secret door for wine room

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Project by titmas posted 01-04-2009 10:11 PM 19812 views 42 times favorited 29 comments Add to Favorites Watch

“I want a secret door to hide my wine room”.
That’s what our client told us he wanted. Nothing more and nothing less, that’s all he said, and quite frankly that’s all the direction we really needed. This is the type of client and type of project that really gets our creativity motivated and allows us carpenters to do what it is that we do best, build stuff.

I started by doing a little research on the web for designs and hardware that would give us the ability to turn a 42” x 85” bookcase into a swinging door. SketchUp is a 3-D modeling program that helped us draw out the parameters of the unit and along with a mockup of the footprint we were able to make the tolerances on the door as close as ¼”.
We decided to build the bookcase with ¾” plywood with dados and a ¾” back panel to provide strength and rigidity to the unit. Everything was glued and screwed to make sure that nothing would move after construction and cause issues.

We added a simple slide bolt underneath one of the fixed shelves to secure the door in the closed position and also installed a latch inside the wine room so that the client could lock himself inside his wine room to avoid his wife and enjoy his extensive wine collection.

The hardware used was a commercial door pivot hinge rated for 500 lbs. This device allowed the door to swing freely by utilizing a sealed bearing for the bottom and have the ability for it to be removed with very little effort by using a retractable pin on the top. The finish was white NC lacquer in a medium sheen.

We spent 2 weeks in the shop building the unit and 4 days installing the unit. All the molding profiles were made in the shop with the exception of the stock crown profile which was chosen to match the rest of the house in an effort to make the unit blend in with the rest of the woodworking in the house and to truly be a secret door. Two days after the installation the client called us and said the door was jammed closed. At first we thought this was going to be a big problem but when we got to the jobsite we quickly realized why it was jammed. The tile guys did not realize that the bookcase was actually a door and had grouted the base of the secret door to the floor tiles. We explained this to the client and he smiled. After cleaning out the grout the client was extremely pleased with the final product and disappeared into his wine room to enjoy his new space.

29 comments so far

View Matt (Upper Cut)'s profile

Matt (Upper Cut)

264 posts in 4080 days

#1 posted 01-04-2009 10:24 PM

I really like that! I wonder if I could make a secret beer room :)

-- Matt Gradwohl, Upper Cut Woodworks,

View CharlieM1958's profile


16281 posts in 4485 days

#2 posted 01-04-2009 10:26 PM

Some people really go all out to hide their booze! Beautiful work.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View FlWoodRat's profile


732 posts in 4176 days

#3 posted 01-04-2009 10:48 PM

That is SOOOO COOOL. Nice concept and great execution. Talk about having your own Man Cave. I just wonder how many people come into the main room and wonder where the window is that they saw on the outside.

-- I love the smell of sawdust in the morning....

View TomK 's profile


504 posts in 4141 days

#4 posted 01-04-2009 11:10 PM

What was your source for the hinge? I have a space in my house that is about 40 sq ft of unused space and I have been thinking about doing something similar as more of a “safe” room than a wine room.

-- If you think healthcare is expensive now, wait until it's free! PJ O'Rourke

View lew's profile


12552 posts in 4022 days

#5 posted 01-04-2009 11:12 PM

Now we know where to look when we get to your house and a chandelier in there too! ;^)

Great work!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View darryl's profile


1795 posts in 4593 days

#6 posted 01-04-2009 11:13 PM

great work on the door/book shelf assembly. it really looks fantastic!

View scottb's profile


3648 posts in 4594 days

#7 posted 01-04-2009 11:33 PM

so awesome

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 4229 days

#8 posted 01-04-2009 11:48 PM

Great project and a dandy story

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View mrtrim's profile


1696 posts in 4147 days

#9 posted 01-04-2009 11:50 PM

very nice work titmas ! is it temp controled in there as well , or just regular air condition ?

View titmas's profile


30 posts in 4173 days

#10 posted 01-05-2009 12:32 AM

thanks for all the comments guys. its nice to have admiration from my peers.

mrtrim, there are 2 8” lines from the main a/c trunk line that dump into the room which keep it much cooler than the rest of the house.

TomK, the hinge is the Rixon Pivot Hinge i also used 2 heavy duty roller catches to keep the door closed and a UHMW wedge on the bottom edge of the door to provide support for the door while in the closed position. these items are available from most any online hardware source.

View oldskoolmodder's profile


801 posts in 3947 days

#11 posted 01-05-2009 12:42 AM

Nice work, I would love to do this sort of hidden room/area, but mine would have to be a tequila room. ;)

-- Respect your shop tools and they will respect you - Ric

View mrtrim's profile


1696 posts in 4147 days

#12 posted 01-05-2009 01:54 AM

ha ! i knew id seen this project somewhere before ! i just figured it out ! jlc . i remember talking to you there a while back .

View titmas's profile


30 posts in 4173 days

#13 posted 01-05-2009 02:01 AM

your right. about a year ago i posted this project there. i entered it in the secret compartment contest here.

View mrtrim's profile


1696 posts in 4147 days

#14 posted 01-05-2009 02:03 AM

yes indeed ! great to see ya here . i just sent you a message .

View mrtrim's profile


1696 posts in 4147 days

#15 posted 01-05-2009 02:12 AM

good luck in the contest !

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