Published on October 5th, 2010 | by Jules Yap


Billy Bookcase door hides furnace or closet or secret room.

Materials: 2 Billy Bookcases

Description: My friend needed to hide a furnace in her basement office so I devised a hinged door out of Billy Bookcases.


2 Billy Bookcases
4 2″ Swivel Casters (125# capacity)
12 1/4 20 x 9/16 T-nuts
6 1/4 20 x 1 1/2 Flathead screws
6 1/4 20 x 1 Flathead screws
16 #10 x 1 1/2 inch wood screws
2 heavy duty Gate hinges

Power Drill

1. Glue 2 2x4s to the left and right bottom of bookcase #1 using polyurethane glue and clamps.

2. Mount 4 2 inch swivel casters to the 2 x 4s using #10 x 1 1/2 inch screws; one in each corner of the bookcase. Be careful that the cast swivals completely. Caster wheel should protrude 1 inch or so below bottom of the bookcase skirt

3. Lay bookcase #1 on its side and set bookcase #2 on top. Align the edges.

4. Drill 6 holes to accommodate 1/4 20 x 9/16 T-nuts. Two near bottom of bookcase, two near top of bookcase and two near the middle. Insert t-nuts and bolt the bookcases together using 1/4 20 x 1 1/2 inch Flathead screws.

5. Set bookcase upright. (see note)

6. Mount hinges to door jam or wall

7. Mount hinges to Billy Bookcase #2 using t-nuts and 1/4 20 x 1″ screws in appropriate location to match hinges from previous step. Hinge end of bookcase will have to be temporarily shimmed up to level the top as the hinges are installed. Bookcase should open easily and may need latch to hold it closed as you floor may not be level.

NOTE: Use caution from step 5 onwards as bookcases are unstable until hinges are installed. It is best to use 2 persons at this point.

~ Bill Lefler, Pittsburgh, PA

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The Author

Jules Yap

"I am Jules, the engine behind IKEAHackers and the one who keeps this site up and running. My mission is to capture all the wonderful, inspiring, clever hacks and ideas for our much loved IKEA items".

4 Responses to Billy Bookcase door hides furnace or closet or secret room.

  1. Anonymous says:

    Beautiful hack – a great solution to an ugly problem. Agree with previous poster. There is a formula for “open area” ventilation depending upon your local building codes. I also did something similar (3 bookcases with the center attached to wall) – but added many more wheels knowing I (or my daughter – who’s room the bookcases reside) would overload over time.

  2. Annalea says:

    This is a great idea. I just have a couple of cautions:

    1) Sarah’s right. Bill needs to add venting to the wall to the left of the furnace to make sure that the furnace, as insufficient venting can cause carbon monoxide to fill the home. We had that problem in a rental, when the previous tenants covered the main intake for the propane furnace for some unthinkable reason. It took us a few days to catch it, during which we were all exposed to very high levels of CO. We’re lucky none of us were seriously harmed.

    2) I would strongly recommend adding two additional casters in the center front & back, where the two bookcases join. Overloading is a common problem with bookcases, and those will sag over time, even if not overloaded, due to the heat & possible humidity from the furnace.

    Keep on hackin’ . . .

  3. Anonymous says:

    placing a large wood object in front a furnace = bad idea..

    1. fire hazard
    2. warping of wood from heat, and humidity deferentials
    3. fire hazard

  4. Sarah says:

    looks really cool! Make sure that you have good venting, or are bringing in some outside air directly to the furnace area though!

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