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Hidden Pivot Bookcase Installation

Not every project I build comes out perfectly. As a matter of fact, I can’t recall too many that didn’t have at least one minor mistake. Of course, I mean something that no one else would notice, though some of you might. Without a doubt, I’ve never built a perfect pivot bookcase, but I’m getting a lot closer!

Even the bookcase in this article isn’t perfect. Each time I build one, I learn something new. After all, hidden bookcase doors are a lot more complicated than an ordinary door—there are a lot of variables, both in design and construction, especially on openings that have to swing out.

In this article, I’ll point out a few of the mistakes I made so hopefully you won’t make them—and maybe I won’t make them again. If you notice any others, please let me know. Hidden door bookcases aren’t easy to design or build, but they’re intriguing. Maybe one day we’ll all be able to build one that’s perfect in every way.

Hinges and Wheels

I’ve seen and installed a lot of bookcase doors, many that swing on regular butt hinges. I’ve always used 4 1/2 or 5-in. heavy-duty ball bearing hinges, and they work alright, though the hinges tend to sag a little when the case is really loaded down with books. And they always need some adjustment down the road. Plus, they require a lot of jamb clearance, which has never seemed right to me. Besides, butt hinges only work on swing-in bookcases—there’s no way to hide them completely on a swing-out design.

I’ve also seen cabinet shops build these types of doors, using euro hinges. Trust me, those never work, no matter how many of those little hinges you use, they always sag. I’ve seen carpenters use piano hinges, too, but then it’s tough to take the case off or adjust the hinge. Besides, even a piano hinge is hard to hide in the trim on a swing-out case.

Swinging bookcases always sag a little, too. I’ve tried installing wheels and rollers on the bottoms of swinging bookcases, and they work okay, as long as the floor is a smooth, hard surface, and if there are no throw rugs, though sometimes the roller leaves a tell-tale track on the floor, especially over carpet.

When you use a roller, at the very least you have to leave a gap at the bottom of the case for floor clearance, and that’s a dead giveaway, too. Plus it’s almost impossible to really hide the joints in the baseboard, no matter how cleverly you disguise them. From what I’ve learned, the best way to design and build a durable swing-out bookcase door, one that can be adjusted easily, and one that’s truly invisible, is to design the door to swing above the baseboard, and hang it on a center-hung pivot hinge.

Start With a Drawing

There are few projects I work on today without doing a scale drawing first. When in comes to bookcases, especially swinging ones, SketchUp has saved my life. I started this project with a two-dimensional drawing, one that allowed me to pivot the door in the drawing. That’s how I found the correct location for the pivot point, which took some experimenting. The two most important issues are: 1: The case has to swing clear of the hinge jamb; 2: The case has to open 90 degrees. If you don’t know how to animate Sketchup drawings, watch this tutorial that Todd Murdock has put together:

I wanted the case to have a minimal amount of clearance between the jambs, so it would just clear the trim on the hinge side, and wouldn’t require wide trim on the strike side. That clearance is determined by the setback of the pivot perpendicular to the face of the wall.

(Note: Click any image to enlarge)

When wide open, the door butts against the trim on the hinge side. That clearance is determined by the depth of the bookcase and the location of the pivot, measured from the hinge jamb toward the strike jamb–parallel with the wall.

Bottom Clearance

The real improvement in this design is swinging the bookcase above the baseboard, so it won’t drag on a throw rug and can be trimmed out without any visible gaps. I wanted to end up with the case about 2 3/4 in. above the floor, to clear 2 1/2-in. baseboard. For a taller base, the bottom of the case would be even farther from the floor. If you’re not familiar with Rixson pivot hinges, scroll down to that section below right now.

Another drawing, this one three-dimensional and detailing the hinge parts and clearance requirements, confirmed that mounting the pivot base on two layers of 3/4 plywood would get me close to 2 1/2 in. above the floor. Because I could install the toe kick after swinging the case, the exact dimension didn’t matter, which made execution a lot easier.

Bookcase Construction

(Note: Click any image to enlarge.)

To prevent the case from sagging, I dadoed the sides to accept the shelves (see photo, right), something I don’t always do for built in cases. For cutting dados, I normally use a templates guide on my router, which makes it easier to build a compact template, and provides a cleaner tighter dado, but I was lazy. I didn’t have a Porter-Cable-style 3/4-in. template guide for this new router, and rather than running to the tool store, I made the router template exactly the width of the router base. I installed the cross pieces allowing enough space for both bookshelf sides plus an extra 3/16 in.—so I could slide the template up and down without hanging up—and used a long shim and spring clamps to lock the template in place.

An even easier tool for cutting dados is a Festool MFT table and router guide rail. This system is designed perfectly for the task and requires no template and no special clamping setup. Simply layout the book shelf sides with clear pencil lines for each dado (I used a Sharpie so the lines would be more visible in the photographs). Rather than running my router bit dangerously close to the guide rail, I adjust the router so that it cuts almost 1/4 in. away from the rubber edge.

To make it easier to align the boards for each cut, I attached a sacrificial fence to the table. The first pass cut a neat dado in the fence, and I aligned all the cuts with that dado. To make sure the boards didn’t slip as I moved them through the cutting station, I screwed a 3/4 in. cleat on top of the layout marks for one of the shelves. Once that cleat came up near the guide rail, I removed it and pressed it into the dado, where it locked the two boards together.

Here’s a trick I learned at Festool School: the dust collection system will collect almost all the saw dust if you don’t dado right through the first piece. Instead, plunge the router into the workpiece about 1/2 in. from the edge, cut the dado, then clean up the front when you’re finished. That little dam is all that’s needed to stop the dust from shooting out the dado, leaving it at the mercy of the dust collector.

