Hinges for Hidden Bookcase

Ensuring that bookcases do not sag even when fully loaded written by: PAPA-G Carpenters

Understand better how hard it is to complete a project without a single mistake.

Not every project comes out perfectly, even though the carpenter tries to apply all the knowledge and experience gathered for years.

These minor mistakes are mostly not noticeable, and if noticed, it is only by an experienced carpenter. As a carpenter, you are always learning from the small mistakes.

One of the challenging projects in carpentry is building a hidden bookcase.

You see:

Hidden bookcase doors are more complicated that other ordinary doors. This is due to the variations in their designs and construction, especially on the openings that have to swing out.

Many hidden bookcases swing on butt hinges. Commonly used hinges are the heavy-duty ball bearing hinges which work well, but still tend to sag when the book case is well loaded.

This calls for some adjustments and a lot of jamb clearance as time passes by. Wheels and rollers can be used to support the swinging book case at the bottom. The floor needs to be smooth and hard.

When using a roller, you have to remember to leave a gap between the bottom of the door and the floor clearance.

Many carpenters seek to know the best way to ensure that hinges for hidden bookcase do not sag. To install hinges for hidden bookcase properly, try to perfect on the following:


Have a scale drawing first

You can have several drawings to help you determine the correct location of the pivot point of the door. Experiment and make sure that the case can swing clear of the hinge jamb and the case can open 90 degrees.

There are various software that can help to you to understand how to animate Sketchup drawings.

Check the opening where the hinge will be installed

Verify that it is plumb and level and if not make accommodations for that.

The bottom hinge plate should be secured to a stable solid wood

Verify that the wood has adequate support for the unit’s weight and that the screws have enough holding power.

The bottom clearance

Swing the bookcase above the baseboard to verify that it doesn’t drag on the throw rug beneath and can also be trimmed without leaving visible gaps.

Test mount

It is very important to test mount and install the hinge before the stain and finish coat is applied. This eliminates the chances of damaging the finished product when the hinges are installed or when the unit is being adjusted.

A wide variety of hinge systems for hidden bookcase doors are available on the market.

Take time to select the one that is easy to install and also one that is versatile. Popular hinges for hidden bookcase allow bookcases to be hinged right or left, for an in-swing or out-swing door.

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