|Project by titmas||posted 01-04-2009 10:11 PM||16802 views||41 times favorited||29 comments|
“I want a secret door to hide my wine room”.
That’s what our client told us he wanted. Nothing more and nothing less, that’s all he said, and quite frankly that’s all the direction we really needed. This is the type of client and type of project that really gets our creativity motivated and allows us carpenters to do what it is that we do best, build stuff.
I started by doing a little research on the web for designs and hardware that would give us the ability to turn a 42” x 85” bookcase into a swinging door. SketchUp is a 3-D modeling program that helped us draw out the parameters of the unit and along with a mockup of the footprint we were able to make the tolerances on the door as close as ¼”.
We decided to build the bookcase with ¾” plywood with dados and a ¾” back panel to provide strength and rigidity to the unit. Everything was glued and screwed to make sure that nothing would move after construction and cause issues.
We added a simple slide bolt underneath one of the fixed shelves to secure the door in the closed position and also installed a latch inside the wine room so that the client could lock himself inside his wine room to avoid his wife and enjoy his extensive wine collection.
The hardware used was a commercial door pivot hinge rated for 500 lbs. This device allowed the door to swing freely by utilizing a sealed bearing for the bottom and have the ability for it to be removed with very little effort by using a retractable pin on the top. The finish was white NC lacquer in a medium sheen.
We spent 2 weeks in the shop building the unit and 4 days installing the unit. All the molding profiles were made in the shop with the exception of the stock crown profile which was chosen to match the rest of the house in an effort to make the unit blend in with the rest of the woodworking in the house and to truly be a secret door. Two days after the installation the client called us and said the door was jammed closed. At first we thought this was going to be a big problem but when we got to the jobsite we quickly realized why it was jammed. The tile guys did not realize that the bookcase was actually a door and had grouted the base of the secret door to the floor tiles. We explained this to the client and he smiled. After cleaning out the grout the client was extremely pleased with the final product and disappeared into his wine room to enjoy his new space.