Edgebanding Plywood Shelving

I’ve done a lot of edgebanding and always hated the hair-line crack that develops between the plywood and the solid stock. That gap is caused by the inner plywood endgrain swelling from the glue, which puts a little belly in the edge and forces the banding away from top and bottom of the plywood. To prevent edge swelling problems, I used a Collins Ply-Prep bit ($20.00) and ‘routed’ a slightly concave nose on each shelf.
In order to work properly, the Ply-Prep bit requires a router fence with infeed and outfeed surfaces slightly offset to accommodate the very slight amount of material removed from each shelf. I made a shallow pass, less than 1/16 in. deep, half-way across a temporary fence. A line etched into the bit helps center the bit vertically on the stock, which is vital—otherwise the edge won’t be cut square.
After fastening the solid mahogany banding on with glue and 23ga pins…
…I ran a laminate trimmer on each side to cut the surfaces flush.
The last piece I milled was the strike side of the case, which required a bevel. I made the first cut on my table saw, but the blade height wouldn’t cut to daylight, so I cleaned up the bevel with a power plane.

Assembly

Before assembling the pieces, I pre-finished everything, a lesson learned the hard way after making dozens of bookcases—it’s just too hard to finish all those inside corners and edges without getting runs, drips, and finish all over my wrists. I used a water-based polyurethane and a roller, brushing out each piece to remove air bubbles. If I were smarter, I’d own an HVLP (high-volume, low-pressure) system, and spray the three coats on, but I’m not, and so I don’t.

To ensure a tight box that wouldn’t sag, I glued and fastened the shelves with screws, too, brushing the glue into each dado.

Finished sides, added after the case is swinging, cover the screws. I also cut the finished sides 1/2 in. wider, so that they cover the 1/2-in. plywood back. That way, the sides don’t require rabbets.

I glued and screwed the back flush with the sides, so that the case would never rack.

Hardware Preparation

Pivot hinges are the only way to fly when it comes to supporting a heavy bookcase and achieving an invisible door. I used a Rixson Model 370 bottom pivot, which can accommodate up to 500 lbs. and doors up to 3-ft. 8-in. x 8-ft. 6-in. The bottom pivot includes two pieces: the bottom pivot spindle which mounts directly to the floor (upper right, in photo to the right), and the bottom bearing (lower right), which must be mortised into the bottom of the door. The top pivot is a standard model 340, consisting of a retractable jamb-mounted pivot spindle and finished cover plate (middle and upper left), which are mortised into the jamb head, and a top guide (lower left), which is mortised into the top of the door.

I learned a long time ago to always make templates for door hardware, especially hinges—first, because it’s easier to position and cut the mortises perfectly, which means mortise depth, too; and second, because once you’ve used any special type of hardware, you’re bound to use it again and soon—it’s just a law of the jungle, like thermodynamics. In this case, the bearing guides and the top jamb pivot are the same width and thickness, but because their centers vary, along with their lengths, each piece of hardware requires a custom template.

I started by ripping stock for the center spreaders. A standard door-hanging template guide and router bit (1/2-in. bit and 9/16-in. template guide) will cut 1/16 in. short of the template bushing, so I made the template openings 1/8 in. wider and longer than the hardware. I ripped the spreader stock to 1 3/8 in. for the 1 1/4-in. plates. I centered the spreaders between two outer rails, spacing the spreaders apart the length of each plate plus 1/8 in., then fastened the templates together with pocket screws.

The centers vary on each piece of hardware, so make individual templates, one for the top guide and one for the bottom bearing (on left).

Laying out the template stops was critical because that’s what positions the pivots perfectly. For each template, I marked a center line on both axes (parallel to the wall, and perpendicular to the wall), then measured from those center lines to locate the stops. For the bookcase templates, I measured 2 1/4 in. from the pivot center to the back of the first side, knowing the second finished side would add an additional 3/4 in., resulting in a 3 in. backset. For the front backset, I measured 1 3/4 in. from the pivot to the front of the template, and I attached stops on that line.

Setting the router depth was simply a matter of adjusting the depth stop above the turret to exactly the thickness of the hardware.

I clamped both templates to the case and mortised the brackets without a second thought.

I fastened the bottom bearing immediately (below, left), pre-drilling the double-thick bottom shelf for the #10 screws. The top guide (below, right) mounts flush with the top of the case-the bushing must be mortised into the case. I traced the location of the center of the bushing…

…drilled out the hole with a paddle bit, then mounted the bracket. The top shelf is only 3/4 in. thick, but a false shelf, installed after the case is swinging, hides the bushing.

I designed the case 3/4 in. short to allow for this second jamb head, which I mortised in my shop, before installing the case.
The top jamb bracket includes a linkage arm that draws the pivot spindle out of the top bushing in the case, so it’s easy to install and remove the case or a door. I drilled a 1 in. hole at each end of the mortise for the linage arm…
…then I connected the holes with a jig saw.
At the closet door jamb, I traced the mortise for the linkage arm onto the existing head jamb.

Then I drilled out and cleaned up the mortise, and installed the top jamb pivot. I can’t stress how important it is to check the laser plumb dots by also measuring to the jamb—regardless of what type of door you’re hanging, whether it’s new construction or a remodel. Remember, the jamb might not be plumb and you have to hang the case to ‘fit’ the jamb! It’s vital to have a complete understanding of the whole picture, otherwise you have to move hardware after everything is installed (one guess how I know this).

