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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Bergen County, NJ
    Posts
    4,410

    Default Hidden door for "panic" room

    I have a weird one here. Bear with me.

    I get a call saying this guy needs a drywall repair in his basement. I call him back and tell him that I don't do estimates for drywall repairs--I just do them and bill them. He tells me it's a little more complex than a repair. So I go...

    The guy is loaded. A doctor. Takes me down into his basement that's bigger than my house. He wants me to built an 8' wide partition wall with a 36" hidden door complete with drywall the face to blend in. He even wants utility shelves on it to camouflage it.

    I've looked at the Soss hinges, but I'm not sure if that's the way to go. I can't tell if the Soss will work on something as thick as what I had envisioned building. I was planning on making the the "door" out of 2x4s with drywall on the one side. I think the drywall would prevent the 2x4s from racking (I hope).

    Or, I would get a solid door slab and screw on the drywall to that.

    I have no clue how to go about this project to be honest. It seems not that difficult, but I know that those are the jobs that always are!

    Any suggestions???

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Southwestern Vermont
    Posts
    1,972

    Default Re: Hidden door for "panic" room

    Here's an idea from Gary's site: http://www.garymkatz.com/TrimTechniq...se_install.htm

    -Norm

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    North East
    Posts
    283

    Default Re: Hidden door for "panic" room

    First thing that comes to my mind is even if he wants a drywall look he has to want a more solid room than studs and drywall.
    "We do not see things as they are; we see things as we are" -Talmud

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Ruch, OR
    Posts
    2,414

    Default Re: Hidden door for "panic" room

    Greg,
    Forget using drywall, at least for the door. Sounds like a good opportunity for a swinging bookcase-type shelf unit. Hide the case with the shelf stiles. Make a toe kick that runs across the entire wall, and have the swinging case pivot over that toe kick. Piece of cake. Use a pivot hinge. They are so much easier to work with and far more durable.

    Let me know if you want me to start a drawing for you. Sounds like fun.

    Gary

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Bergen County, NJ
    Posts
    4,410

    Default Re: Hidden door for "panic" room

    Quote Originally Posted by Trim Carp View Post
    First thing that comes to my mind is even if he wants a drywall look he has to want a more solid room than studs and drywall.
    That's the weird thing...I told him this wouldn't be secure and he didn't care. He didn't even want a lock on the thing. It's a little creepy if you ask me.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Bergen County, NJ
    Posts
    4,410

    Default Re: Hidden door for "panic" room

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Katz View Post
    Greg,
    Forget using drywall, at least for the door. Sounds like a good opportunity for a swinging bookcase-type shelf unit. Hide the case with the shelf stiles. Make a toe kick that runs across the entire wall, and have the swinging case pivot over that toe kick. Piece of cake. Use a pivot hinge. They are so much easier to work with and far more durable.

    Let me know if you want me to start a drawing for you. Sounds like fun.

    Gary
    The basement is unfinished and it's a mess. He wants the thing to look utilitarian I guess. Doesn't even want the drywall taped. What specific kind of pivot hinge would you recommend?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    7,496

    Default Re: Hidden door for "panic" room

    Greg, this is not a shelter. I think you misread the purpose. He wants to hide someTHING there (like valuables, safe, etc.), not himself or family. Seen that, done that.

    dg

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    705

    Default Re: Hidden door for "panic" room

    Greg

    Maybe it's not for safety. My thought from your decription is a dungeon or adult "playroom". Want's it hidden but not secure.

    I have friend who has a hidden coat closet in his foyer (the dooor next to door thing looked bad). He used a masonite hollowcore door and Soss hinges. There's a 1/ 32-1/16 gap around the door, a bevel on hinge & latch sides allowed the tiny gaps.

    I'd avoid building a door--never get it flat.

    Tim
    Nothing simple is ever easy

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Ruch, OR
    Posts
    2,414

    Default Re: Hidden door for "panic" room

    Greg,
    I'd use the same hinge I used on the bookcase, the Rixon.
    Here's a quickie drawing. You'll have to make some alterations to make this work: ie, the bottom shelf will have to be reinforced underneath, and drawn more completely to get the spacing right. The top shelves might have to be thicker, too, or something, to allow for the thickness of the top pivots. And the meeting stiles might have to be a bit wider to allow more space between the cases, so everything will clear, but this is pretty close. Close enough to get a feel for it. The wall would pretty much be made out of shelving, though you could frame the wall behind the two stationary shelf units.

    http://www.garymkatz.com/chartsdrawi...ot-shelves.skp

    Gary

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    7,496

    Default Re: Hidden door for "panic" room

    I like Gary's design, but it may be too elaborate for the "shabby" look this HO seems to want.

    If the door is not to be used often, you can simply put it on 4 casters, freestanding in the opening. Push straight back to open it. No hinges, no clearances, very tight fit.

    dg

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    4,264

    Default Re: Hidden door for "panic" room

    We had nicely stained T-111 in our entry way that had a closet door on touch latches. It vanished due to the dark color.

    It probably wasn't t-111, but this was over 30 years ago and I haven't seen it for 20 years..

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Ruch, OR
    Posts
    2,414

    Default Re: Hidden door for "panic" room

    You know what else you can do? A very cool completely invisible SLIDING DOOR. You don't even need a pocket track. Just mount the track on the backside of the wall. Slide the door over and build the shelving in front of it, so that the verticle supports cover the edges of the door and the shelves cover the top and bottom. Done. Hidden door. NO fancy hardware. NO router templates. Make the door yourself. Out of MDF if you want! :) Get a remote control and put an electric opener on it!

    Gary

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Philadelphia, Pa.
    Posts
    1,510

    Default Re: Hidden door for "panic" room

    Well call me silly, but it sounds like a weed room, of course it would be for "medicinal purposes" only. ;0)
    Last edited by WarriorWithWood; 10-15-2007 at 09:20 PM. Reason: forgot smiley
    -Dennis

    Can someone PLEASE invent a sarcasm font!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Bergen County, NJ
    Posts
    4,410

    Default Re: Hidden door for "panic" room

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Katz View Post
    You know what else you can do? A very cool completely invisible SLIDING DOOR. You don't even need a pocket track. Just mount the track on the backside of the wall. Slide the door over and build the shelving in front of it, so that the verticle supports cover the edges of the door and the shelves cover the top and bottom. Done. Hidden door. NO fancy hardware. NO router templates. Make the door yourself. Out of MDF if you want! :) Get a remote control and put an electric opener on it!

    Gary
    Sounds doable, but I can't visualize it. How does the track attach to the wall? I'm thinking you are saying bypass door track which is usually mounted under the top jamb.

    Can you set me straight?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    San Diego (Northern Mexico)
    Posts
    3,976

    Default Re: Hidden door for "panic" room

    I think he wants to bump off his wife and hide her body in there. He's going to lay her limp lifeless body in there, right next to yours. He can't let you walk out of there alive, you know about his secret hiding place.

    Can I have your tools when your gone? :)
    Tom

    Support your country always, support your government only when they deserve it! - Mark Twain
    This fall, fire them all, DON'T RE-ELECT ANYONE!

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