Introduction: Bookcase Door

About: I like solving problems.

We recently renovated a 100-year-old house that had a small upstairs dormer room that had been used in the past as an attic and closet. We decided to turn it into a secret bedroom hidden behind a bookcase door.

Step 1:

Parts list

Recessed Single Panel Out-swing kit

Book Latch Kit for Out-swing doors

Fake book (the above kit includes a fake book but I preferred the look and size of this one)

Miniature hinges

Economy Bookends

Adhesive Non-Slip Grips for Quilt Templates (to keep the bookends from slipping)

Step 2:

Here's the room and doorway before the renovation.

Step 3:

I just used 1 x 8" common pine board to build the bookcase since it matched the rustic charm of the house. I used a router to notch the shelf supports and then used glue and Kreg pocket screws to fasten it together.

Step 4:

The kit from includes a low profile bearing block that you mount to the floor with four screws but I didn't want to damage the original floors too much in case the door didn't work out so instead I used one large wood screw, washer and steel spacer I found at the hardware store. The head of the screw is just a little wider than the inner diameter of the spacer so it holds it tight to the floor.

Step 5:

Here's a video I sent to my wife after I got the frame built and hung. It swung freely the first try with no adjustment necessary! I was really excited since it looked like it was going to work!

Step 6:

Then I glued and stapled 1/4" birch plywood to the back.

Step 7:

I added crown molding to the top of the door frame to hide the gap and also dress it up a little. The crown is stationary while the door swings underneath. I couldn't nail the crown trim piece in place permanently since it would have to be ripped off if I ever needed to access the top pivot pin to remove the door so I used screws, washers and wingnuts instead. I added washers underneath the trim piece to precisely adjust the gap between the crown and the door.

Step 8:

Fresh paint makes everything better.

Step 9:

The door latch operates by a thin steel cable connected to the fake book. When the book is tilted backward, the cable is pulled through the shelf underneath and back of the bookcase. The cable was threaded through T-nuts to keep it from sawing through the wood and getting stuck. I didn't want the book to get pulled off the shelf accidentally so I fastened it to the shelf with miniature hinges.

Step 10:

I didn't want the person inside the room to have to pull that thin steel cable to unlatch the door so I bought some 3/8" hemp rope and watched some YouTube videos to learn how to tie decorative knots and tidy the ends using sailmaker's whipping. Also as you can see in the background we repurposed the old door into a coffee table by attaching hairpin legs.

Step 11:

The door leads from a home theater so I filled the shelves with old Blu-ray discs since they are lighter than books.

Step 12:

To keep the discs from sliding off the shelf I used metal bookends and stuck thin non-slip silicone stickers underneath. The Blu-ray case on the end simply slips over the metal bookend to hide it.

Step 13:

Here's the finished product. We've really enjoyed the house so far and the bookcase door has been a great conversation piece not to mention it's hiding the best nap room ever! Thanks for looking!

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