Sometimes, dead plumb and perfectly square aren’t the only concerns when hanging a door, bookshelf or otherwise. I wanted the ‘door’ to fit the jamb, with even gaps. The opening was a little cross-legged, too, and I wanted the casing to fit flat against the case—the case had to be almost perfectly flush with the jamb. The measurement mark was off by only 1/8 in., so I followed that rather than the laser plumb marks.

A laser works great for transferring the plumb line. Just place the red dot on the center of the top pivot and mark the location of the bottom pivot.

Rixson also offers an accessory plumb bob that mounts directly to the top pivot—a slick way of finding the bottom pivot location.
Notice that the bottom support base is 1/2 in. back from the face of the jamb. That 1/2 in. allowed me to recess the bottom toekick so the case would project over the kick, thereby hiding the 1/8 in. gap between the top of the kick and the bottom of the case.

Hanging the case isn’t difficult. Like with most doors, I retracted the top pivot spindle by backing out the set screw. When I’m hanging a door, I usually set the door perpendicular to the jamb, place it on the bottom pivot, then lean it back against the top pivot. That way, I have comfortable control over the door while backing out the set screw and retracting the top spindle. It’s easy to position the door directly under the spindle, then run the set screw back in, pinning the door into place. But with a bookcase it’s not so simple.

Fortunately this was one problem I anticipated, which made me feel pretty good. I made the case 1/4 in. short of the opening, providing just the right gap between the top of the case and the head jamb. I backed out the set screw half way, then placed the case on the bottom pivot and straightened it up in the opening. The top of the case barely scraped across the bottom of the set screw, while the top jamb pivot spindle dragged over the top of the case and then dropped like magic right into the pivot guide. Amazing!

I installed the false sides on both sides of the case, driving fasteners from inside the case, so they wouldn’t be visible as the ‘door’ opened. Of course, no one would ever see the finished side near the hinge, unless they stood inside the closet.

Before starting the trim, I installed a shim made from UHMW (ultra-high molecular weight) plastic, which is pretty slippery stuff ($18.00 from www.smallparts.com). I ripped a 1 1/4-in. length of the material from a 3/4 in. x 12 x 12 blank ($17.00), then I cut a long shim using a Festool guide and saw. I sized the shim to just touch the bottom of the case when the door is closed, which prevents any minor settling. That way, moving joints in the trim at the top of the case stay tight.

Trimming the top of the case is tricky. The joint between the architrave molding (parting bead) and the top of the case must be invisibly tight, yet still provide 1/16 in. clearance for the case to swing. And that’s where I made another mistake. I should have ripped the new top jamb down—to make it at least 1/2 in. back from the face of the jamb—so that the architrave molding would run back inside the jamb, past the bookcase, which would help to hide the joint.

Realizing I couldn’t hide the joint any other way, I swallowed hard, then removed everything from the opening. After ripping down and replacing the head jamb, I hung the case back in the opening and started installing the trim again. Another good reason not to use a piano hinge.
The horns on the architrave molding must be scribed to fit the wall and butt against the head jamb inside the opening.
I next installed a frieze board, and finished the entablature with a two-step cap rabbeted in several passes on my table saw.
The base details went on next. With the case closed, I milled a piece of mahogany toe kick and scribed it to the floor, leaving 1/8 in. clearance to the bottom of the case.

I attached the plinth blocks with trim head screws, and the casing, too, especially the strike side piece that remains on the cabinet and acts as stop when the cabinet swings closed. Notice that the toe kick is recessed inside the jamb–it’s not flush with the jamb. That way, the bottom shelf projects over the toe kick making it impossible to see the clearance gap between the top of the toe kick and the bottom of the bookcase.

It was at that moment I realized I couldn’t reach the set screw with a screw driver: I couldn’t run the screw in to secure the case completely, and I couldn’t back the screw out to remove the case. I didn’t feel so smart anymore, and it got worse.

On my first attempt at drilling a simple 3/8 in. access hole through which I could reach the set screw with a narrow screw driver, I couldn’t seem to find a drill bit sharp enough to drill through the plywood. I dried a paddle bit first, then a twist drill. On the third attempt, I realized I was drilling right into the top guide hardware.

Determined to overcome my own stupidity, I thought through the problem carefully and found a second access hole located on a radius layout, so I could swing the case clear of the top guide and reach the top pivot set screw. Fortunately, the new hole lined up perfectly. I turned the screw and drove the pivot spindle all the way into the top guide. Notice that the first hole is aligned perfectly with the hardware mounted in the top of the case.

With the case tight against the wall and under pressure from a slight amount of cross leg, I drilled a 3/4-in. hole through the side and into the jamb. A 3/4-in. x 5-in. long dowel, with a mahogany grip, locks the case in the opening. I hide the grip with a stack of books so no one will know how to open it.

There’s no door knob, and the case rubs just a hair on the UHMW plastic shim, but a slight tug on the shelves slips the case free from the shim, and the door swings open with a swoosh of air. Sure, one day I might even tape and mud the joint between the jamb and the wall…but no one but me and my dog should ever see that anyway.

True to my original drawings, the case pivots back from the hinge-side trim and just clears the strike jamb as it swings open to exactly 90 degrees. Don’t try this in a small closet. In fact, a 3/0 closet would work best, though this 2/8 opening, with a 7 in. deep case, allows enough access for a skinny guy like me.

