How to Install a Hidden Door/Bookshelf | Ask This Old House

Ask This Old House general contractor Tom Silva is in Salem, MA, to help install a bookshelf that doubles as a door. (See below for a shopping list, tools, and steps.)

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Shopping List for How to Install a Hidden Door/Bookshelf:
– Scrap piece of 1×4 poplar wood []
– Murphy door [] from kit
– Shims []
– Finishing nails []

Tools for How to Install a Hidden Door/Bookshelf:
– Hammer []
– Nailset []
– Pry bar []
– Levels: 1or 2-foot and 6-foot []
– Scribes []
– Circular saw []
– Wood glue []
– Drill/driver []
– Utility knife []

Steps for How to Install a Hidden Door/Bookshelf:
1. Remove current door from its hinges by popping up the pins with a hammer and nailset.
2. Remove the old jamb and casing with a pry bar.
3. To level the jamb, place a piece of poplar on the floor and make it level. Set your scribes the overall width of the filler and drag the scribes along the piece of poplar.
4. After marking the poplar, cut it with the circular saw, following the scribe line you traced.
5. Using wood glue, glue the poplar filler piece to the underside of the doorjamb to fill the gap.
6. Repeat the same steps to fill the back side of the jamb.
7. Move the jamb from the door kit into place. Using a 6-foot level, check that it’s plumb; if it needs adjusting, place shims between the jamb and the wall studs until the jamb is plumb. Drill through the jamb and shims, and secure with screws.
8. Using a utility knife and a hammer, remove the excess shims on either side.
9. Lift up the bookshelf and place in the pre-fashioned pivot-point pinholes on the top and bottom of the jamb.
10. Glue trim to the jamb and secure with finishing nails.

About Ask This Old House TV:
Homeowners have a virtual truckload of questions for us on smaller projects, and we’re ready to answer. Ask This Old House solves the steady stream of home improvement problems faced by our viewers—and we make house calls! Ask This Old House features some familiar faces from This Old House, including Kevin O’Connor, general contractor Tom Silva, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey, and landscape contractor Roger Cook.

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How to Install a Hidden Door/Bookshelf | Ask This Old House

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Written by HuntingBP

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  1. Love this idea! We have a 1 bedroom house and use a sliding barn door for the bathroom but unfortunately it doesn't give as much privacy as I'd like, so we are gunna use a bookcase door instead!

  2. Sorry but thats nothing more than a gimmick. Could easily spot that if I were looking. Might…maybe overlook it if rushed.
    Ive got a hidden bookshelf that looks like its built into the wall with other bookshelves in the same room that look exactly the same. The bookshelf requires a certain frequency directed at a specific location on the shelf in combination with a specific book being in place. That opens to a small room large enough to allow the 1 foot thick steel blast door to to open. That door is embedded into an epoxy and graphine reinforced concrete that is 2 feet thick.

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