I have built many homes and to this day, that home and that library still bring the greatest memories. Your execution definitely confirmed my desire to attempt it. You can buy Rixson hardware from any professional door or door hardware supplier. You can find them easily on the internet, too.
Just Google Rixson Pivot Hinge. Building a new home. We want a hidden book case door in our library for the closet. We would like the door to pivot into the library and be flush with the front of the library book shelves. Do you have or know of plans for this type of door?
Also, the doorway is large enough it could be a folding pivot door if that is helpful… otherwise we will frame in part of the opening. Just wanted to tell you, real glad I found you. Want to do this on a small scale. The unit looks super, and that UHMW shim is a clever little thing. I plan to give the Collins Ply-Prep bit a try, as I recently finished two large cabinets that had umpteen miles of edge banding and now have another three sets to go.
I am a working with a local cabinet maker to build a Hidden Door. He has never built one but is happy to jump in. I have read all I can find and am printing out all of Mr. Polite but the person responding only knew of one such door using their hardware and recommended a lb capacity center pivot set at about 1K. What resource might I provide the maker? He does not use the internet. Tom, You should contact a distributor or dealer. Do a search for Rixson hardware and find a good dealer. I think Qualified Hardware is a pretty thorough site. There are other good sites, too.
Rixson was very polite and did call me back. It seems to be the only set mentioned on any sites with info on building a hidden door. What do you think of the hidden door being constructed as a pre hung unit. There is a lot of quality local oak. This will be done in solid oak, at an unbeatable material cost! That is exactly what I did on my last hidden bookcase project.
I wrote about that in the 1st comment above. In my case the trim work was pretty elaborate — arched and carved, by others so I just sent the bookcase to be installed all set up on the pivot within an outer box. I could just as easily have sent it all trimmed out if that had been necessary. Tom, I used The Rixson It was completely fine for the two units I described.
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Just would wonder if I went much wider. I repeat that doing a Sketch Up or the like drawing before hand was essential as it allowed me and Gary to determine the pivot point and the clearances required precisely. Here are a few photos of the case within the case. I am an architect and when I try to figure out how things are done I end up googling until I get a good explanation, yours is excellent and well presented, thanks. Gary Katz, Wow, the security room behind the bookcase and the pivoting bookcase are an asset to any home, very nice. My skills are not there yet but when they improve I will be putting one of those bookcases in my home.
Thanks for the information, Freddie.
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We want this as part of a wall of bookcases rather than standalone. Conceptually simple enough — just move it forward eight inches and frame the rest of the bookcases around it. If you tried to build this into a stand-alone case, it would tip forward as soon as you started to swing the weight out.
Think of it as wanting this to look like a freestanding bookcase against the wall. Did a bit more research… It looks like the sideways force on each of the pivots is the weight of the door, times half its width, divided by its height. Nontrivial, but not as bad as one might expect. To say this has been an adventure would be an understatement. Please take a moment to answer one more critical question. Cabinet maker chose not to mortise the pivots into the top of the shelf unit nor the top of the jam.
It created a problem with concealing the top edge, I understand that. Wife likes to ask me about it at the end of each project. I am remodelling my basement and completed the demolition, stripped everything down to studs and floor slab. The wall face will divided into three sections: Each bookcase is to be a hidden door, one for the office and one for the closet.
Since I am starting from scratch and can build the walls to suit I wanted to ask if there is an easier way to plan this. The office would open inwards and the closet would open outwards. He just said it was a heavy duty pivot hinge, I think? Most hinges are pretty easy to install if you think through the process, make templates, and do some test mockups to be sure your mortises are correct. I am trying to build a small bookcase into my pantry.
I need it to pivot out and away from the cabinet so I can put storage behind it. What kind of hinge would I use for this and do you know of anywhere I can see something like this to help me out? What is the thickness of the new jamb that you placed between the original jamb and the bookshelf? Marshall, Sorry I missed your question and it took me so long to catch it. I use a dowel hidden behind a book, but i like the idea of pulling on a book, too. And maybe cut an emergency hold somewhere, just in case the wire breaks!!! Marshall, I will readily admit I am not an expert cabinet maker but am a decent carpenter and I am in the process of building a hidden door as described above.
I too had the desire to have more of a hidden latch than the dowel described in the article. I will post pictures once I am done with the project but let me describe what I came up with. What I decided to do, after much research and no good inexpensive solutions, was to use a basic latch out of a door handle.
I bored the hole for the latch between the top of the door and the false top described in the article to hide the top Rixon hardware and the hole for the set screw. In the end a simple tug of a hidden release hook releases the door latch much like a normal handle would. In the right setting you could manipulate these pulleys and attach cable to a book for your purposes.
Hidden Pivot Bookcase Installation
I just am building a master closet and shelves will be used for shoes not books. In the photo you can see the cable as it comes out and runs down the side of the door. I will be hiding all this with the face frame. The latch is at top right. I bought all rigging for this set up from webriggingsupply.
