Intro: Hidden Bookcase Doors to Secret Lair
Every super villains evil lair need a secret entrance. That was the motivation for this project.
The design and construction was based on my own design. It wanted the doors to be fully functioning bookcases with a unique opening mechanism. They hinge inward and then slide outward. This way they don't take up room either inside or outside. I used maple hard wood for the strength and since other furniture in the room is maple colored.
Presentation was key.
Total cost in materials about $600.
This is my first Instructable so please mark it as a favorite. Thanks for looking!
Step 1: Reinforce Walls
When I pulled off the existing molding, there were weak shims holding the frame. I had to remove these and fill with solid wood on the top and sides since they will support a lot of weight.
Step 2: Surface Prep
After securing the frame to the studs with 3" deck screws, I needed to finish the wallboard to be smooth.
Step 3: Painting
Since I wanted the doors to look like book cases flush against the wall, I needed to fill the broken wallboard with joint compound, wet sand with a sponge until smooth and coat with primer and matching wall paint.
Step 4: Attach Hinges
Using these heavy duty hinges I found on Amazon, I shimmed them for easier placement. I bought 3" screws for added strength.
Step 5: Attach Slides
The 500lb full extension bearing slides were attached to the top and bottom of the hinged door. I determined that 14" slide movement was optimal.
Step 6: Attach Back of Bookcase
I test fitted and pre-drilled the back of the book case, this allowed precise alignment of both sides before the bookcase was built.
Step 7: Gluing and Clamping
This was the first bookcase I built. I drilled 5" holes to allow shelves to be adjustable. The sides were glued to the back using #10 biscuits (5 per side). The top and bottom were permanently glued in dado slots.
Step 8: Hang One Door
After 1 day to let the glue dry, one door was attached to its slides.
Step 9: Hang Both Doors
The 2nd door was attached to its slides. Some shelves were added. I allowed about 1/4" clearance between the back of the book case and the wall and on the top and bottom. This helps reduce the amount of light that could leak out and ruin the illusion. I may staple in black felt to further insulate them.
Step 10: Testing the Movement
The doors hinge inward and slide outward very easily on the bearings. I estimate each door is less than 100 lbs. Even when loaded with books, cds, dvds, etc. they should be less then the ratings.
Step 11: Holding the Doors Closed
To hold the doors closed I added two powerful magnets to brackets. I salvaged them from an old hard drive. Below them are a couple rubber end stops.
Step 12: View From Inside
Two small handles were added to allow closing from the inside. I could have spent more time choosing better wood but I didn't consider how the inside would look until completed.
So far, there is no sagging or rubbing on the carpet. The doors are very easy to open and close.
Here's a breakdown of the major parts (Lumber was mostly from Lowes).
Qty Item Cost
2 3/4" 4'x8' Maple plywood for door back $54 = $108
4 3/4" 8"x8' Maple board for sides $36= $144
16 1/2" 6"x4' Maple boards for shelves $12 = $192
2 Set of 3 Global Bearing Hinges $20 = $40
2 Pair of K&V Extra heavy duty slides $72 = $144
48 5mm shelf brakets $.75 = $36
1 5mm drill bits $10
Things left to do:
I found wipe-on polyurethane keeps the natural wood color.
An arduino to control linear actuators to open the door when a "secret" button is pressed. PIR sensor to determine occupancy to prevent door from closing. If no occupancy for a set number of hours, doors should close.
Lair misc: Escape pod, obvious and accessible self-destruct mechanism, etc...
First Prize in the
Secret Doors and Compartments Contest