Hidden Door

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Project by wiskeyweasel posted 08-18-2014 12:59 PM 42451 views 28 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This was a fun project. I’ve designed a similar one for a friend, but he did the build/install with a little help from me. It turned out a lot better than I thought it would considering he’s not a carpenter in the slightest. Surgeon with a gun though!

This one was also done for a friend and SWAT team member. His best tool is his wallet, so I did the construction and install this time around. The room used to be a laundry room but, he needed a room for the safe, so the washer/dryer was moved to the garage. The room is also directly across from a spare bathroom that has no storage of any kind. So it seemed the best course of action was to build a linen closet for all the bath towels and related stuff.

Everything but the exterior trim is 3/4” cabinet grade ply, with the trim being clear pine. I wanted to used a better grade of wood, but money was a factor. That and the cheaper wood lends itself to matching the contractor grade trim in the rest of the house, so it worked itself out.

Constructing one of these is a bit tricky, and sketchup really takes the guess work out of it. The hardest part is determining the hinge location in conjunction with the door width. The depth and width of the door, and the hinge location are all tied together, and if one changes, they all change. Once that is figured out, you move on to construction. It’s much different than building a built-in shelf or cabinet. The thing is going to see torque and will want to twist/sag, so steps must be taken to ensure that doesn’t happen, so the whole thing, including the backing, is dado’d 3/4” ply. The hinge side is also 2 layers of ply on the both the door, and door frame to ensure there’s very little flex and something for the screws to grab a hold of. The bottom is built like a small torsion box as well.

Hinges used are heavy duty door hinges, but there’s four of them. And they are located midway in the depth of the door. This was done to reduce the amount of door sitting in the doorway when it’s open, and allows the door to stop flat against the wall behind it.

Latching is taken care of by two, double ball catches. These work really well, but there is no adjusting their location once they’re in, and there is very little wiggle room, so accuracy is critical here. I looked and looked for a better option without breaking the bank, but that’s the best that I could find.

Anyway, thanks for looking and ask any questions/give critiques.

-- They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.

17 comments so far

View JCantin's profile


183 posts in 4212 days

#1 posted 08-18-2014 01:08 PM

great execution

View mmh's profile


3680 posts in 4522 days

#2 posted 08-18-2014 01:18 PM

Beautifully installed. One would never be able to detect this doorway and room without prior knowledge.

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

View hotncold's profile


788 posts in 2344 days

#3 posted 08-18-2014 02:07 PM

Very creative and fantastic build job.

-- Dennie - Tennessee

View DBinESCON's profile


41 posts in 2466 days

#4 posted 08-18-2014 02:51 PM

Great job! Thanks for the detailed explanation.

View ChrisK's profile


2046 posts in 3881 days

#5 posted 08-18-2014 04:11 PM

Very nice work.

-- Chris K

View fivecodys's profile


1639 posts in 2436 days

#6 posted 08-18-2014 05:05 PM

That is amazing. Great job!

-- A bad day woodworking is still better than a good day working.

View RobfromMN's profile


11 posts in 2180 days

#7 posted 08-18-2014 06:07 PM

I have designed several of these on paper,(hidden doors), have yet to build any. book cases and picture frames mostly, love the linen closet. beautiful project and great insight. should be easier for me to figure out when I build one myself. thanks for the post.

-- if it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you!

View Oldtool's profile


2976 posts in 2990 days

#8 posted 08-18-2014 06:09 PM

Wow, quite impressive. Great work, I’m sure your friend is very happy with this.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View Richard's profile


1940 posts in 3490 days

#9 posted 08-18-2014 06:57 PM

Nice job , I will bet this is where he keeps his SWAT Related Stuff.

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 3092 days

#10 posted 08-19-2014 12:03 AM

Great design, very nicely executed.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View dotScott's profile


16 posts in 3120 days

#11 posted 08-19-2014 08:29 AM

That is so cool! I have to agree with ^ Hillbilly. Great design and nice execution.

View ronstar's profile


598 posts in 4510 days

#12 posted 08-19-2014 11:42 AM

Cool Idea! and very well constructed!

-- Ron, Northern Illinois

View wiskeyweasel's profile


36 posts in 2955 days

#13 posted 08-19-2014 12:02 PM

Woohoo! First top 3! Thanks for the comments fellas!

-- They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.

View Dutchy's profile


3774 posts in 2968 days

#14 posted 08-19-2014 05:00 PM

Well done. Nice to see. My daugter calls it a Anne Frank door.


View wiskeyweasel's profile


36 posts in 2955 days

#15 posted 08-19-2014 06:00 PM

LOL, don’t think I’ve ever heard that before. I do hear “Murphy” door quite often though.

-- They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.

showing 1 through 15 of 17 comments

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