Most men have dreamed of having secret passages in their homes when they grow up and now, with the popularity of the man cave, this can become a reality. A man cave is a term used to describe a place of refuge for just the men of the house. This can be the garage, the basement or even a secret room hidden by a bookcase. This article will explain how you can create a secret door that looks like a bookcase in order to hide the entrance to the man cave.
Step 1 - The Dimensions
You need to figure out how big as well as where the bookcase will pivot so that it will clear other shelves and walls. Create a to scale drawing of the area where you want the bookcase door to be located. Cut the shape of the bookcase out and use a pin connected to it in order to determine pivot points. Do this until you find one that will clear the area in question.
Step 2 - Steel Frame
Never try to hinge the wood directly. Creating a simple frame made from steel will make it possible for a bookcase full of books to be supported. Figure out the size of the frame that you need but making sure you have the minimum clearance to avoid trim as well as the base board. You also need enough clearance from the ceiling with the metal frame just below the crown.
The width of the frame should be just large enough to have the door centered. The bolts will act as your pins for the purpose of pivoting. Weld a scrap piece of quarter inch metal plate to the pivot points then weld the pins in place. The bolts should only be 2 inches long. You will want a pivot pin on the top and bottom.
Step 3 - Frame Installation
The ceiling anchor should cross three joists. Create a small arm from scrap metal to avoid rocking. Make sure it aligns correctly with a joist. Place the top anchor so that is fits loosely then you can slide the frame and bottom anchor on the pin. The entire setup can then be slid into place. Secure the bolts on both ends. Test the swing of the door for clearance as well as the weight it will be able to hold.
Step 4 - The Actual Bookcase
Measure the size of the frame and trim the bookcase to fit or purchase a bookcase that is the same size. Take the bookcase apart and assemble it inside the steel frame. Fasten it in place using metal screws. Test the swing of the bookcase door to make sure it swings easily. The weight of the door will prevent it from staying in one place. Attach magnets to the back of the bookcase on the side that you will be opening. When you close the bookcase the magnets will latch to the steel frame preventing the door from swinging open.