April 9, 2013 by phicks2012
As Basement Projects go, mine probably isn’t the most challenging. After all, I wasn’t starting with an unfinished, muddy crawl-space full of spiders and lurking possums. I did start with framed walls and ceilings, a concrete slab, and an unfinished basic fireplace, but it more resembled storage space than living space to begin with, and that wasn’t the original plan for it.
So we finished the fireplace area with architectural accents and panelling, and a home-made mantle, and we’ve been hanging sheetrock a bit at a time around the rest of the room, painting and trimming as we go.
But as I recently blogged, we also decided to take a bit of time to create a secret door, just because there’s an unattractive, non-standard sized opening to a storage space.
So we framed up an insert, like a section of wall, hinged it to one side of the opening with heavy-duty hinges, and put swivel casters on the bottom for support and so it would swing out smoothly later on. Because sheves would be attached to it, adding a lot of weight, we wanted to design it in such a way as to make sure that weight would be well-supported, and this seemed to be the best method.
One of the tricks was to mitre the ends of the horizontal boards to avoid having the corners hit the frame when the “door” opens, and also insetting the upright portion of the frame on that same side, for the same reason. When planning the width of the mounted shelves, we opened the door all the way first, held the board in place, and marked the location, because if the end vertical board of the shelves got placed too close to the hinges it would stop the door from opening the full 90-degrees as intended. We also had to plan for some really thin masonite backing on the upper shelf where it will over-hang the actual wall over the door opening. Otherwise, any books or items placed on that shelf would likely fall out through the back if the door were opened too suddenly.
Think it would keep me hidden during the Zombie Apocalypse?? I’ll keep you posted as the project continues, but I think this is going to be a cool addition to the castle basement!!