A small, family-owned company out of Greenville, TX called Willa-Hide is quickly making a name for themselves in the high-end concealment furniture market. There are a couple of other options out there that are more well known that are built for the mass market, but Willa-Hide focuses on an approach that treats each piece of concealment furniture as a custom built piece. This approach is largely due to the owner of the company’s 20 plus years of custom furniture and cabinet making experience. The level of detail that Tracy dove into when describing each step of his process was outstanding. Tracy continued to leave me awestruck when talking about why he did things the way Willa-Hide does, processes I never would have thought of because I struggle to put Ikea furniture together.
Once I pulled up outside the very typical small town Texas building I met with Chase, their Marketing Manager and Tracy, the owner of the company. After exchanging pleasantries I asked Tracy about how he got involved with building what he called “premium concealment furniture”, Tracy started out building custom furniture then transitioned to building custom cabinets. Tracy told me that Willa-Hide was a result of having grandchildren around the house and still wanting to keep his firearms accessible if needed in a pinch while still remaining hidden and safe from children.
I expected the building to house some industrial machines or some sort of formal assembly line, but was pleasantly surprised to find a well laid out woodworking shop. When I walked through the door of the 1930s era building Willa-Hide had some of their wares on display, a full-length mirror, a picture frame and a shelf. Tracy walked me through the construction of each piece showing me some of the construction features that he has incorporated as a result of his own experiences. As he walked me through Willa-Hide’s offerings it was easy to see that Tracy isn’t about cutting corners just like you would expect from a true craftsman.
I was not able to take photos of the build process as they have had to come up with solutions to some very unique problems presented when doing things like melding 14 gauge steel to a mirror. Things like what glue to use becomes a very real issue. Even the staining process is far beyond what I would have imagined, it looked more like an auto body shop than a woodworking facility when I was shown that part of the process. Another one of the lessons that Tracy shared with me was the effects of magnets on some of his firearms. He found that they promoted some rust and decided that using Velcro was a more suitable for firearms.
Willa-Hide’s product lineup has several options for someone that might need to hide a gun in plain sight. Expect TFB to do a full write up of one of Willa-Hide’s in wall cabinets later this year. Willa-Hide offers everything from full-length mirrors starting at $845 all the way down to smaller 22″ shelf units that start at $275. Tracy even revealed that he will be offering custom made mantles in the future priced at $175 a foot.
Until we can give a full review of Willa-Hide’s product you can learn more about their product line up on their website here.
This post originally was run on The Firearm Blog - http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2016/02/12/we-visited-willa-hide-to-see-how-high-end-concealment-furniture-is-made/