Now that I have finished my furnace room into my new office, I decided I wanted to do something about the small 2ft wide door to the room.

After looking up a bunch of ideas I decided that a hidden book case door was the way to go.

There are several designs out here for hidden bookcase doors, swing out, swing in, slider, double slider, even pocket doors. However, due to the space constraints I was working in, the only one that would work was a rail sliding design.

I read a number of blogs on how to do it but most were using 30″+ shelving units, with my door only being 24″ I needed an alternative. The shelf had to cover the door as much as possible but also slide 100% out of the way as well. I only have a 26″ space between my door and the wall so the shelf had to fit there as well.

I also didn’t want to spend a whole lot of money on this as the finishing the room was over the budget I planned.

Ikea makes a variety of bookshelves at very reasonable prices so I went there first. While the Billy Book Case is a classic, the two options it comes in were either too wide or too narrow so I needed something else. Also I needed a shelf that was more that 80″ tall to be higher than the door. Enter the Gersby bookcase at 70″ tall out of the box and 23 5/8″ wide it was just about the right size. A bit short but close enough to work. Also at only $29.99 if I screwed it up and this was all a waste of time, then I wasn’t out a huge amount of money. I headed over to East Palo Alto and picked up a pair of these on my way to seeing the San Jose Sharks beat the Ducks 8-1 in Game 3.

I needed a few more parts to make this work. I browsed over to Amazon and picked out a 48″ Rail and some swivel casters, the bar with hardware was about $80 and the casters were only $10 bucks so still keeping this project under $200.

Once I had all my parts I started my build. First up was the Ikea shelf, which went together pretty easy but was clear I was about 12″ to short for my door. To increase the height I cut up some 2×2 in to 14″ pieces and screwed them to the bottom of the shelf. I then used the top shelf from the second Gersby and attached it to the 2x2s giving me a nice stable platform with the added height I needed. I added the swivel casters to the bottom and set it up to the door, it was just the right height.

2×2 and a board doesn’t really look like the polished plan I had in mind, so next up was covering that up. I simply cut two 14″ long pieces of the side shelf from the second Gersby and then screwed them on to the 2x2s giving me a nice looking side, with just a thin line separating the two parts. The front was even easier, I just used a shelf and the kick plate from the second Gersby and then just had to cut a 1 1/2″ piece off a shelf to complete the front panel of the shelf. The nice thing about this is, that it gives me a shelf on my side of the door as well.

After all this construction it was time to get this door on track. I measured up the rail above the door with Sarah’s help, mounted it up and then hung the book case on it. It worked!

It slid back and forth pretty well, but I made the mistake on my design using the swivel casters, they want to spin around every time you move the door, making it catch a bit. I am going to be replacing them with rigid casters next week which I am hoping will make my door nice and smooth. I also need to load up the shelves with books, which I don’t have many of these days, but I am sure I will find something.

Now I have my own secret doorway to my office. I am looking forward to swapping out the casters for some better ones but in the mean time it works well enough and makes my office more interesting.

*Update* – Swapped out the casters to rigid ones and it now moves back and forth on the track much smoother. Now to fill the shelves!

Written by Luke Kilpatrick