Loved the whole concept. I noticed in this article there was a case inside a case approach and was intrigued by the design and was thinking this could be a way to meet the clients desire for a deeper bookcase. So what I was thinking about doing, because the location for this bookcase is a closet and is where the furnace is located. What thoughts of wisdom could you pass on to me and do you think this could work?
It will diminish the opening size by the depth of the case plus some. Joe, Do a search for Rixson Pivot Hinges. Builders Hardware is a good one. The pivot hing is a great idea, I can see where the way it swings could really help things fit together. I once used a wheel for this application that helped but wore out the plywood it was mated to…. I suppose a piece of sheet metal would have helped.
Any way thank you for the wonderful ideas. I have a small broom closet in my kitchen. Not only is the door UGLY! It renders that wall space unusable. I had seen a picture of a bookcase being used as a door on Pinterest and knew that was my solution. Just wishing I had 1, the time and 2, the shop you do to even make a bookcase well alone a hidden door bookcase.
I want to make one for my basement door , to really give the appeal of a hidden place for my family. Do you have any suggestions? I think it might be a myth? I have a suggestion and would value your opinion. I would welcome your comments, since I am contemplating following your lead to build a similar bookcase. I obviously am not Gary Katz, but here are a couple of observations based on my experience recently building one of these hidden doors. However, I think the idea that the front side of it will be touching the bookcase have no reveal will be very tough to pull off and I think you would be asking for trouble.
You are dealing with so many factors hinges being plum, threshold being level, any sag of the case, etc. If it do get creative and make it work or I am not seeing what you are thinking exactly, I would still say it will be way more trouble than it is worth. I agree with Gary, if built well these doors will have little to no sag. The shim is more a precautionary measure to extend the life of the door and hinges.
I would suggest, instead of trying your luck with the roller, leave yourself a small reveal between the threshold and door and use a shim as described in the article. Gary, I just wanted to say thank you for the great article and detailed instructions on how to build a hidden door. I encourage anyone that is patient and decent with cabinetry, this is a project that is not that hard as long as you take your time and think things through. Again, thank you Gary. The plans indicate placing bottom pin 3. Question, should I continue with original pivot point, or should I move pivot point closer to center for balance,.
All the pivot point measurements are taken off the jamb. You should probably draw it in Sketchup first and make sure the new pivot point works. Shawn, I took about two days to build and install. What type of material was used for your shelving? Is it the hinge? Finished my door around 6 months ago. Used soft maple for solid stock.
Here is roughly what my estimated cost would be.. You can always expect to run into a few extra costs…but that would put it right close to the ballpark. I am starting research and gathering courage to do this project. Thoughts, concerns and advice please. You might have to use an offset pivot hinge. But it will show. Hi Gary I am an interior designer with a fairly good experience in woodwork and manufacturing.
I am in serious need of the correct Pivoting set for a heavy duty bookcase to a secret door.
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They keep referring me to spring pivots for doors. I am in Johannesburg and need professional assistance in specifying the correct pivot mechanism to hold the bookcase. Could you assist me here or refer me to a Hardware that may be able to ship out to South Africa? Eddie, You can find the pivot hinges at numerous online dealers. I would like to ask if anyone knows how to install a revolving wall like the one from the batgirl movie in the old times.
No clue how this happened or how to even correct it. Rich, I feel your pain. I installed my first case perfectly plumb and learned the same lesson. You can shift the location of the bottom pivot in or out a little and that should fix a good part of the problem. You may have to shim the casing on the hinge side off the wall a little bit at the bottom, or you may have to cut that casing into the drywall a little as it nears the bottom of the wall.
Cross stringing the opening is a prerequisite. The hinge location has nothing to do with the width of the door. Hi Gary, I am an amature woodworker as well. I want to have the wall be a dry bar unit mini fridge and shelving. My calculations show it would need to be 23in deep to conceal the back of the mini fridge. In order to not block most of the opening, I would like to have the whole unit be able to open greater than 90 degrees.
Would this be possible with the offset hinge you described in a previous answer? Also regarding the weight the hinges are able to handle, a full mini fridge would weigh slightly over pounds.
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I would put the mini fridge on the side of where the hinges would mount to compensate for the sag or bind from the weight. Far too many issues for me to even think about. We purchased the awesome pivot hinge hardware, read the instructions you gave several times, and then began. Instead of the laser plumb line, I used my old jamb-setting level, paying great attention to my tape as well.
It opened fine, except that it would only swing approximately 80 degrees open. Also, my case sags ever so slightly when loaded with books, so that there is a slight rub on the bottom strike side. Not sure how to remedy that after the fact. Will post pics when everything is perfect. My dentist has an analytical mind and approach, plus his fingers are used to working in extremely tight places! Patrick, At least the bookcase stays shut! I can feel your pain.
