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Make: Projects – Doortop Stash

What does the top edge of say, your utility closet door look like? I’m betting that you’ve probably never seen it, even if you’ve lived in your home for awhile. And although there’s not a lot of room to hide stuff in there, well, if you’re like me, the stuff you want to hide is usually on the smaller side. Not many people think of the space inside the door as a hiding spot, but it’s right there in easy reaching distance when you need to get to it. And it’s devious enough that, yes, I think this trick will still be effective even after we blog it all over the tubes.

120 thoughts on “Make: Projects – Doortop Stash

    1. I think this is great for “personal use” like stashing important private data that you don’t want stolen by petty criminals (or parents, kids, whatever).

      But most of the stuff posted around for hiding places I would think are pretty obvious for law enforcement searches. You’re going to need something a lot better than anything presented around here if you’re trying to hide things from the Feds. At least, I would certainly hope so.

      1. The best way to hide anything from any kind of authority is to hide said object(s) away from one’s living space. In another building or outdoors. Also by making sure to only open said stash when absolutely necessary and by making sure you’re not followed/watched.

        1.     Dominion and control define possession. So if you are trying to isolate yourself legally from a stash then it is important for it to not be on your property. Also seizure of private property is not uncommon for certain crimes so your trove won’t be available to you if you are swept up. So you need to hide things in a public space that will not be altered by man or nature over a span of time.
               So all you have to do is worry about people who hunt troves as a very serious hobby or make a living on their finds. There are more people than you can imagine who seek buried treasures of various types and some are a lot more skilled and dedicated than any cops you might be worried about. It is not at all unusual for troves to be recovered quietly with no mention of it ever being made. Apparently burglars who hide items likely to get them convicted in hope that time provides the cover that they need often do not get back to their troves and you may be locating items stolen in crimes in decades gone by.

    2. Police always checked the doors as they are common places to hide contraband. Most commonly its hidden behind a mirror that covers a hole to the hollow door, one thing that this has going for it is that its hard to reach so it may be missed, but an officer could just reach the top and feel for any irregularities to the door.

      1. How would that be spending tax money?  It’s for a person to hide something they feel is valuable, a personal choice and therefore a personal expense…Let it be….
         

      2. How would that be spending tax money?  It’s for a person to hide something they feel is valuable, a personal choice and therefore a personal expense…Let it be….
         

    3. “I hope that the police see this and make use of it when searching houses.”

      I gotta say, your reply makes you sound like kind of a d*ckbag.

      What were you going for with that, anyway? You sound as if you think this post was intended to help people hide heroin from the police or something. I’d say it’s probably intended as, and certainly far more useful for, hiding small important items from potential thieves / snoops.

      Aside from the fact that the tone of your comment is ignorantly anti-privacy, anti-freedom, and seemingly in favor of the atrocious “War On Drugs” which has done innumerable amounts of damage to society, it usually takes a bit more than a simple trick like this when trying to stash stuff from the cops. Well, if they have good reason to suspect you, and they’re really intent on finding something, that is. All things considered, though, I suppose you could do worse.

      The fact is that most “criminals” who have something to hide in their homes, typically do not “hide” it very well, if at all. And those “serious” criminals who are intent on safely storing contraband, typically know what they’re doing, and rely on tricks considerably more advance than seen here.

      Again, I say I’m not sure what the point of your comment was, other than signaling to the world your hatred of privacy and freedom, your love of the police state, and generally overall how much of a deluded, self-righteous ****** you are.

  1. I’m a big fan of putting “Easter Eggs” in places you live for future owners / tenants to find. This could be a fun option for doing that. If the door is in part of the house with relatively stable temperature conditions I might even hide a few hot pepper and tomato seeds for future owners to discover. I’m trying to grow Lady apple trees from seed and if they come out well this might be a fun way to hide some seeds in the house for replanting in the distant future.

    I wonder what people would think, finding a collection of seeds in a hidden capsule in a door. Should I include a letter explaining what they are, or simply a vague note reassuring them that it’s nothing illegal?

