Portable Bookcase W/ Display Hack

Introduction: Portable Bookcase W/ Display Hack

About: yawn....

I shopped everywhere for a portable product display unit.
they were all huge, not very mobile or very expensive.
So I figured i'd hack one my folding bookcases to do double duty.

This takes your standard folding bookcase and adds display 'wings'
which can be folded back when not in use.
These pegboard wings can of course be used for anything not business related,
including tools, picture frames etc..

You need:
1 standard wooden folding bookcase
2 pegboard sections (approx 10" x 36")
5/8" or 1" strapping (4 lengths approx 38")
six 1" brass hinges
brass screws
drill & drill bits
screw driver bit

decorative paper
pegboard hooks
brass fasteners
bulldog clips

Step 1: Construct the Wings

Sorry I don't have a better images of the construction.
When i go into Home Depot for flat materials I bring my exact final dimensions and have them cut the pieces I need from the larger piece. They are supposed to charge you per cut after the 1st one or two, but they have never charged me. I plot out the smallest number of cuts to get what I need, so it isn't complicated.

Measure wings:
The TWO pegboard wings should be the same width as the sides of the bookcase, so that they will fold flat and the height of the bookcase less 2". (mine were 10" wide and 36" tall) Basically measure from the bottom of the bottom shelf to the top of the bookcase for the height of the pegboard. In theory you could add 2 wings to each side and hinge them together accordion fashion. With a four foot wide pegboard purchase additional wings are easy to construct.

Measure supports:
You need FOUR pieces of strapping, the height of the bookcase. I took what they had, you can use 5/8" or 1" - it needs to be wide enough for the hinges to attach. It comes in very long lengths from the store, but is sold by the foot, so look for pieces, from which you will get the most number of sections. I needed to end up with four 38" lengths, but I can transport long lengths. I used a backing saw and mitre box to cut them. Buy enough so you can afford to ruin two of them.

Build wings:
Attach the supports to the edges of the back of the pegboard. Use narrow screws smaller than 1/2" or they will stick out the back. Because the strapping is narrow and brittle, drill pilot holes. If you don't, the screw will split the strapping and you will have to start over. If you you aren't having luck, you could glue and clamp them initially and then add a few screws when dry.

The strapping should protrude from the BOTTOM of the pegboard by about 2"; these are your 'feet' When your bookcase is folded for transport these will align with the bookcase sides and the wings will not increase the size of the bookcase dramatically.

The only draw back to this construct, which is already present in the bookcase design. The wings are more inclined to swing open during transport and crush your fingers. A hook latch can be attached to the top of both wings with the 'eye' on the top rail of the book case. This would secure it for transport. OR you can do what I do - wrap two bungee cords around it.

Step 2: Attach Hinges to the Wings

Measure for the hinges.
Roughly, about 4 inches down from the top, up from the bottom and as close to center. To do this STAND the wing next to the bookcase, if you try to do it lying down it may drift; if it is off by a smidgen, it will not swing nicely when upright. It will be hard to drill new holes next to the old ones.

Drill pilot holes.
The bookcase wood is very very hard and you will need pilot holes to get the screws in.
And the strapping is narrow and brittle.

Attach hinges to to the support strapping on the wings first.

Attach hinges to the outside edge along the side of the bookcase.

Your wings should swing freely when the bookcase is empty.
When the bookcase is filled the weight will keep the wings from swinging freely.

Step 3: Decorate

Optional but pegboard IS pegboard.
If you cover it up, it is more professional and look less like a hack.

You can use any form of paper.
Actual pegboard hooks work well, but i found brass fasteners work nicely for items that lie flat.
They look swell in combination with the decorated background.
You can combine the brass fasteners with bulldog clips to make it easier to take down and put things up.
In an emergency I don't have to worry about folding the wings and taking the bookcase as is.

Another idea is to attach a sheet of decorated pegboard or Masonite to the back or sides of the bookcase. This will allow you far more display space and give the piece a 'finished' non-mobile look to it.

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    13 years ago on Introduction

    I have that bookshelf! It's great for college students like me that move frequently.

    Maybe Jessyratfink would get a raise if she made one of these for the bookstore she works at!


    14 years ago on Introduction

    I never thought about this and now I want to do this. Thanks for the weekend project idea.