I am doing up my really tiny apartment, in which we have had to make many compromises to deal with limited space. One of these is a shoe cupboard which will double up as a door between two rooms. I've attached a picture to make it easy to understand enter image description here.

The shoe cupboard will be around 6 feet tall, 2.5 feet broad, and 1-1.5 feet deep. My decorator wants to put rollers under the cupboard, to support the weight. I would prefer not to use rollers, as I've noticed they tend to pick up dirt and hair over time and get stuck, make scratchy sounds, mark the floor etc. I think the ideal situation would be if the shoe cupboard could be supported solely on hinges.

So the question: What kind of hinges would do the best duty for a setup like this, where the load could be in the region of 40-70 lbs? Piano? Pivot? Something else?


  • What is the framing material and spacing at the proposed pivot point?
    – bib
    Aug 4, 2015 at 13:55
  • framing will probably be plywood. Spacing can be chosen to suit the requirement, as long as the door seals shut and doesn't leave an air gap near the hinges which will pass sound between the rooms.
    – SCP
    Aug 5, 2015 at 6:33

1 Answer 1


Websearch will find good descriptions of bookcase secret doors using center pivot hinges, which are one of the best solutions currently available. If you were putting two cases next to each other, there are other solutions; the Rockler catalog (among others) offers one such center-fold bookcase door hardware kit. There are also companies who install these professionally.

Note that any pivoting case needs some clearance designed into the system. There are ways to mask that with additional moving pieces.

(Yes, I have plans to do something along these lines. Not sure I wsnt to say too much morel that risks taking the fun out of it.)

  • This was super helpful, I didn't realize that the most common application of this is to secret bookcases! I googled a few and passed on to the decorator to show her carpenter. Thanks!!
    – SCP
    Aug 5, 2015 at 6:58

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