    1. I regret not having gotten around to planting any “Easter eggs” back in my apartment-living days. I thought about it several times, but then always seemed to get bogged down in other things and not following through.

      As for the apple seeds, you should pick a different plant. Apples don’t breed true from seed. The tree that grows from your Lady apple seeds not only won’t be a Lady, it will most likely yield completely unpalatable fruit.

    2. You could make it like a treasure hunt – hide clues that lead to clues. it might be a good way to preserve some history and/or get uninterested people to replant your seeds. I love it!

  2. For a better stash that will tend to pass even a police search do not use any metal as a detector can find it. Drill the door’s bottom so that the door must be taken down to open the stash. Use a plastic tube to hold the stash. And plug the drilled hole with a tight fitting wood plug that is painted.
    Also if you have wall to wall carpet you might consider rolling up carpet and drilling a hole and placing the plastic tube into the hole and covering it with a hard epoxy or stucco. Thieves and officials normally do not remove the carpet from a home during a search. Juts make certain that the carpet looks perfectly installed. These are long term storage tricks.

  3. Man- I have like dozen of these spots available- it would of been interesting to do this in my childhood home and then like go back and visit with my kids and see what I could of put in there 30 years ago. Great Idea

    1.  Thanks for your comment, but you’re mistaken.  The door in the project is a hollow-core door.  It would be a lot harder, actually, with a solid door because you’d have to have a large-diameter drill bit that was as long as the cigar tube, which would not be cheap.  Most hollow core doors have a perimeter frame of solid material (wood or wood composite) that’s about 3.5″ wide. 

  4. Perhaps if you had the skill and the tools, you could make a hidden puzzle box style setup in that spot. All wood. wouldn’t be detectible easily..a quick look would reveal nothing unusual if done right.

    Just a thought…might still not work.

  5. Perhaps if you had the skill and the tools, you could make a hidden puzzle box style setup in that spot. All wood. wouldn’t be detectible easily..a quick look would reveal nothing unusual if done right.

    Just a thought…might still not work.

  6. Perhaps if you had the skill and the tools, you could make a hidden puzzle box style setup in that spot. All wood. wouldn’t be detectible easily..a quick look would reveal nothing unusual if done right.

    Just a thought…might still not work.

  7. I would just use it for the emergency $10 for when you really really need it… and the couch and the kitchen drawer are empty, and the poodle needs dinner and you need chocolate and it’s 11.30pm & $3.55 is too little to put on a card… and a good place to hide your stick with all that really really important (not) stuff on it. How about love letters? wound ever so tight  – they couldn,t breathe so they would suffocate anyway….no just money and sticks. Drugs would be too obvious – and of course you would be paranoid wouldn’t you….?

  8. I would just use it for the emergency $10 for when you really really need it… and the couch and the kitchen drawer are empty, and the poodle needs dinner and you need chocolate and it’s 11.30pm & $3.55 is too little to put on a card… and a good place to hide your stick with all that really really important (not) stuff on it. How about love letters? wound ever so tight  – they couldn,t breathe so they would suffocate anyway….no just money and sticks. Drugs would be too obvious – and of course you would be paranoid wouldn’t you….?

  9. Arrrggh… but you gotta remember to OPEN the door when trying to get at the stash… Ahh, F it, too much to remember, I’ll just put it under the couch, nobody’ll think to look there!

  10. This is not a new idea. Immigrant tenets at the turn of the 20th century frequently utilized this idea. In solid older doors you can occasionally find “wallet holes” where the door was carved out big enough to hide a wallet. Found a few in Chicago myself.

    1. Never intended to represent it as such. In fact, as I recall, I first read about in one of the old Loompanics books.

    1. click on the hyperlink embedded in the last sentence. The part that says “this trick”…it will take you to the step by step process (and yes, cigar tube). I love this idea!

  11. Just keep in mind that drilling through the top rail of a hollow-core door, leaving just the ‘skin’ or surface layers intact, will seriously diminish the integrity of the door’s construction. So, I would do this with a solid-core door or with a hollow-core door that wasn’t used very often (like on a closet that’s seldom used). Just my 2 cents.

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I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and makezine.com. My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c't – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

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