Inset Bookshelf Doorway
Build your own bookshelf doorway - like a secret passage behind a door!
Standard width doors up to 36" Max - you may need stronger hinges or caster wheels to support wider width doors with heavy weight loads.
2- 2x4 @ 8 feet or stud length
1 - 2x6 @ 8 feet or stud length
At least 3 - 1x6 8 feet long - more for shelves as desired and depending on the width of your bookshelf
1/4" plywood for back
Hardware including heavy duty hinges, locks, clasps, and optionally caster wheel for added support
Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!
Cut boards to fit your doorway.
Start by measuring the overall doorway opening. Then subtract 1/2" from height and width for a door that will have 1/4" clearance on all sides.
Once you have these measurements, you can determine the length of your door rails and stiles as shown in diagram. Remember that most 2x4s are 3 1/2" wide - so subtract 7" from the width of the door to get you 2x6 cuts.
Now build the doorway out of 2x4s and 2x6s as shown above. Use 1 1/2" pocket holes and 2 1/2" pocket hole screws. Do not use glue at this step because it is very likely you will need to adjust the door.
Take the door frame and fit inside the door, making sure it opens and closes easily and the gap is enough. Adjust as fit. If you are satisfied, see step 4 for drilling pocket holes before you reassemble the door frame.
You will need to drill pocket holes around all edges of the door frame inside set for 3/4" stock to attach the bookshelf. This is easier done when the frame is not assembled.
When reassembling the frame, use glue for the best joint.
Build the bookshelf to fit the inside dimensions of the frame as shown above. You can add as many shelves as you see fit or even use shelf pins for adjustable shelves.
Add the back with 1/4" finish nails and glue.
Attach bookshelf to frame through predrilled 3/4" pocket holes using 1 1/4" pocket hole screws and glue.
Install the door in the frame.
You can add trim, or door stop moulding behind the door frame to give your door a clean spot to close. Add gate hardware to close door.