Who doesn't want a secret door bookcase? We have a space in our living room that I've been planning to conceal with just such a door for 10 years, but I've kept putting it off because doing something like this has to be done well. I wanted the carpentry to be of high quality and the mechanism to be rock solid, and I finally got the time, resources and hardware to make it to the standard I wanted.

This is a long instructable, because it covers not just the construction of the bookcase but also some other features - it has a unique locking mechanism based on a sliding book, multiple secret compartments inside the bookcase (aside from the big one behind it!), and it's fitted with electronics that generate some geeky but fun sound and light effects.

Step 1: Finding a space

You'll know already if there is somewhere in your house suitable for a bookcase to hide a door. For us, it was a weird little space with an angled ceiling and a window. It used to have a balustrade and was entirely useless, but one of the first things we did was wall it off and create an open study nook. That left it open to the living room, which was OK but not ideal, since keeping such a space tidy is a PITA. What makes it suitable for a secret room is that it is cantilevered out over the front door, so unless you're really paying attention when you come into the house, you won't know it's there. It's already surprised visitors, which is ridiculously satisfying.

Can you write up a complete list of components please. As would like to make this in the games room. Amplifier is there. Wiring, bottle top, another little black box connected to wiring?? (Which I no naught as to what it is?!?) 3D housing dimensions??
<p>The black box is the battery holder (linked in the same step). I can't find the file for the 3D printed house, sorry (I confess that I never expected anyone to want to do the sound effects!). Note however that the PLA got brittle with age and only stood up to the opening and closing for about 6 months before breaking, so it's not a good long-term solution anyway. The dimensions of whatever you build will be critically dependent on the exact size of the gap between the valance and the top of the door, which will vary from one bookcase to the next.</p>
<p>that is sooo cool!!! i'd do that, except my dad would have to help me and it wouldnt be a secret..., but i can still do it. that is just glorious.:D</p>
<p>You would have to really have something worth hiding if you didn't show it to your friends &amp; family anyway...</p>
<p>Not just for hiding a room. Use so you can remove a plain door (or add one where it doesn't exist) and get more shelves to put books!!! So cool!</p>
<p>Not just for hiding a room. Use so you can remove a plain door (or add one where it doesn't exist) and get more shelves to put books!!! So cool!</p>
<p>Oh but.....the satisfaction of just having it! Cool to no end!!!! Luvit</p>
aw well, i do.;)<br>
<p>Very nice, you have my vote </p>
<p>Won't the books come out when it swings open?</p>
<p>No. Not sometimes. Never.</p>
<p>Won't the books come out when it swings open?</p>
<p>Not even a little bit. Watch the video.</p>
<p>Won't the books come out when it swings open?</p>
<p>great, but it's kind of hard to make</p>
<p>I also thought that if you wanted to load it a little heavier, that you might be able to incorporate a heavy duty caster somewhere in the design. I love the idea.</p>
<p>This is what I am going to do in my library. Great idea. Thank you</p>
<p>wow, amazing!</p>
<p>Great work on the instructable and the project. Love it !</p><p>I have one question though, the 300lb rating for the door system jumped out at me right away. It doesn't seem like a lot for a full bookcase of that size. Did you happen to weigh the total materials and books ?</p>
<p>No, I didn't. But note that I've filled the bookcase mostly with paperbacks and various lightweight things, and the heavier books are to the outside. You could overload this for sure if you wanted to put several sets of encyclopedia on there. The bookcase itself is not that heavy because it is made of softwood. The door is 2 years old now and has stood up very well with no signs of wear and the mechanism is still very smooth.</p>
<p>I'm not a structural engineer, but my experience would lead me to believe that the 300# rating has a lot to do with the MDF (particleboard) that the original manufacturer of the door system makes their bookcases out of. The unit as shown is made out of &quot;real&quot; wood and should hold up much better. The door Hardware is rated for an 1160# load according to the mfgr.'s site. If you use 5/4&quot; Oak shelf boards they will support far more than 1/2&quot; particleboard, for example.</p>
<p>Thanks for the followup and data helpDesk180. That is a good point and the hardware rating is more confidence building.</p>
