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This is a pretty big door and it’s pretty heavy! If it simply hung from the hinges it might sag over time and rub on the floor. Which would be sad for the secret door wouldn’t work very well anymore. So to keep the door easy to move and working well, it actually has hidden casters under it. We used non-marking rubber wheels so that over time they wouldn’t mark up the floor. You can order these special caster wheels from any caster supplier or Mcmaster.com.

Can’t make a bookcase to save your life? Well another classic is the secret painting door. Mounting a picture on hinges so it swings out is really easy to do. They can cover anything from a small opening to a whole door. Now, this looks expensive, but those ‘paintings’ are actually large format inkjet prints on canvas.

I so love and admire the work of Jeffrey and Jillian of Because We Can. They trade in great design… and wonder. Everything they do is infused with at least a little (or a lot of) pixie dust. I met them at the first Maker Faire Austin, when they presented their CNC-built art mini golf course, and I was in awe of the creativity and ingenuity in evidence. At the latest Maker Faire Bay Area, true to form, they presented a talk on The Secrets of Secret Doors. So cool.

One thing we’ve had the chance to integrate into our projects is… secret doors! Secret doors are so great we try to sneak them into whatever project we can. They are a wonderful challenge for a maker. A challenging combination of design, ingenuity, and craft.

Today, we’re going to show examples of one’s we’ve made. We’re going to give you all nefarious ideas to make your own secret doors, from basic and cheap to hella expensive. And that’s the thing: simple secret doors can be made for not very much money at all!

You can see the entire talk on their website.

The Secrets of Secret Doors

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture, including the first book about the web (Mosaic Quick Tour) and the Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Building Robots. He is currently working on a best-of collection of his writing, called Borg Like Me.


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