(This article originally appeared on GaryMKatz.com)

Comments/Discussion

88 Responses to “Hidden Pivot Bookcase Installation”

  1. Ray Menard

    I got to build two of these in the past couple of years. Thanks to Gary I knew how to begin and end as I found this article on his web site. This article saved me hours of aggravations and boosted my confidence immensely. Thanks Gary. The Sketch Up drawing was the key to success as for determining the pivot point and the clearances required to swing the various depths of the bookcases I built. I was able to achieve 1/16″ tolerances and that was pretty cool for a fully loaded swinging bookcase. One bookcase was built and set into the frame on site as Gary shows here but on the 2nd unit the install was miles away and I wasn’t doing it. I decided to build a box within a box so that the unit was sent to the field essentially installed and tested. Only needed to be set into the opening accurately, then trimmed out. That was a a good approach.

    As these units carry lots of weight I will emphasize the need for a good floor mounted cabinet rest on the non pivot side. I too use the UHMW but attached an 1/8″ thick strip to an oak block – so no need to cut tapers. I could set the thickness of the block exactly. I used Euro screws which seat into the plastic nice and flush and hold it down very well. A light tug on the cabinet and it slides free.

    Otherwise that’s all I can add. Each of these requires it’s own problem solving as regards to attaching trim and how well to conceal the build-in of the unit, but This article will set you well on your way to success.

    Reply
    • George

      Ray or anyone else…
      I live in a small town and have not been able to find a cabinet shop that is comfortable with a project like you describe. Im looking for a bookshelf (opening out); Center T.V. Cabinet and bookshelf (fixed) for a house currently under construction. Can you recommend any carpenters that could produce this and have it shipped?

      Thanks,
      George
      gsh@haymanslaw.com

      Reply
  2. Ron Paulk

    Hi Gary,
    Nice job.
    I have built two pivoting book cases in my career. The first ,14 years ago, was one part of a library complete with raised paneling and wall to wall bookcases. I tackled it a little different as the opening bookcase had to be undetectable. The unit was 30″x78″x12″ and I choose to swing it into the “panic room.” All of the trim runs across the opening to the bookcases on either side so when the bookcase is pushed in the face frame and toe kick remain stationary. I repeated this library for the same clients on another home just three years ago.

    The heavy pivot hinge in the original house is still going strong, in fact,
    a real estate agent requested as the designer and builder I meet with potential buyers of the first house . After touring the house and proudly telling them about all the love put into it, I said, “what did you think about the panic room?” Realtor and buyers looked at me with blank stares. I smiled, took them into the library and challenged them to find the secret room. They failed and when I pushed it open, their big smiles rewarded me once again and then bought they house and hired me to do a $75,000 remodel.

    I have built many homes and to this day, that home and that library still bring the greatest memories.

    Reply
    • David Rogers

      Hi Ron,

      Very nice. What sort of hinge did you use on your bookcase?

      Reply
    • Pete L.

      Beautiful work Ron!
      Gary’s work & instructions inspired me to (possibly) attempt this project at home. Your execution definitely confirmed my desire to attempt it. I can only wish that when I’m done, mine looks half as good as yours.

      Thanks for sharing,
      Pete.

      Reply
  3. Carl Duguay

    Great article Gary. 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. Much appreciated.

    Reply
    • albert

      do appreciate your sharing of knowledge. Will have to build this just to see if i can.

      Reply
  4. Thomas Jaszewski

    Good day,

    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. Katz articles. The shelf/door needs to swing out and left. I spoke with Rixson but being a end user, they weren’t particularly helpful. Polite but the person responding only knew of one such door using their hardware and recommended a 1000lb capacity center pivot set at about 1K. What resource might I provide the maker? He does not use the internet.

    Thank you for reading this.

    tom at livesoil dot com

    Reply
    • Gary Katz

      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. You’ll be able to get pdf’s of of installation instructions, etc. There are other good sites, too. You’ll find someone who can help you. I’ve spoken to several people at Rixson who were very helpful when I designed my door. I’m sorry you didn’t have the same experience.
      Gary

      Reply
      • Thomas Jaszewski

        Thanks Gary!

        Rixson was very polite and did call me back. Unfortunately I’m not well enough equipped to even ask the right questions. We’re going to follow your lead and use the Rixson 370 set. It seems to be the only set mentioned on any sites with info on building a hidden door. As you know, 90% of what is on the net is from your work. I’ve been looking for weeks on the internet….hopefully we make the right choices.
        BTW, Fabulous pricing @ Qualified Hardware!

        Tom

        Reply
  5. Thomas Jaszewski

    Once more,

    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! Opinions, anyone?

    (professional horticulturalist wiling to trade expertise and opinions)

    Reply
    • Ray Menard

      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. Needs to be said that this was a relatively small unit – 60″ tall x 30″ wide x 8″ deep with lots of trim detail above to make up the arch. I think that the same could be done successfully with a bigger unit, though I think that the Rixson 370 will be maxed out for a unit bigger than 4′ wide x 6′ tall.

      Reply
      • Thomas Jaszewski

        Thanks Ray!

        May I ask what hardware you used?

        Tom

        Reply
        • Ray Menard

          Tom, I used The Rixson 370. It was completely fine for the two units I described. Just would wonder if I went much wider. I think taller is OK but wider than 4′ and you need to consider the leverage exerted on the pivot. 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.

          Reply
  6. Ray Menard

    Here are a few photos of the case within the case. I can’t show the installed cabinet out of deference to the privacy of the client – too bad, it is a little beauty – but this gives an idea of how to approach the construction. 3 photos: 1) full height view , 2) a close up of the top and partially open, 3) a detail of the head with the top rail and its attached finished top removed to reveal the access to the top pivot. The oak vert on the right is cut back from the face at 45° so that the bookcase swings clear while providing a landing for the room case applied in the field to within a 1/4″ of the edge of that angled vert.


    Reply
  7. Jamie

    So well done. I always wanted a “Bat Cave” in my home and I didn’t realize how complicated that structure is to make.

