Using a sliding barn door for a bookcase hidden door

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Forum topic by Wolfmont posted 03-23-2017 04:09 PM 1060 views 0 times favorited 1 reply Add to Favorites Watch
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20 posts in 2431 days

03-23-2017 04:09 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question bookcase hidden door barn door

Wife and I want a hidden bookcase door, but problematically almost all the commercially available hardware designed for that, is made for a flush-mount bookcase. Since we want this bookcase to fit in with the other bookcases on that wall, it wouldn’t work to make one of them flush mount, when the rest of them will stick out from the wall ten inches or so. (Bookcases are not yet built for the rest of the room.)

I’ve been thinking of building a bookcase and using top-mount barn door hardware, hiding the roller hardware behind a valance or something like that, that will run along the entire wall. The space where the bookcase will slide away from the door will be open, with a chair sitting in that corner just far enough away to clear the bookcase.

The best load-bearing weight I’ve found on any of these is 250 pounds, with most of them running to 180 – 200 pounds. My thought, though, was to put casters, running left to right, under the bookcase and hide them with the bottom facing of the bookcase. That way, the extra weight would be borne by the casters, and the bookcase would be more balanced, keeping it from swinging back toward the wall.

Anyone here have thoughts about this?


-- -- Tony

1 reply so far

View JBrow's profile


1366 posts in 1042 days

#1 posted 03-24-2017 02:06 AM


I am not completely sure I understand the project. From what I can gather, there is a doorway which will have a permanently installed bookcase on one side that projects out from the wall by 10” +/-. The doorway is to be concealed so that only you and your wife know it is there. The idea is build a bookcase to set in front of the doorway, where the bookcase matches the others in the room. The bookcase in front of the hidden doorway would slide out of the way along the wall to access the hidden doorway.

If my understanding is correct, then I think your plan may have a couple of issues. The first is that if the bookcase is loaded with books, it could take quite a bit of effort to move.

The second potential issue is that the bookcase may not travel perfectly parallel to the wall. The upper concealed sliding barn door hardware could keep the top running true. However if the floor is a bit uneven or the casters on which the bookcase sets are not perfectly placed, the bottom of the bookcase could try to wonder away from or into the wall. This problem could probably be solved with a guide rail system mounted toward the bottom of the bookcase, but then it could be difficult to conceal the guide rail when the bookcase is positioned to hide the doorway.

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