|Project by Scott Wigginton||posted 01-01-2009 07:31 PM||52365 views||27 times favorited||15 comments|
I was headed to a friends for a long weekend when he requested I help him build a bookcase as a door for what he would turn into a hidden room. He didn’t really have a plan, only some videos he had seen from youtube and his only tools were a drill and sawhorses. On top of that we only had one completely free day to work on the project. Not knowing exactly what we were going to build I loaded up my circ saw, jig saw, router, ROS, kreg system, some clamps, and lots of prayer.
The first night there I had to come up with a plan based on the materials he had on hand, one sheet of ply and a dozen 1×10s of clear pine. He wanted this bookcase to look like a built in and the room had wainscoting so I kept the design simple. Unfortunately the door frame it was going into was not that straight forward! It had a 5/8” transition from floating wood floor to tile and an asymmetric cinder block wall behind the studs (flush on the left, 8” offset on the right). I probably over engineered the solution but I was trying to make it fit as tight as possible while still having the clearance to open.
I really missed having a CMS and TS, I loathe making crosscuts with a circ saw and speed square. After cutting the ply and shelves to size I showed him how to use a router to cut dadoes, rabbets, and beaded roundover accents. The joints were supported with screws since I only had a handful of F-clamps and we didn’t have the time to let it cure proper anyway. This was my first project since buying a Preppin' Weapon Sanding Block and it was a huge improvement over the random block of wood I typically use. It was really nice for cleaning up the dadoes / rabbetts. After a couple more projects if I remember I”ll put up a review of it, but so far I feel it was $20 well spent.
The case construction was by and far the easiest part of this project, making it open smoothly was an ugly monster. The plan was to simply mount the bookcase on some casters and hinge it off the left side cinder block wall. After the first attempt we found out the floor was not perpendicular to the frame and it was higher on the side we swung toward. I showed him how to use a plunge router to mortise for the casters and clean them to final depth with chisels. Several trial and errors later we found a happy medium. What made this doubly hard was not only did it have to open smoothly, but the whole time we had to ensure the entire face remained flush with the wall so no one would know it was a door.
Hiding the opening
We picked up some matching trim from the BORG and hung it over the edge of the bookcase. Somehow we got it just right and with the light on in the hidden room and off in the other room, you could not detect it. We also added some strong magnets to the opening side & the frame to help hold it closed. We were originally planning on using some hidden dowels but the magnets were more than enough and kept it simple.
The best part of working out of his house is that I had to leave before we got around to painting, and you know just how disappointed I am about that! ;p
Overall he was extremely happy with the final result, and I am extremely happy that I have a dedicated woodworking shop!