    Reply
  8. Freddie Wilkerson

    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

    Reply
  9. Joe K

    The design is beautiful, but (you knew there was going to be a “but”, right?) I’m not quite certain how best to fit it into an existing room when I *can’t* have the bookcase flush with the existing wall. 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.

    But I haven’t worked with these hinges before, and I’m nervous about side forces on the upper pivot. Reducto ad absurdam: 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. The question I’m fighting with is how to anchor the header which carries that pivot back into the wall studs to carry that force — or whether I have to actually frame this out as if it was a real doorway, so that force is transferred directly to the ceiling joists.

    (I know I have a tendency to over-engineer…)

    I’m sure someone must have done a variant that fits this situation by now… Any suggestions, or do I just trust my instincts and wing it?

    Reply
  10. Joe K

    (Think of it as wanting this to look like a freestanding bookcase against the wall. That isn’t exactly what I’m doing, but it isolates the problem nicely.)

    Reply
  11. Joe K

    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. For an 8′ high, 3′ wide door, that basically means 3/16ths of the weight … so a 500 lb door, held only by the center-pivot hinges, would be putting 93 3/4 lbs of sideways force on the pivots.

    Nontrivial, but not as bad as one might expect. You’d want to make sure that was adequately braced against both racking within the frame and pulling away from the wall, but it shouldn’t be too hard to do so.

    “If it happens, it must be possible.”

    Reply
  12. Tom Jaszewski

    Well, I’m back. To say this has been an adventure would be an understatement. We’ve made more than our share of mistakes, but are on the way to resolution. 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. However builder INSISTS that the unit will be impossible to put in place or remove if the top Rixson hinges are mortised in. He’s agreed to do everything possible to correct our missteps. I’ve tried Rixson again for info confirming that mortising was important to the structural strength but have no response.
    tom(AT)livesoil.com

    Reply
    • Gary Katz

      I’m sorry I took so long to respond! But you should definitely mortise in the top bracket, if you left 1/4″ reveal between the top of the bookcase and the head jamb.
      Gary

      Reply
  13. nelson

    good stuff on this site,, i’m wondering if heavy duty chair swivels, with and added attachment plate on each, would serve as pivot points ?

    Reply
  14. Robert

    Hi Gary, thanks for the open honesty, I too have a little “error” in each of my projects that only I know about. Wife likes to ask me about it at the end of each project. The info and explanations I’m digesting carefully, thank-you everyone. I am remodelling my basement and completed the demolition, stripped everything down to studs and floor slab. My plan is to build a full 15′ wide wall, behind which will be split an office and cedar closet. The wall face will divided into three sections: bookcase – center tv/video – bookcase. 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. I don’t mind the hinge showing when the bookcase is open. The office would open inwards and the closet would open outwards. Question: would Ron Paulk’s hinge above be easier than the Rixson?

    Thanks, Robert

    Reply
    • Gary Katz

      Robert,
      Rixson makes an offset pivot hinge, too, for use on swing-in cases or when you don’t care if the the hinge is visible. I’m not sure what hinge Ron used. 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.
      Gary

      Reply
  15. Debi

    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? Thanks Debi

    Reply
    • Gary Katz

      You probably want to use an offset pivot hinge, but without seeing the situation, I can’t really tell you. You’re best bet would be to visit with a professional cabinet shop where they can show you examples and work with you to design and build the right cabinet.
      Gary

      Reply
  16. John

    What is the thickness of the new jamb that you placed between the original jamb and the bookshelf?

    Reply
    • Gary Katz

      I’m not sure which jamb you’re talking about, but all of the jamb stock is 3/4 in. thick material.
      Gary

      Reply
  17. Marshall

    What do you use for a latch? I love the idea of pulling on an old book…

    Awesome Job!

    Reply
    • Gary Katz

      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. Next time I’m going to do that–make a wooden book with a book cover on it, and hook it to a gate latch of some kind on the inside of the door. And maybe cut an emergency hold somewhere, just in case the wire breaks!!! :)
      Gary

      Reply
    • Nathan

      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. Understand I have just finished the primary building of the cabinet but what I figured out seems to work fine it just hasn’t had extensive use so I cannot point out the downfalls at this point.

      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. I then used 1/8 plastic coated aircraft cable looped around the latch mechanism with a thimble and then routed the cable to the desired release location using a series of pulleys and channels I router-ed out. 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. I just am building a master closet and shelves will be used for shoes not books. :) Hope this helps.

      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.com for under $40.

      Reply
      • Chuck

        You can use a steel pin with a wooden dowel on the end and a magnet to latch this type of door.

        Reply
  18. Annie

    I’m not a carpenter, and didn’t understand all of the terminology used, but it was one of the most interesting articles I’ve ever read! Loved the whole concept.

    Reply
    • Gary Katz

      George,
      I’m not sure what your question was! I’m sorry but every now and then a comment will land in the spam folder, and there’s so many tons and tons of spam that we rarely go through it–just imagine how you’d smell after doing that!
      Gary

      Reply
  19. Steven

    Hi Gary,
    We have been asked to build a hidden bookcase door for a client and the added challange is that they would like it to be at least 12″ deep. 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 do you think about using the technique described above but with only about 6″ sticking out into the room which would give the added depth they want. What thoughts of wisdom could you pass on to me and do you think this could work?

