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I have a bookshelf with a broken part, but don't know what this kind of bookshelf is called or what the part is called.

The bookshelf has glass doors that slide up and in:

Bookshelf with glass doors that slide up and in

Each door has a catch (if that's what it's called):

door catch

The catch slides along a rail and hangs from a knob when the door is closed. Here's a normal assembly of those:

rails and knob for door to hang from

But one rail just got broken:

enter image description here

I could fix this if I could order the right part, but like I said, I don't know the words to use to find it.

What kind of bookshelf is this? What is the broken part called? And how might I find one like it?

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This is a simple "barrister's bookcase" door mechanism. There are several versions on the market; a bit of searching may find a match for yours, or you may need to replace the hardware completely.

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It is hard to tell from the picture if the rail is made of plastic or pot metal. In either case it is possible to repair the rail. The idea is to glue in a piece of metal into the channel of the rail. Several things to consider:

  1. If the rail is pot metal with a brown paint or plastic covering that should be removed from the channel before trying to glue in the metal piece.
  2. The metal piece you install to bridge the break cannot stick out beyond the sides of the channel or else it will interfere with the hook assembly on the door as it slides by. Make the metal piece plenty long. I would suggest 3 to 4 inches of length from looking at your pictures.
  3. Currently the channel provides clearance for the truss head screw used to mount the rail to cabinet wall. When using the glue in metal piece the screw will need to be replaced with a flat head screw and the mating hole in the metal piece will need to be counter sunk so that the screw stays away from door hook.
  4. I have had good luck using brass bar stock for repairs because it is easy to cut to size and drill. It is available at better hardware stores.
  5. If this slide can be seen from normal viewing angles you may want to consider swapping the repaired one down to a lower door and move an unbroken one up to the visible position.
  6. Epoxy is the glue of choice for a metal to metal bond. If the rail part is some type of plastic you can consider an adhesive called E6000 which I have had bond to some plastics that epoxy would not bond. I routinely use JBWeld for repairs with good success.
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If one broke the rest are next. Fix this one and do the same thing to all of them before they do.

Drill pilot holes (red dots) and attach with short screws (be careful not to punch though the side of the cabinet).

Since this one is broken it needs some screws where the blue dots are too. On the rest of them, I'd do screws in the two red places and one blue one about an inch or two from the original screw.

But other than on the broken one, a single screw into the 'cup' should do (red dot on the left is inside the 'cup'). Use the largest size pan or round head that will fit in the 'cup' and that slot in the plastic (like the original ones).

Drill the plastic piece first and then use it to template where the pilot holes go. You only get one shot before it becomes much more difficult to realign it. Doing the rest of them before they break will be much easier.

enter image description here

I really can't believe they designed it this way, without a screw in the cap, leaving it with a 2" fulcrum.


You can find all the parts you need at any store that sells these or their equivalent: (just make sure they fit inside)

#8 X 1/2 in. RWH Sharp Point K-Lath Screw (source)

enter image description here

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1  
The bookshelf's primary component is paper veneer covered sawdust board, and it came in a flatpack. No level of cheaped out, as long as it lasts long enough for the customer to lose the receipt so we can deny any warranty claims penny pinching would surprise me in the least. – Dan Neely Feb 14 at 4:26
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The sawdust board needs extra coarse threads for screws to hold. And repairing where screws pulled out and left divots is a general common repair on such material. – JDługosz Feb 14 at 6:50
    
@DanNeely I'm not sure how you knew that, since it's my bookshelf (is it that obvious in photos?), but yes, this is not exactly premium-quality furniture. :) – Nathan Long Feb 15 at 16:23
    
@NathanLong It is that obvious: The plastic connector, veneer pattern and wear on the corner, and the texture of the unfinished side look just like my cheap flatpack book shelves. – Dan Neely Feb 15 at 17:13

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