View Full Version : Bookshelf Door

05-13-2011, 09:11 AM
I want a bookshelf to open up into my next room out of my "holding room" but the book shelf with books on it is so heavy that i can not get hinges to hold it up right without the non-hinged side scraping the ground. I really dont want to paint a bookshelf on the wall because it just lacks the look I am wanting. I was wondering if anyone had a way of making it lighter and/or using a vacu form book shelf and where I might find one. I remember seeing one at transworld but can not find it now. Thanks for your help!

05-13-2011, 09:39 AM
I just built one and used a caster on the other side. Just make the bottom panel of the bookcase a blank about 4 inches tall or so and hide the caster underneath.


Hide the caster behind the face plate at the bottom.

05-13-2011, 09:51 AM
You need to build it super light weight and or get a good coaster on the other side of the hinge for it to rest on. We had built one in the past that slide open and had it hanging from a track that we built into the wall. The coaster should work fine we used two coasters on a 4x8 foot spinning wall and that weighed over 100 lbs easy.


05-13-2011, 10:12 AM
Or, if you want to have it swivel in the center, a pair of boat seat swivels from Wal-Mart work great. I believe in the store they have them without all of the clamp on mechanism, just the swivel. We did a wall panel that swiveled in the center just for something different than a drop window a few years ago and the actor beat on it through two seasons no problems.

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Clamp-on-Boat-Seat-Swivel/11071210 (http://www.walmart.com/ip/Clamp-on-Boat-Seat-Swivel/11071210http://)

05-13-2011, 11:36 AM
Couldn't you gut the books and fill them with foam pieces or just form them and make them look like the pages were still there? That would cut the weight of the books bunches.... 2cents

05-13-2011, 11:39 AM
Couldn't you gut the books and fill them with foam pieces or just form them and make them look like the pages were still there? That would cut the weight of the books bunches.... 2cents

That would help a lot. My haunt may be a little rougher than others, but my experience has been that the heavier things are, the better they hold up.

05-13-2011, 12:52 PM
We use the book case door (plus several others) by making a lightweight frame from square steel tubing and 'build' the book case onto the frame by layering materials to give it depth. For the library, all of the rest of the book cases are make the same way but simply screwed to the existing wall. There are pictures of the book case at the bottom of this page:

05-13-2011, 05:01 PM
We made one last year and used castors. It worked nicely. We have also used a dremel on a piece of styrofoam to make books on a shelf. I wish I had pics for ya, but they were pretty easy...painting them realistically was the time consuming part.

05-13-2011, 05:27 PM
Thank you for your help everyone. I found an inflatable tire castor that I am going to try. This is actually on a dirt floor, so I have to actually have a tire instead of just a metal or rubber wheel. Now I just need to come up with something to make it a little lighter. Thanks for your help again!

05-13-2011, 05:41 PM
Good luck!!! Be sure to share pics when you're all done!!! :)

RJ Productions
05-14-2011, 01:52 PM
I built a pass through book case for the Hotel Fear in 2006. It is an actual bookcase built out of 1x8 pine boards with a plywood back.
The key here is the frame that you mount it to. I created a frame of angle iron. A "dppr" that the bookcase is bolted to was made out of 1x3 in steel tubing on the flat side. I used a real heavy duty weld on hinge used for a heavy gate ( can handle over 300 lbs each) it is a bearing hinge. The frame is bolted to the door opening, the bookcase is bolted to the door.

I do not have the entire bookshelf filled with books, but there are over fifty real fullsized books along with a couple large knic knacks (they take up space with less weight). A strong magnet attached to the back of the case keeps it closed.

This case have been in use since 2006 without ANY incidence. Although it looks like a very heavy piece of furniture (which it actually is) it can be easily swung open buy my smallest actor! I actually placed a real door inside the opening so when the actor opens the bookscase you are confronted with a hidden door that you (patron) must open to pass through.

By reinforcing the frame around the doorway and having the angle iron frame extend beyond the opening you create a very stable framework. This is a very heavy piece, but can be swung open with one finger! It is also the only pass through in this area so it is used by customers, actors and other personnel constantly. Being so heavy duty it has so far lasted six seasons and shows no sign of wear.

Never be afraid to use the real thing. You just have to accomodate for the weight and you have no problem. It reminds me of visiting Raven's Grin, Jim has a brick wall doorway that swings open. It is not a brick veneer it is an ACTUAL brick wall!!! We are talking HUNDRENDS of pounds!!! Big hinges, sturdy framing, no problem!

05-15-2011, 08:39 AM
I have a 6' wide book shelf that rotates on a pole mounted to the backside in the center, used air to open it triggered from the control room, we can control flow that way also. its only a 30"x3/4 bore cylinder so even aired up you can still push open easy in case of emergency or actors passing through. Very simple whole project only took a couple hours to build.

Jim Warfield
05-15-2011, 11:07 AM
a steel floor flange gets a pipe nipple screwed int it after I welded a steel plate across the bottom of the floor flange to hold the steel ball-bearing in place(with grease) The floor flange can set on top of the floor, screwed down to the floor.
A solid steel rod slightly smaller than the inside of the steel nipple fits into the nipple and the rest of the solid steel shaft gets welded to a steel plate for the up-side of the hinge that attaches to the door.
A steel angle frame sees a piece of plywood bolted to it ("Sees" but doesn't really remember) then temporary 16 gauge wires may hold the real rocks or bricks to the plywood as mortar is mixed and is used between the bricks or rocks.
DISCLAIMER! If you attempt to build such a door and install it above ground (not in a basement on a concrete floor) Your project may find it's way to a lower floor!
The average (sober) customer will not usually push this heavy door hard enough to find it or make it open, which can be very good OR Not.
On the hauntedravensgrin web sight there is a newspaper article in which a reporter claims I smashed his head into the brick door and bricks flew in every direction, and that this was just part of the house tour!??
I was concerned that some readers might believe this when a man from the town where that paper originates laughingly told me everybody expects wild bullchitt like that from the old reporter.
I still didn't like it. Total fiction, obviously.
How would anyone reset an exploding brick wall, made from real bricks? It just might fill one's day.