    Thanks, Steve

    Reply
    • Gary Katz

      Steve,
      I’m not sure what you mean by a case within a case. It’s just one bookcase inside a door jamb. But you can use flanking cases as ‘door jambs’ too, as several of the people did who posted pictures of their work. In fact, that’s a good way to develop a deeper case. But the problem with a 12″ case is the amount of room the case will take up in the jamb/opening when the door is swung open. It will diminish the opening size by the depth of the case plus some. So if you put a 12″ deep case in a 36 in. jamb, you’d end up with a 24″ clear opening–or less some; if you put a 12″ case in a 2/8 door opening, you’d end up with a 20″ wide opening–not nearly wide enough to pass through comfortably, at least not for most…well, I won’t go there. :)
      Gary

      Reply
    • Gary Katz

      Joe,
      Do a search for Rixson Pivot Hinges. You’ll find several sources. Builders Hardware is a good one.
      Gary

      Reply
  20. Stephen

    Hi Gary,

    Thank you for the complete installation of this book case, along with the “I wish I had done it differently”. The pivot hing is a great idea, I can see where the way it swings could really help things fit together.

    I like the “slick” stuff shim too. 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.

    Reply
  21. Joelle

    Gary,

    THANK YOU! for such a comprehensive tutorial! 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.

    I can’t wait to use your guide to build my bookcase!

    Reply
  22. Jauhn

    This is a very good article !

    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.

    Once again , great article

    Jauhn

    Reply
  23. robert land

    I was asked to build a hidden book shelf with matching book shelves beside it on both sides and 12″deep. Now I’ve built the shelves and kept almost 3″ of space between them but I can’t find a hinge system that will allow me to pull it out and then swing open. Do you have any suggestions? Even with the 3″ space if I don’t pull it out it still catches on the adjacent case. Help.

    Reply
  24. Gary Katz

    Robert,
    I think there’s a hinge system that allows you to pull out a door and then swing it open, but I’ve never seen it and don’t know who makes it. I think it might be a myth? :)

    3″ is more than enough room for a pivot hinge to clear, but it’s probably too late to install one. You’d have to reinforce the bottom and top of the case; the shelf alignment adjacent cases would be thrown off, etc. etc.

    Gary

    Reply
  25. John Hunt

    Thank you for the GREAT demonstration and “how to”!!
    I have a suggestion and would value your opinion.

    What would you think of using a threshold that was 1/8 to 1/4 inch higher than the floor and gently sloped to the back of the bookcase so that only the leading edge of the threshold slightly contacted the bookcase as it opened and it would have 1/4′ clearance from the floor to accommodate any sagging of the bookcase? Then, in addition, add a ball bearing roller low on the non-hinge side of the bookcase while also plowing out a slot / socket along the width of the bookcase. The socket would have a slightly larger open throat at the bottom, front, so the bookcase would contact the more open throat of the slot and “ride up” to the level position as it closed, and would accommodate any sagging and close level. I am no expert, and don’t play on TV, but I think such design would allow the bottom of the bookcase to stay close to the floor and mate very closely with the slightly high point on the threshold while the accommodating any sagging and eliminating any marks on the floor. I would welcome your comments, since I am contemplating following your lead to build a similar bookcase.
    Thanks,
    John Hunt jfhunt_7@yahoo.com.

    Reply
    • Gary Katz

      John,
      I’m not really sure I follow what you’re describing! Maybe I’m just too dense to see it. I’m not sure what the ball bearing roller would do. If you’re trying to bring the bottom of the case closer to the floor, there are other issues to consider besides the sag/clearance of the case. I haven’t found the cases on Rixson hinges sag much, especially if they’re built correctly. But the reason I keep them off the floor isn’t because of the sag it’s so they can clear carpet or flooring without a tell-tale gap or reveal.

      Maybe you’re talking about something else? In which case, why don’t YOU try it on your case and take pictures and share them with us when you’re finished!! :)
      Gary

      Reply
    • Nathan

      John,
      I know your question was more posed to Gary, but let me offer up my 2 cents for what it’s worth. I obviously am not Gary Katz, but here are a couple of observations based on my experience recently building one of these hidden doors.

      I think you can definitely make the threshold work so that your case just barely clears the carpet/flooring. 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.), not to mention having perfect calculations when countersinking your hinges, that between those things and the possibility of wood expansion it would easily cause problems. My suggestion is to do a solid threshold, stained/finished the same as everything else, and give yourself somewhere around 1/8” reveal.

      Knowing and seeing how the hidden door opens/closes using these pivot hinges I don’t think roller/slot system you described would work out very well for you. 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. My door was quite large (almost 40” wide, 90” tall, 12” deep) and once on the hinges I honestly don’t think it will ever sag, and if it does, not much. 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. It will work great, is simple to do, and the simple design doesn’t leave much room for things to go wrong.

      Reply
  26. Nathan

    Gary, I just wanted to say thank you for the great article and detailed instructions on how to build a hidden door. Doing something like this has intrigued me for a while and after finding your article I was determined to make it happen (and I had the perfect spot for it) After a couple of months of long nights and short weekends I have finally finished my master closet that included a hidden door to a storage area/panic room.

    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.

    Reply
  27. doug

    Hi, quick question. I have a 6′ bookcase, 9″ deep, and according to the plans provided by this site, (thanks) my bookcase is coming along nicely.

    The plans indicate placing bottom pin 3.5″ from jam, and middle of structural 2×4 as pivot point. I can move it closer to the center of the 9″ side, loose some entrance room.

    Question, should I continue with original pivot point, or should I move pivot point closer to center for balance,

    OR will original pivot point work if I don’t overload shelves?

    Thanks
    Doug
    2 days from determination of pivot point

    Reply
  28. Gary Katz

    Doug,
    I’m not sure about hanging a 6′ wide bookcase on a pivot hinge. I think the weight would be a bit much when it’s filled with stuff.
    But as to your question, I don’t think the plans call for setting the pivot point in the middle of the 2×4 wall. All the pivot point measurements are taken off the jamb. And I don’t understand what you mean by moving it “closer to the center of the 9″ side, loose some entrance room.” Be careful how you place the pivot as that has a bearing on the a strike gap and clearance. You should probably draw it in Sketchup first and make sure the new pivot point works.

