How to Build a Hidden Door Bookcase

Lead Image
  • 3-5 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 0-300
What You'll Need
Drawing kit scale, pencil, paper
Door stop
Brass flange bearing

It is a very common and effective idea to use a hidden door bookcase to disguise an entrance into a secret place of a house. Making such a bookcase may appear quite difficult to most of the people, however it is not the case. You can do it yourself without the help of any professional. All you need is some skills to work with wood. It would require you around three hours to complete this work, so you can plan your schedule accordingly. Follow the steps described in the article below to make a bookcase that meets your requirements.

Step 1 - Calculate the Dimension

Measure the length, breadth, and height of the hidden door bookcase you want to build. While calculating the dimensions of the bookcase, keep in mind various things such as the pivot point, clearing the walls, and keeping some gaps with the neighboring shelves.

Step 2 - Important Variable to Consider

Include the length and hence the swinging radius of the door (when it is opened) while doing your calculations.

Step 3 - Make the Steel Frame

Built in bookshelves in a room

Make a steel frame to support the wooden shelves so the door can swing easily without breaking down.

Step 4 - Size of the Steel Frame

While calculating the size of the frame, keep in mind clearance from the floor and from the ceiling.

Step 5 - Pivot the Steel Frame

Weld a 1/4 inch plate at the pivot points and then weld bolts to provide extra strength. The steel frame should have two pivot points, mounted to the floor and ceiling respectively.

Step 6 - Ceiling Anchor

Ceiling anchor should span three joists. Use a brass flange bearing, ¾ inch, inserted into a hole in 2X2 box for the pivot point.

Step 7 - Floor Anchor

Use the similar procedure for the floor anchor as well. However, you can afford to have a smaller anchor, especially if you would bolt it to a concrete floor.

Step 8 - Position the Steel Frame

Now carefully position the frame and both the anchors. Use a plumb bob to verify the frame is vertical.

Step 9 - Test the Swing of the Frame

room with green sofa and shelving behind it

After this, secure both the ends using bolts. Place a 500lbs weight on the frame by making people stand on it to test the door’s swing.

Step 10 - Build the Wooden Shelves

Now build the wooden shelves into the steel frame. The swinging shelf should be shallower to provide clearance.

Step 11 - Install the Trim

Install the trim all around the frame/door. The right trim should be fixed to the shelf and the left trim should move along with the door.

Step 12 - Wooden Door Stop

Put on a wooden door stop to ensure the door doesn’t float open or else the secret area of your house would no longer be secret!