base; these go under the drawer to
make it easier to slide the drawer open and closed
Photography by Sam Murphy (E, F, G) and Andrew Lewis (H)
MAKE THE SECRET
1. Seal the MDF pieces.
Start by sealing the MDF pieces with a 50% solution
4. Make a simple drawer.
of PVA adhesive and water. Glue 1"×½" sides, the front, and the back to the
8"× 12" MDF drawer base. I miter-cut the corners
for strength and appearance.
To make the drawer look more presentable, you
can either line it with material or apply a coat of
paint. The drawer should slide freely between the
drawer guides, and it should be the same height
as the sides of the box (or nearly so).
2. Glue the wood sides to the chessboard base.
Glue boards all around the edge of the MDF base
like the sides of a box, except for an 8¼" gap
centered on the front (where the secret drawer will
be). The thickness of these side boards isn’t critical
(I used ¾"-thick 1× 2 stock), although a height of
at least 1¾" is recommended. You can improve on
86 Make: Volume 16