Sliding Bookcase

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Project by huff posted 05-26-2010 01:42 AM 8125 views 10 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This was a fun project I did for one of my long time customers…....He had a built-in bookcase in his “home” office that was built into a cavity under the stairway on the other side. He wanted to put a large safe in that cavity behind the bookcase and needed a way to get to the safe. He did not want the bookcase to swing out into the room, since his desk sits directly in front of the bookcase and he did not want to have to relocate his desk or have to move it to swing a bookcase out. We had plenty of depth to put the safe behind the bookcase, but was very restricted on width and height. If you look closely at the second picture, you will see that the left half of the bookcase slides back into the cavity and in the third picture you see the right half of the bookcase slides to the left in front of the left half allowing access to the cavity where the safe will sit. It was a fun challenge to design a slide system the would cross each other and carry the weight of the bookcases. The last picture shows the hole I had to work with when I tore the original bookcase out. I very carefully removed the molding and tore the original bookcase out, replaced the molding and my bookcase was designed to sit behind the molding to give the original built-in look. Easier said then done!!!!! The original bookcase was built-in when the house was built, which meant the sheetrock was screwed to the front of the sides, top and bottom of the bookcase. As you can see, the walls are painted a dark wine and I did not want to disturb the sheetrock, so I very carefully took a hack saw blade and slide it between the back of the sheet rock and the face of the bookcase and cut each screw off behind the sheet rock. No marks, no cracks, and no holes! The only touch up I had to do was with the white molding where I had to nail it back in place and recaulked. Oh! Did I mention? My customer lives almost 200 miles from my shop. It turned out great and he loves it. I hope to get some pictures with the safe in place the next time I’m up there….....A few books, pictures and nick-nacks and you will never know the bookcase moves.

-- John @

17 comments so far

View KnifeL's profile


86 posts in 3958 days

#1 posted 05-26-2010 02:31 AM

Awesome idea. Nicely executed.

-- Will in Boulder, CO

View a1Jim's profile


118161 posts in 4583 days

#2 posted 05-26-2010 02:33 AM

View WoodSimplyMade's profile


188 posts in 4326 days

#3 posted 05-26-2010 02:51 AM

My favourite type of projects. Original, creative and never before seen! Super Job!!

-- Mike, Florida,

View rando1's profile


163 posts in 3930 days

#4 posted 05-26-2010 03:16 AM

Great way to utilize the space! I do a lot of build in furniture and have had some interesting units, but this is by far, great. Great job.

-- Randon Riegsecker,

View TheWoodArtisan's profile


103 posts in 4128 days

#5 posted 05-26-2010 04:24 AM

That is too frickin cool, great project!!!!

View WistysWoodWorkingWonders's profile


12825 posts in 4163 days

#6 posted 05-26-2010 05:38 AM

nice work on this… Have seen it many times in magazines… good job…

-- New Project = New Tool... it's just the way it is, don't fight it... :)

View albachippie's profile


773 posts in 4041 days

#7 posted 05-26-2010 10:36 AM

This is brilliant! I love secret hidey holes, great job huff

-- Garry fae Bonnie Scotland

View Ken90712's profile


17972 posts in 4195 days

#8 posted 05-26-2010 11:48 AM

Just amazes me some of the creativity on here. Very Well Done!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View rance's profile


4277 posts in 4166 days

#9 posted 05-26-2010 01:03 PM

Nice design John. So how did you keep the left side from sliding back when placing books on the shelf?

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View BuilderMan's profile


92 posts in 3964 days

#10 posted 05-26-2010 01:29 PM

You put a lot of thought into this. You would never know anything was behind it. I also like these challenges. As a builder, I run into things like this from time to time but it is a little easier because I am doing it as the house is being built instead of retrofitting. Good job!

View huff's profile


2828 posts in 4291 days

#11 posted 05-26-2010 02:08 PM

rance, I have a small barrell bolt hidden behind the arch that slides throuh the wall of the bookcase into the stud. This bookcase also has lights in the top (another challenge that had to be worked out).
Thanks for all the comments and hope it gives someone some ideas.

-- John @

View Paul2274's profile


330 posts in 4118 days

#12 posted 05-26-2010 03:44 PM

I could use one of those in my living room. The stairs are on the other side of the wall.
Great idea.


View blockhead's profile


1475 posts in 4314 days

#13 posted 05-26-2010 03:48 PM

That is very cool and well executed John. I love seeing stuff like this. Great job!

-- Brad, Oregon- The things that come to those who wait, may be the things left by those who got there first.

View shopmania's profile


702 posts in 4188 days

#14 posted 05-26-2010 05:00 PM

Huff, great Job! Very cool and James Bond looking!

-- Tim, Myrtle Beach, [email protected] Just one more tool, that's all I need! :)

View Roz's profile


1707 posts in 4792 days

#15 posted 05-26-2010 07:15 PM

Huff, that is ingenious! Very nice.

-- Terry Roswell, L.A. (Lower Alabama) "Life is what happens to you when you are making other plans."

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