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Local man's 'sofa safe' eliminates wasted space

November 30, 1998|By KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI

It looks like a sofa. It feels like a sofa.

But when it comes to keeping your valuables safe, a Hagerstown inventor and furniture manufacturer says his "sofa safe," provides the security a normal couch can't.

Tucked underneath the seating cushions is a steel safe. It's part of a special line of sofas produced by the West Manufacturing Co. of Hagerstown. The safe measures 55 inches long, 21 inches wide and 10 inches deep.

Marketed originally as a gun container, the sofa safe can hold just about anything you hold dear, according to owner David West.

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"It's for anyone who needs secure storage," he said.

An inventor who continually researchs new furniture concepts, West said the idea for the sofa safe came "like a bolt out of the blue."

"I just thought about all that wasted space at the bottom of the sofa," he said.

West said his sofa, which sells for around $800, is ideal for colleges, hotels and the military.

"At college dorms, space is at a premium and this is a secure way to store stuff," he said.

And while nothing may be enough to keep out a professional thief, the sofa safe can prevent access by children and perhaps prevent a tragedy, he said.

West's specialty sofa is about six feet long and has two plump back and seat cushions. The safe is revealed by removing the cushions and then a fabric-covered wooden insert.

It comes in one traditional style but in hundreds of different fabrics, West said.

Weighing in at 250 pounds with shipping materials, the sofa can be transported without much difficulty by two strong movers and is designed to fit through small doorways, he said.

In business for over 30 years, West Manufacturing began production on the sofa in September. It has been selling well through mail order, however it can be purchased locally at his factory store off Commonwealth Avenue, he said.

The sofa is made entirely at West's Hagerstown factory, he said.

"It's the only one of its kind we know of," he said.

A patent search showed no other such sofas, said West, who got his start in the furniture business as an upholsterer.

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