Week 4 and 5 – THE BIG ONE: The electronic cabinet

When I say big, I mean big!

So then, coming to the end of my christmas break and going back to university the upcoming Monday, I have been working on something quite big!

Okay, but what is the big project?

I’ll get right to the point, I have made an electronic safe or in other words, an electronic set of drawers. In my previous post of week 3, you may have seen a set of drawers with the top bit open like a door. Well… that’s my set of electronic drawers!

All of the parts to my project can be found at the bottom!

Here’s a picture of the (kinda) finished project:


Messy messy messy!
Messy messy messy!


My set of drawers
My set of drawers, still working on the looks!

How does it lock?

I have used a solenoid which is controlled by a keypad which are both connected to an Arduino board. Managing to code the Arduino board which accepts a specific code… I feel secure!

A quick brief step by step:

  1. Model of my old desk
    Since I don’t have an old picture of my desk before I cut it up, I decided to make an accurate 3D model, to give you the rough idea.

    I first had to cut up my old desk, meaning only the top part would be the same width and length as the set of drawers.

  2. I then screwed the top draw in place, so no one could just bypass the lock by simply opening the drawer.
  3. [Picture of the hinge]
    My third step was to screw in the hinge to allow the top part of my of my drawer to open like a door.
  4. The keypad, having to drill a long hole to allow the cable to thread through at ease.
  5. Drilling another hole above the keypad so I can thread through another cable connected to a green LED.
  6. I then screwed the Arduino board to the lid of the cabinet.
  7. Drilled and screwed the Solenoid to the lid of the cabinet.
  8. Connecting all of the wires was the fun part, since I love cable management!
  9. Again, me being smart I decided to close my lid before actually doing the final tests. That being said, I had to unscrew my drawers and break into my own cabinet!
  10. The final final tests were pleasing, this meant it was time to make everything semi permanent with my hot glue gun. (Semi-permanent only because you can peel off the set glue with a struggle.
  11. At the end, I drilled a fairly big hole near the bottom towards the back of the cabinet. I then passed through the plug for the adapter.

Issues I’ve had during the creation

  • Power – First I used a one 9v battery to only find out that the Solenoid needs 10v… yeah, it’s 1v off… I then attempted to use two 9v batteries, which would double the power. It worked for only a couple of hours after it became ineffective. This is when I had enough and decided to plug-in a 12v 2 Ohm plug which seemed to have fixed the issue… for now!
  • My set of drawers – Spent a months planning and looking for the perfect set of drawers, and it was right under my nose this whole time. Looking for a set of drawers and not wanting to spend a lot of money only due to not knowing whether my idea would work or not. Hours turned into Days, days turn into weeks and weeks turned into months, and I was still looking for the perfect set of drawers until one special boxing day, my Mother out of the blue told me “James, why don’t you use the drawers from your old desk”
    How did I not think of that!?
  • Gap at the back  Not thinking ahead I suddenly realised that I had placed the hinges on the wrong side of the cabinet and in result left a huge gap near the back. Instead of drilling more holes in my cabinet I came up with a new idea! Rubber covers. Rubber covers are quite flexible and sticking it over the gap, allowed me to cover the huge gap issue.

My future plans:

Adding additional plugs on the outer shell of the cabinet will allow me to use my tools which require a plug socket with ease. The new feature would also allow me to easily control the power usage, by turning off the power sockets from the relay board.

List of parts used:

Overall parts:


Extras for lock:

led can be found here – (Notify when it is and is not locked)

If you would like a more detailed description or a video of me explaining how I built my electronic safe cabinet, feel free to leave a comment down below.
As always, Happy coding!

Pictures of my cabinet:

My electronic drawers with the lid open
Near to finished versino of my set of drawers
View of the inside of my drawers
The view of the screwed down Arduino, Relay and Raspberry pi
Back of drawers, picture of the plug socket
The back of the drawers. Only needing the 1 plug socket
Picture of the second drawer, power station.
Second drawer, the home of the power station.


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