Bookcases & Shelving secretbookcase3

Published on February 17th, 2014 | by deanaronson


Secret bookcase door


I used the Billy Bookcase.

3 x 30″ bookcase.

1 x 15″ bookcase.

1 Pax wardrobe with glass door

The two sections on the right are fixed with a 1/2″ and 3/4″ plywood on the back for rigidity.

The door has the same plywood on the back, this keeps the door from sagging. The hinge is a 72″ heavy duty piano hinge from Metal Supermarkets


I have a bedroom in the basement that had no separation from the TV room. Rather than a wall and door I thought I would put up a secret door.

It just happened that the bulkhead above was the exact height as the bookcase, so all I had to do was trim the bottom of the door slightly to keep from rubbing on the floor. The 15 ” bookcase is there to allow for the door to open bring the hinge to the front of the door. Also this allows for the door to not go too far into the room. (approx 20″ instead of the full 30″)

Door Latch: the door handle is a typical handle set. The book is hollowed out and attached to a wooden block on a hinge. (wooden block is inside the hollowed out book) A nylon rope runs from the wooden block through the shelf, through two metal loops which change the direction of the rope, then attached to the Handle. To open the door push on the book and the door unlatches.

I added a permanent heater to the centre bookcase and ran the wiring through the book case to the wall. Also the light switch for the room and the spotlights in front of the bookcase have their wires run through the bookcase.

Tolerances are extremely tight. The gap between the two fixed is 1/8″ and between the door and the fixed is 3/16″. Despite this, it opens and closes with the same ease as a normal door. Pushing the book to open takes little weight as well. After a few months of ironing out problems with my design, it took me about three days to build. (there is much more work than it looks if you want it to work)

Dean from Edmonton.

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8 Responses to Secret bookcase door

  1. Jane McCurley says:

    Going to be doing this at our house to close off a storage space from curious children. Would you be willing or able to provide more how to and tips ? We are really hoping to pull this off with one stationary billy and one moving door billy; but we also want it to serve holding our library. Is that even possible??

  2. Josh says:

    Hi, I am trying to do this as well. Can the book-shel be freestanding? Can you provide more direction on how-to?


  3. Justin says:

    I like the yearbooks!

  4. Dean Aronson says:

    @Trevor Ludlam
    The string is attached to a standard handle set. If the string breaks, the lower doors open and the handle will open the door.

  5. Martijn says:


  6. QC QC says:

    ikea hack of the year 2014 i’m calling it

  7. Nicora says:

    Félicitations mon frère, super sympa. Ça donne des idees pour les petits espaces. PS: j’ai la même collection d’annuaire.;-)

  8. Jana says:

    This is awesome! You did a great job!

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