A small safe, made from an old book.

The idea is widely known, from various spy movies, crime series, literature and so on. Now I figured I wanted to try it. A while back I got a bag of old books, for free, through a Facebook page, and didn’t know what to do with them. Some of the books I want to read, others I really don’t want to read. And there were even two duplicate books in there as well.

One of the duplicate books was “Banken” (Danish copy of “The Moneychangers”) by Arthur Hailey. An old 500-page, hardcover book. Perfect for the project at hand. I started about halfway through the book by cutting out a square in the book. I decided to make the cut all the way up against the spine, because I figured that would be easier than having to cut a square hole in the middle of the pages. I also decided to cut the hole all the way through to the back cover of the book. I have later learned that this may not be the best idea. The book safe works just fine, but when the stuff you hide in the book is hard, like Aztec gold, it rattles quite loudly whenever the book is moved around. I imagine the sound could have been dampened by leaving a few pages in the back as padding against the hard cover. The same theory goes for the spine. The noise from gold hitting the spine could have been avoided by having the hole in the middle of the pages instead of up against the book spine.

I used a large, metal bottle opener, as a guide tool for my box cutter knife because it is hard to cut the paper pages without a guide tool, and I don’t own a ruler. Each cut-through got me about 10-15 pages down before I had to clean the scraps out and start a new cutting.
The book is supposed to be glued on the inside of the hole to keep the pages together and to strengthen the book. I don’t have any glue and I don’t think it is necessary to glue it. It’s not like it needs to sustain any abuse or anything. It just has to be on a shelf, looking like a book. I think the glue could make the pages not sit right in the book and therefore make the book look wrong on the shelf. The unglued book looks as natural as any other book.

I am very happy with the overall result, but I have realized, I am far from interesting enough to have anything to hide in something as cool as a book safe.

The project also left me with about 250 paper scraps which are too good to throw out, but I have no idea what to do with them. Maybe another project will emerge here someday. 
Stay tuned.