    Gary

    Reply
  29. Shawn

    How much would this type of project run for labor and materials.

    Reply
    • Gary Katz

      Shawn,
      I took about two days to build and install. The hardware and material is probably around $800.00 to $1,000.00.
      Gary

      Reply
      • T Larsen

        Gary,

        What type of material was used for your shelving? I understand oak is a good wood to use for structural integrity, but surely $1000 is on the high end?
        Also, it seems as though you use plywood fairly consistently, so unless you’re including the purchase of tools, I’m not sure why your estimated cost is so high? Mahogany veneer, maybe?
        Is it the hinge? To me, even 35$ for a complicated piece of hardware seems a bit high.
        I just can’t see how you got your price point.
        Sorry!

        Reply
        • Nathan

          T Larsen
          My personal experience, Gary’s ballpark is pretty right on. Understanding the many variables that could affect the price drastically… such as wood choice, finish, design, and size …I wouldn’t expect him to throw out a number lower than that.

          Finished my door around 6 months ago. Lots of adjustable shelving that was face framed 3/4 birch ply. Used soft maple for solid stock. Here is roughly what my estimated cost would be..

          Rixon hardware – $200-225
          3/4 ply – 3 or 4 sheets – $150-200
          Solid Stock – $100
          UHMW shim – $30
          Shelving inserts/screws/misc shop supplies-$50-75
          Stain/finish -$50-100

          You can always expect to run into a few extra costs…but that would put it right close to the ballpark. Use a more expensive wood, and you could easily hit $1k.

          Reply
  30. Nathan

    T Larsen
    My personal experience, Gary’s ballpark is pretty right on. Understanding the many variables that could affect the price drastically… such as wood choice, finish, design, and size …I wouldn’t expect him to throw out a number lower than that.

    Finished my door around 6 months ago. Lots of adjustable shelving that was face framed 3/4 birch ply. Used soft maple for solid stock. Here is roughly what my estimated cost would be..

    Rixon hardware – $200-225
    3/4 ply – 3 or 4 sheets – $150-200
    Solid Stock – $100
    UHMW shim – $30
    Shelving inserts/screws/misc shop supplies-$50-75
    Stain/finish -$50-100

    You can always expect to run into a few extra costs…but that would put it right close to the ballpark. Use a more expensive wood, and you could easily hit $1k.

    Reply
  31. Gary Katz

    And that estimate doesn’t include labor/time. If it’s your first cabinet with Rixson hinges, I’d figure a two-day project, and maybe even a little longer if there’s any installation issues on the jobsite…like the closet is full of clothes and toys and stuff and you have to empty it all in order to work in there! So I’d figure three days to be sure you made good money. If you’ve worked with Rixson hinges before and already have the templates, you can build and install the cabinet in two days easily–as long as there’s not too much traffic going and coming from the jobsite! :) I’d add for traffic, too!
    Gary

    Reply
  32. Mike E

    I am starting research and gathering courage to do this project.
    I want to replace a standard 3/0 basement door that is hinged on the right, swings out AND must be opened to 180 degrees.
    Thoughts, concerns and advice please.

    Reply
    • Gary Katz

      I don’t think you’ll be able to open a Rixson pivot hinge 180 degrees, not with a 2″ backset from the face of the door. You might have to use an offset pivot hinge. But it will show.
      Good luck!
      Gary

      Reply
  33. eddie

    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.
    All Hardware’s I have tried to get help from are not that informed. 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?

    Reply
  34. rer

    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.

    Reply
  35. Rich

    I have never done something like this so forgive me if I am a bit ignorant.

    We just finished building and mounting our bookcase and have discovered a horrible problem that we didn’t expect.

    The hinge side is perfectly plumb however the swing side is 1/2″ out of plumb. Pick your end, either the top is sticking out 1/2″ from where is should be, the bottom is 1/2″ in from where it should be or both are 1/4″ off from where they should be.

    Is this racking?

    No clue how this happened or how to even correct it. Book case it made from solid oak with 3/4″ oak veneer ply on the back.

    The thought of taking it all back down and apart is killing me.

    Thoughts?

    Reply
    • Gary Katz

      Rich,
      I feel your pain. I installed my first case perfectly plumb and learned the same lesson. Yes, the jamb is cross-legged or racked slightly–the walls at the bottom aren’t in the same plane. But a partial fix isn’t that difficult. You can shift the location of the bottom pivot in or out a little and that should fix a good part of the problem. And shifting the location of the bottom pivot isn’t THAT hard. 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. But you’ve pointed out an important lesson–perfectly plumb and level doesn’t always work well, especially with a pivot door or bookcase. Cross stringing the opening is a prerequisite. That way you can see the WHOLE PICTURE before you start mounting the hardware.
      Gary

      Reply
  36. Jerry

    Mr. Gary,
    I’m an amateur woodworker and would like to build one of these bookcase doors for a small closet I have. If you don’t mind, what were the dimensions of your bookcase? I’m not familiar with using SketchUp so I figure I might be able to adapt your measurements for my bookcase in relation to the pivoting hinge.
    Thanks!

    Jerry

    Reply
    • Gary Katz

      Jerry,
      Here’s an image of the dimensions I used. But the image isn’t really important–you simply need to subtract 1/4″ from each side of the jamb opening/door opening–which means you build the case 1/2″ smaller than the door opening. The hinge location has nothing to do with the width of the door.

