Picture of bookcase door
Ok this is my first Instructable and it's a bit on the large side so here goes.
Who doesn't love secret passages? I bought my first house last summer and over the cold winter ideas started forming in my mad scientist brain. As soon as it was warm enough to spend extended periods of time in the garage I got to work.
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Step 1: Location

Picture of Location
First up is the where. There is a closet under my stairs and about a one foot indentation along a nine foot wall. Seems like a pretty good spot! I pulled the door off and widened the opening to accommodate the bookshelf.

Step 2: Build the bookcases

Picture of Build the bookcases
The first bookcase I made was a stationary one. I should have taken more pics of the process, especially the steps that apply to each section. The sides and shelves are 3/4 inch plywood. there are 2x4 braces on the bottom and 2x2 braces on the top. 1/4 plywood on the backs and tops. 1x6 pine to trim around the cases. 1 inch pipe and floor fittings for the hinge and casters for the door. When you figure out where you want the bookshelves, you need to leave a gap at the top and bottom. The top so the door won't scrape the ceiling, and the bottom for the casters. I routed a 3/4 inch channel 1/4 inch deep into each side for each shelf. Drill holes for 3 inch wood screws so that you don't split the wood and keep your square handy to make your shelves level. if you're sure they are level, nail the 1/4 plywood to the back for strength. I also screwed the stationary cases to the wall and each other.
Is there any chance you could post a video of the door opening? I still don't exactly see how it opens with the shelves being as deep as they are. Great job though! Looks amazing! I hope to have something similar one day!
soundgod063 years ago
I'm not sure if a hidden room is a good storm shelter. What happens if your house does get hit by a bad storm? The rescue personnel come to your house looking for survivors, but can't find any. Why would they think to look behind a bookshelf that obviously isn't a door?
Dang those pesky fatal flaws! ;-)
enagel32 years ago

zelback12 years ago
I just realized something. If you were to sell your house, you could probably get some extra bonus cash just for having that room! If it were equipped with power outlets, and it was aesthetically pleasing on the inside, it might make the value of the house as a whole rise even higher. I'd pay the extra cash just for the bragging rights. How many people can tell their friends back home: "We moved into a house with a room hidden behind a bookcase!" ^.^
zelback12 years ago
Would it be possible to make the door revolve from the center instead of opening on a hinge so that way, when you walk in, it shows a different wall on the other side? or maybe a different bookcase? I thought it would be very interesting to have a revolving bookcase door. They have a whole wall that turns around in Science City, (an indoor amusement park with wacky things like holographic projections of diamonds hidden behind paintings and rocking chairs that double as power generators.) in Kansas, but it is almost a trade secret since they won't tell me how it is done. Could you figure out a way to do this?
tinker2343 years ago
wow this is a amsome one lots of detalis
PS1184 years ago
"Who doesn't love secret passages?"

I do have a question tho. I'm not clear on how you made the "door" part swing out. With the shelves being as deep as they are, how did you get enough clearance on the sides to allow it to open?
cross_eyed (author)  PS1184 years ago
Well, first the door swings into the closet, not out to the room. As for clearance, that comes from the 6" trim.