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12.05.2015
Tips on hardware and other details for concealing a door by disguising it as a bookshelf, pool-cue rack, or the like. I've done the same sort of thing as you're about to do and I used a pair of Rixson pivot hinges with great results. I thought about using a pivot hinge for a current bookcase project, but skipped the idea since a 12" deep bookcase on a pivot would eat up more than 12" of the doorway when opened 90 degrees. If you have a question regarding a Knowledge Base article, your best chance at uncovering an answer is to search the entire Knowledge Base for related articles or to post your question at the appropriate WOODWEB Forum. When you post your question at the Forum, be sure to include references to the Knowledge Base article that inspired your question. Secret doors and revolving bookcases are the stuff of Harry Potter books and spy movies, not real life.
Or so we thought until we came across these awesome photos of projects completed by Creative Home Engineering, a company that specializes in high-end secret passages. The Arizona-based company creates structurally engineered, fully automated, and security rated passages, and installs nationally. Prices range from around $6,000 for a basic bookcase to upwards of $50,000 for major projects like a wall of bookshelves containing a secret door, according to company president Steven Humble. And rotating fireplaces, multi-floor passageways, and extreme high security secret passages with ballistic protection and vault-style interiors generally cost between $20,000 and $40,000.
Since the design incorporates bright red mechanisms that open and close the moving wall, it brings the hidden doorway into focus rather than concealing it seamlessly. The design exists only as a prototype project for the time being and more information about it can be requested from the designer’s website.
Before I saw the trailer I thought the door was a portal to the 50s, then barbie Would sing jazz.


Many of our customers don't want anyone to know what we've built, so we don't get many images. The door was magnetically locked and opened - operated by the owner's voice (open sesame?). They make a continuous hinge that is very heavy duty - made for situations such as the front doors into a high school - lots of use and abuse. Hide an extra thickness or two behind fluted columns or such for extra mass to mount your hinges. We used the Rixon hinge that Gary Katz used in his door unit that was written up in Journal of Light Construction and all I can say is, read his article and follow his suggestions. Yours being an inswing might require a bit of reengineering of the hinge placement, but it should be possible.
The client wants "push to open" hinges in place of door knobs and one little piece of shoe to close up the gap and we're done. For bookcases I have my metal guy make me a modified pivot hinge with a steel plate on the bottom that has quality casters mounted to it to support the weight of a loaded bookcase. The more information you provide with your question, the better your chances are of receiving responses. We run network of high quality 50+ high niche websites with millions of regular visitors, Please connect with us.
The hinges are visible in this swing-out style door, so it’s not a true secret, but still interesting and easy to replicate. People won't notice it unless they walk over to it and look straight down at where the door and the trim meets - but you'll know. By doing that, it worked out well for us and the client is overjoyed with the final product.


Not only was it fun to build, but it was very simple with your article having laid out all the key elements involved.
The plate is almost as wide as the bookcase, with of course the casters mounted on the other side of the pivot. The unusual design appeals to the viewer more for its playful take on the concept of secret passages as glorified by European palaces or even the Oval Office, rather than pure functionality. Since the floors were all wood, I worked with the flooring guy to have him feather floor down when door swings open so shoe would not catch as it swings. Before the lacquer was dry, the client recommended us to one of his friends and now we have a second secret unit to do.
It costs a little more money but it is worth it not to be called back to adjust the standard pivot hinges when they sag the loaded bookcase. Mock it up in the shop in the raw - this was easy for us, since we were doing the rest of the millwork and paneling in the room with it.
I have used this method at 54" wide by 80" tall with a spring mounted caster behind the face. The Rixon hinge, the HDPE wedge, and a heavy duty roller catch (from a Fine Homebuilding Magazine article) were icing on the cake, making our project all that more polished and professional, justifying the cost charged.



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