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How to hinge a secret door

Sirworksalot's picture

I need to build a secret door within a wine cellar.  Would like to not have the hinges show and have very little spacing around the edges.  Door is made of 2X2's and covered with 1X6 t and g redwood, to match redwood on the walls around the door.  Tried a large pair of Soss hinges, but it would not clear the redwood covering.

(post #107166, reply #1 of 16)

I've used magnetic catches instead of hinges to hide openings.  Tiled access door for hidden spa pump in a master bath, as an example.  Allows for a very snug fit.

(post #107166, reply #2 of 16)

 Would not clear the redwood on the leading edge or the hinge side?




(post #107166, reply #3 of 16)

The hinge side.

(post #107166, reply #11 of 16)

I've done what you are attempting.

I used a solid core door and some large SOSS hinges. I forget the exact size but they were intended for an 1 3/4" door. Installed, it swung cleanly over  3/4" V-Groove pine. It was a while ago, but I'm sure I paid $160 for the hinges.

I hid the gaps in the V-groove pattern. Meaning I didn't install all of the T&G super tight, there were gaps here and there, like the material had shrunk.

The latch was electric (the kind they buzz you in apartments) push a hidden button under a shelf across the room and the door would spring open slightly. Behind the door was a concrete vault that had an actual Bank cage.





(post #107166, reply #12 of 16)

Thanks.  I to used very large Soss hinges, but installing them in the door frame behind the tand g redwood ruined all the clearance I should have had.  It might woor if I could mount the Soss hinges very close to the front of the t and g material.  But that is hard to moiunt anything to  in a solid manner.

(post #107166, reply #14 of 16)

Does the door have to swing out?

An inswinging door is much easier.



(post #107166, reply #10 of 16)

Gary Katz did a hidden bookcase that you might like to look at. Here's the link.

______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ There are three kinds of men: The one that learns by reading, the few who learn by observation and the rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. Will Rogers

(post #107166, reply #4 of 16)

Either Soss hinges or cup hinges. You gotta figure out how to get the hinges mounted closer to the front surface.

There is no absurdity that human beings will not resort to in order to defend another absurdity. -- Cicero

Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

(post #107166, reply #5 of 16)

Instead of hinge, can the door pivot on a pin?

(post #107166, reply #6 of 16)

a door like this must be fully planned before beginning to build it. Including hardware selection.

There are many sizes of large SOSS hinges . Did you search their catalouge or just try what you see on the shelf?

You can use advanced search here for hidden door and for pivot hinge to find threads on this subject.



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Oh Well,

We did the best we could...

(post #107166, reply #7 of 16)

I've done it with these:

They are a bit on the lightweight side, but they were adjustable and truly hidden. 

(post #107166, reply #8 of 16)

Rixson offset pivots. Works every time.

(post #107166, reply #9 of 16)

Here you go

Florida Licensed Building Contractor, 50 years experience in commercial remodeling, new homes, home remodeling and repairs and all types building maintenance.

(post #107166, reply #13 of 16)

have you investigated a Rickson (sp) hinge. Used them on an Extreme Makeover Home Edition project to operate rotating bookcases. Ball bearings top and bottom with a hidden pin in the top that is raised with a screw mechanism to snag the top bearing. Finger tip movement for any weight door. Not cheap about $250 a set

(post #107166, reply #16 of 16)

Thanks for the tip..  I looked up the product on line and saw how it could work.  This secret door starts about 34 inches off the ground above the concrete foundation.  Certain clearances would limit such a device.

(post #107166, reply #15 of 16)

I have hung several hidden doors with the SOSS hinges. The trick is to use a custom jig that accounts for the thickness of the paneling. A fence on the jig aligns with the outside. The SOSS hinge will fully open if the paneling is no more than 3/16 ths of an inch from the face of the door. There is a lot of precise measuring and the project is very time consuming. Here is a photo of a recent project. The door with the Soss hinges is on the same wall but it is closed. The small block of wood that is the temporary handle is lower left. The hidden door that is open with the standard hinges that swings in is hung on a thin strip of hardwood to give clearance for the hinges.


Mike Callahan, Lake Tahoe, Ca.

Edited to link to the photo...

Edited 9/30/2008 10:04 pm by MikeCallahan

Mike Callahan, Lake Tahoe, Ca.