Designing/building hidden doors.

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Alan in Little Washington

Alan Schaffter
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I am finishing a bedroom addition into an adjoining walk-in attic. I left two openings for access into the front and rear knee walls. I thought about hidden doors, also, but two considerations kept me from doing that- the openings are rather small 27" X 48" so the door would be bookcase size, and they are located in the middle of the kneewalls, so likely to be blocked by furniture, etc. I decided to just make the little doors unobtrusive, not invisible- make them flush with the wall with no casing. I'll attach baseboard and shoe molding to the bottom so they blend better with the wall.

Here is an excellent illustrated article.

As to hardware for your project- a lot depends on how big your door/cabinet will be and how heavy it is- size & materials, and will it be loaded with books, nick-knacks, etc. In any case, you need quality, heavy-duty, ball bearing hinges- door hinges as opposed to cabinet hinges. Sagging can be a big problem with those. Another option is to make a rolling door/cabinet- no hinges are required but you'll need hardwood floor and good, non-marring casters. Another option is a combination of hinges and casters- the hinges keep the door/cabinet aligned properly, while the casters support the weight.n It is often easier to build a hidden door if it swings into the space like this pool cue rack door.

Special hinges like these for a car are available that help with the geometry, but they can be pricey. SOSS makes heavy duty hinges but doubt they would support a cabinet. These from Sugatsune might work- check out the video.
 

JimmyC

New User
Jimmy
I like the hidden door idea, it will keep people from valuables such as guns and heirlooms. I don't see why you can't use any heavy duty hinges, and just have a caster, or set, on the non hinge side. The base molding in the bookcase would hide the casters.

Good luck,
 
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