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If you move the bottom pivot, all you have to do is re-mortise the bottom of the bookcase. If you move the top pivot, just install a dutchmen in the head jamb to cover up the open mortise. We are looking to build a double. Is there anything we need to do differently then your plans above? We are building a swinging bookcase Do you think this is an adequate solution to the problem? This is one cabinet where the shelves must be fixed, not adjustable! That should help a lot.
Otherwise…my advice is the age-old solution every carpenter is too familiar with: Although I agree with the fact that the racking issue in the previous post is most likely due to not sufficiently attaching the back to fixed shelving, adjustable shelving is not out of the question for others building a hidden door. The door I built, thanks to the great article above, is a shoe rack in my master closet.
Fixed shelves are a must, but strategically place a couple of them and they will blend right in with your adjustable shelving. Gary, Incredible project and details. Have you tried using flat square Lazy Susan bearings instead of the Rixson hinges? Before finding your article, I was looking at a few other photos and figured the Lazy Susan hinge would give me the hidden pivot point I needed.
In that vein, I found a website that has sets that range from lb to lb capacity and was hoping to use them in my hidden bookcase project. After seeing the price on the Rixson hinges, this would be a VERY big cost savings though I am not sure the feasibility or long term functionality.
I am already planning to repurpose the oak plywood and solid from the massive built-in desk I built, installed, then removed from our office so our son could have a playroom. Thanks for your insight. Searched the web numerous times only to come back to your detailed design! I am taking pics as I progress! Thank you for sharing knowledge I know has helped my ability to plan, implement and successfully tackle!
Very Good material to go by! The book case is really heavy duty built with a few layers of plywood and sound proof materials. People get so creative, huh? And the wheels always leave marks on the floor, especially on carpet, but on hardwood, too. As far as using the bookcase or something, you really have me there. Installing a hidden door is all about layout—working from the finish back to the rough dimensions. Of course, I guess you could if you framed the opening around it! It is not a very big space but I thought maybe I could turn into a secret storage space.
All of the articles on creating secret bookshelf doors seem to incorporate pivot hinges. However, this doorway would be too narrow for that type of installation. I was hoping you might have an alternate idea. I was thinking something like a scissor hinge or offset hinge, but I am not sure how to hide this properly. This is exactly what I have in mind to access the back stairs in our historic home. Hopefully we can find someone who has the expertise to build it. I just installed the same bookcase door in my new home in S.
All I made was a story pole for the elevation. The Story Pole did all that. But before Sketchup, I used to mock everything up…everything. Books just fit perfectly. Great article, thank you for posting. I am curious if anyone here has mounted a tall kitchen cabinet on a Rixon hinge. We did our kitchen a year ago, and we love it, but could use more food storage space.
I am considering ordering such a pantry to match our kitchen cabinets, and reinforcing the bottom of the cabinet to support a pivot which would otherwise come with standard recessed toekick. I am not too worried about the hidden effect. I am more concerned with a fully functioning and durable hinge for what will be a very heavy door. I have a design ready to go and model hinge in hand.
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What am I missing here? After loosening the top jamb pivot screw and raising the pivot out of the top bookcase bracket, I swing the door or bookcase perpendicular to the opening, tilt it slightly toward the strike jamb, then raise it off the bottom pivot. Hi, Gary- I found this article while searching for a way to finish off the one wall in my kitchen. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience! Could you use a prexsisting door and attach a bookcase to it? I have old farmhouse and I was thinking of trying this. The only thing is I have to change the dirrection of the door opening in instead of out to hid hinges.
But, thanks for the great tips. Pat, The hinge location should be established for each individual bookcase. This has to be one of the best informational posts I have ever read, thanks. I am a carpenter and going to build a swing out bookcase. I have worked with large rixon floor pivots.
Although these work amazing they do require a little patience. My question is I want to come up with and ornate multi member head trim that will hide the small gap between the cabinet and frame. Have you ever built anything like this. Possibly pulling the head detail forward so the cabinet appears to be set back? Great site, Gary, and great work! Other than a large amount of beveling on the strike side, do you foresee any issues with a deep cabinet vs shallow bookcase?
Gary, First, thanks for the great article! I need to build a hidden door bookcase for access to a soundproof studio. There is also a standard wooden door on the studio side of the entrance. I am assuming the bookcase will need to stand proud of the wall on the living room side of the entrance. The total wall thickness is about 9. My customer wants the bookcase shelves to be a minimum of 6. I plan to change out the door knob to allow the maximum clearance. I read you added the vertical pieces with fasteners from the inside of the bookcase.
How did you cover the heads of the fasteners so you would not see them. It seems like you would drive the fasteners from the outside so you will not see them when the bookcase is closed. Thank you in advance for your reply. Hi , I am building 2 of these. But all the ones I see here are out swing mine are both in swing what are the differences in the construction if any? Rich, The differences between the swing-out bookcase I wrote about and a swing-in bookcase are many—the hardware location, the trim details, etc. Does this product have an incorrect or missing image?
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