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Need solution for swinging bookcase hinges

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Forum topic by Cinders posted 12-04-2020 05:56 PM 500 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Cinders

2 posts in 55 days


12-04-2020 05:56 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question tip

Hi all!

I’m designing a bookcase with layered swinging doors, but I need to find a way to create a hinge system that can take the weight. The swinging doors are bookshelves themselves.

My hope is to find a way to make an outside door that is a single row bookshelf, and then an inner door that is a double-sided bookshelf (books on the front and back), and then a standard bookshelf inside that.

a single row bookshelf might hold about ~100-130 lbs, while a double-sided would be ~200-260 lbs. I’ve heard advice that very hardwood and very strong hinges could do it and I’ve also considered that I’ll need a steel rod or such in there to take the weight. I’m open to ideas!

The attached image is a similar idea, just much smaller and for spices.

This bookcase idea came to me in a dream, so now I’m on a grail quest to build it.

Any help appreciated!


8 replies so far

View Ocelot's profile

Ocelot

2814 posts in 3614 days


#1 posted 12-04-2020 06:40 PM

They make hinges for commerciial doors up to 500lb. It should not be a problem as long as you have something to screw them to.

4 1/2 inch hinges may be all you need and are readily available.

-- I intended to be a woodworker, but turned into a tool and lumber collector.

View HowardAppel's profile

HowardAppel

34 posts in 4010 days


#2 posted 12-05-2020 03:46 AM

Would heavy duty SOSS hinges fit your design?

View bilyo's profile

bilyo

1256 posts in 2078 days


#3 posted 12-05-2020 04:24 AM

I would use piano hinges. I think you can get them in varying capacities.

View mtnwalton's profile

mtnwalton

89 posts in 2002 days


#4 posted 12-05-2020 04:35 AM

I would use a type of pivot hinge, sometimes called top and bottom mount. Brackets (top & bottom) have a vertical pin that is captured by another bracket built into the door. I’ve used them on lots of doors and gates in scenic productions, one pair of gates 12” thick and 7’ wide, 11’ high each. They were constructed with styrofoam mass in the center and covered with rough scalloped cedar to mimic rails and stiles. These massive gates were not lightweight but probably not over 250 lbs each. Point being this type of hinge will easily support the kind of weight you’re describing.

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

6362 posts in 3285 days


#5 posted 12-05-2020 04:42 AM

View Madmark2's profile

Madmark2

2096 posts in 1564 days


#6 posted 12-05-2020 03:26 PM

Piano hinge will carry the weight and the numerous screws allow the carry weight to be distributed instead of concentrated in two or three spots. This reduces the risk of the frame splitting.

Books are dense, 2nd only to water. You don’t see pivoting structures because the single sided support makes the shelves wrack. Splitting the shelves into two pieces would cut the lever arm in half.

The hidden door bookcases tend to use false book spines instead of real books to cut the weight. This is esp. true for TV/movie sets where it moves with a light touch.

In reality a swinging bookcase will need a caster at the swing end to carry the load. This will wear a rut in the floor or carpet. This will also prevent the hinge(s) from tearing out when the kids climb on it to get a book off the top shelf.

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

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Cinders

2 posts in 55 days


#7 posted 12-10-2020 06:01 AM

Exactly my thoughts. The weight load would be forward on the frame, making it front heavy and needing anchoring. I would split the shelves in half, although each “door” still carries books on the front and back.

Piano hinges might be the best bet, as it’s the frame and not the hinges that concern me. Even with strong hinges, repeated use will weaken the screw points.


Piano hinge will carry the weight and the numerous screws allow the carry weight to be distributed instead of concentrated in two or three spots. This reduces the risk of the frame splitting.

Books are dense, 2nd only to water. You don t see pivoting structures because the single sided support makes the shelves wrack. Splitting the shelves into two pieces would cut the lever arm in half.

The hidden door bookcases tend to use false book spines instead of real books to cut the weight. This is esp. true for TV/movie sets where it moves with a light touch.

In reality a swinging bookcase will need a caster at the swing end to carry the load. This will wear a rut in the floor or carpet. This will also prevent the hinge(s) from tearing out when the kids climb on it to get a book off the top shelf.

- Madmark2


View xedos's profile

xedos

187 posts in 276 days


#8 posted 12-10-2020 06:06 PM

Piano hinges are / have been the main stay of this design for decades. That should tell you something right there.

If you want more concealed hardware, consider a Rixon Pivot.

SOSS type hinges will require a lot of depth in the sides of the walls in both the case and the support. That will impact the look of the design , and perhaps the usable space. In addition, the bigger and more weight you want to carry with those – the higher the price becomes. Exponentially. Tectus is another brand with adjustability for even more $$$.

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