<p>Good point, thanks</p>
<p>Thanks for the reply makendo :-) The 2 years of real world use are a good testament to the quality. I'll just be sure to not put the heavy books on it if I build one.</p>
<p>I think this is fantastic!</p><p>I think it is odd that people say their house is too small for it. That's exactly why I want this - more efficient use of limited space.</p><p>I just got a new manufactured/mobile home built, with some custom stuff to accommodate disability issues. It is small, and lacks wall space (single-wide, so few interior walls, and exterior walls have windows and doors leaving few blank walls), and I have a lot of books. I wanted the manufactured house company to do a 4' wide set of pocket doors into a room that is my cozy living room (10 by 11'), off the kitchen/dining area, but they wouldn't do pocket doors, so instead I have a set of really bad quality standard doors.</p><p>I am going to replace with this instead.</p><p>I am concerned about book weight - what will be on my bookshelves are primarily cookbooks along with some odds and ends of kitchen stuff. I have a large collection of cookbooks (having been a professional chef for a number of years). They are mostly hardcover books and weigh a lot.</p>
<p>If it's only 4' wide, the two 2' wide doors should be able to hold all the weight you could put on it. Much less leverage.</p>
<p>Thanks!</p><p>Physics and forces I understand, OTOH building materials and specs, I don't have a much experience with, I appreciate your knowledge. I will do this in a month or two with a kit. I move in next week.</p>
<p>But if the kit uses particle board, I may have to get someone to actually build it for me. from real wood.</p>
<p>Nice Work, How many hours to complete ?</p>
<p>I didn't keep track. Partial weekends for about 6 weeks? Documenting things as you go along slows you down a bit.</p>
<p>What a really fantastic project demonstrating such creativity - and humour! Regarding your &quot;least likely book to be read&quot; concealling the locking mechanism [Problems in Inorganic Chemistry], unfortunately if I was a visitor in your home this would be the first book I would (attempt) to pick up to browse - cause I am an Industrial Chemist!!!! Keep up the excellent work and cheers from &quot;down under&quot;. </p>
<p>Thanks. Coincidence: I am also a chemist and hail from down under. I used that book because I owned 2 copies...</p>
Hi makendo,<br>Are you an Industrial Chemist or pharmacist - which state do you hail from? I'm in east Gippsland. Indeed what a coincidence. Cheers
<p>I'm an inorg. chem. prof (hence the books!), originally from NZ</p>
<p>I love this idea, Is it sound proof to some extent too? Maybe thats the next level?</p>
<p>Noises from inside are muffled but it's not sound proof.</p>
<p>Very nice. I have my own secret bookcase door. But it is not nearly as well made or looks nearly as good as yours. I wish I had known about that Murphy kit before made mine. I like the sound effects. </p>
<p>Yeah, I glad I waited long enough that someone else solved the hard part for me!</p>
I just had a thought, you could fashion a smaller version of this and have it open to reveal a TV that gets covered when it's not in use.
<p>Yes, that would work, though you might want to recess the TV into the wall.</p>
<p>I just thought, how does the lock which is described here work if you're in the room? can you shut the door? How would you open it again from the inside?</p>
<p>There is a string that goes through the door to unlock it from the inside. You can't <strong>lock </strong>it from inside the room... but it would be easy to add an internal bolt if you wanted one.</p>
<p>It's highly impractical, but I love it. Extremely well done.</p>
<p>Thanks. I'm curious though - impractical in what sense? The fact that we can make a door serve double duty as a bookcase is eminently practical. It's easy to operate, nothing ever falls off it, the lock only needs to be activated when you feel like it, and the cheesy sound effects can be switched off (they're fun for a few days, then everyone agrees they've had enough).</p>
Impractical? ! Lol, I think not. Everybody needs one... seriously. Great place to store weapons ?
<p>It's impractical cause of the money, space, time, and expertise required to pull something like this off. It's a lovely idea, and he did a wonderful job, but so far out of reach for your average do-it-yourself'er. :-/</p>
<p>Oh. Yes, making it does require space and tools and some experience. It certainly wouldn't be the first woodworking project I'd take on. But if you can build a decent bookshelf, you could make this.</p>

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Bio: By day, I teach and document solutions to problems. By night... hmm. I should probably get out more.
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