      Gary

      Reply
  37. Andrew

    Hi Gary,
    I am an amature woodworker as well. I’m looking into doing a hidden door/wall myself. I want to have the wall be a dry bar unit (mini fridge and shelving. It would be in place of my 3/0 closet door. 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 100 pounds. 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.

    Does this sound do able?

    Thank you,
    Andrew

    Reply
    • Gary Katz

      No, it doesn’t sound doable. Far too many issues for me to even think about. Sorry!
      Gary

      Reply
  38. Patrick Sean Lee

    My dentist (retired, now) and I decided this would be a COOL project for his new home. 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. Problem: We were ready to set the top and bottom pivots; pulled out the template from the pivot box, and pulled in 2″ from the jamb at the head instead of 3-1/4″. The box hung perfectly, swung open and closed easily…until I applied the 3-1/2″ fluted casing to the hinge side of the box. It opened fine, except that it would only swing approximately 80 degrees open. Dilemma. Also, my case sags ever so slightly when loaded with books, so that there is a slight rub on the bottom strike side. Maintaining a 1/16th inch margin goes out the window…but the bookcase DOES stay shut:) I used 1/4″ Maple ply for the back, screwed and glued. Even so, the slight sag (about that 1/16″). Not sure how to remedy that after the fact.
    Thanks for the post/instructions, Gary. The sign of a Master is not that he/she doesn’t make mistakes, but how he/she can correct them.
    Will post pics when everything is perfect.
    ps. My dentist has an analytical mind and approach, plus his fingers are used to working in extremely tight places!

    Reply
    • Gary Katz

      Patrick,
      At least the bookcase stays shut! That’s a good thing! :)
      Yeah, yeah, yeah…you’re not the only one who’s made a silly mistake. I still make them all the time, thinking about something else usually instead of what I’m working on. I’m afraid in this case, my best advice is to bite the bullet and re-do the placement of the pivot hinges. I know. I know. I can feel your pain. Believe me! I tried to see if there was a way of making it work–I have a Sketchup Drawing I use to move that pivot point around, and with it that close to the jamb, there’s just no way to get the fixed casing on the hinge-side of the case to work. 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. The good thing is, that by the time you get the pivots mortised again, and the case hung up there again, you’ll be a real pro at installing pivot hinges!!! :) And as for the sag…once the case is loaded it, I think it’s always going to sag a tiny bit, and that’s why I use the high density plastic shim, which is super slippery.
      Gary

      Reply
  39. Chuck

    RE: HDMW plastic.

    You can often pick up scrap pieces on ebay cheap.

    They’re great for router table & other zero clearance work.

    Reply
  40. Randy Feist

    We are building a swinging bookcase 39.5″ W X 90.5″ H X 10.75″ D using the Rixson 370 pivot hinges. We are experiencing trouble with 5/16″ to 3/8″ racking in the box of the bookcase. The construction of the box is 3/4″ sides, captured 1/2″ back. We are thinking we need to apply (glue and screw) on a 3/4″ full overlay back leaving the sides as is. Do you think this is an adequate solution to the problem? We don’t see sagging to be an issue.

    Reply
    • Gary Katz

      Randy,
      I suspect you didn’t fasten that 1/2 in. back to all of the shelves, with glue and screws? That’s probably why it racked. You can’t just fasten the back to the sides–doesn’t matter how thick the back it. And a 1/2 in. back should be more than sufficient to control racking…if it’s glued and screwed to each of the shelves. This is one cabinet where the shelves must be fixed, not adjustable! :) Since the case is already assembled, I’d try shimming up the strike side–higher than it should be by about 1/4-3/8 or even 1/2 in????, and then pre-drill and drive screws through the back into the shelves. That should help a lot. Otherwise…my advice is the age-old solution every carpenter is too familiar with: start over. :)
      Gary

      Reply
  41. Chris

    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 200 lb to 1000 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’m trying to sell this idea to the wife now, so any cost saving ideas are appreciated! 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.

    Reply
    • Gary Katz

      No, I haven’t tried that ‘hinge’.
      Good luck!
      Gary

      Reply
    • Jeffrey Dale

      Hidden Pivot Bookcase Installation- Gary, I’ve been working on a place for 1 yr now to install a hidden door! Searched the web numerous times only to come back to your detailed design! I’ve purchased Rixson hinges 370, and am ready to build. 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! JD

      Reply
  42. David The Door Guy

    Hello, we have built 2 of these with your instructions, in the past but we were asked to fix someone else’s attempt to build a book case that opens with wheels and hidden cabinet door hinges. we want to modify existing book case to pivot on a base that we will build. The book case is really heavy duty built with a few layers of plywood and sound proof materials. it will go into a recording studio. any suggestions and tips on what we are going to run into?

    Reply
    • Gary Katz

      David,
      Wow. People get so creative, huh? I’ve never found a hidden door on wheels that really worked well. 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. I probably wouldn’t even attempt it. Installing a hidden door is all about layout–working from the finish back to the rough dimensions. It’s a pretty demanding job. I can’t imagine starting with a finished bookcase. Of course, I guess you could if you framed the opening around it! :)
      Gary

      Reply
  43. Tom

    Great article Gary,
    Question I noticed the backing of the bookcase was 1/2″ plywood was this the only area 1/2″ was used? Was the rest of the unit all 3/4″ plywood?

    Reply
    • Gary Katz

      Yes, I used 3/4″ material for everything except the back. I usually make the cabinet backs from 1/4″ material, but the back on this ‘door’ really provides the shear/raking resistance, so 1/2″ was important.
      Gary

      Reply

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