Pocket Doors for Furniture

      An explanation of custom-built pin-and-groove "flipper" pocket doors. May 7, 2007

Question
I'm building some furniture for a nice cottage. Both the desk area and entertainment center could use pocket doors. Space is tight, and my door styles are only 1 1/2" wide, so using a standard kit like Blum 123 will not work. I remember while doing an install once I saw an entertainment center where the builder had used something simpler, like a wooden follower strip that rode in a groove and butt hinges, or maybe it was euro hinges. I can get 26mm euro hinges that will fit the door styles, but they're not made to fit the standard kits, and the kits take up too much room in an already tight situation. The doors I'll be pocketing are small and made of w. pine, and won't get used often, so I don't need a Mercedes, just an old jitterbug will do. What other ways are there to do the pocket/flipper door without the kits? I'm not trying to cheap out here - there really isn't the room to use the kit.

Forum Responses
(Furniture Making Forum)
From contributor D:
Two pins at the top and two at the bottom of each door, riding in routed 90 degree slots, is the simple way to make flipper doors. It can be classed up or made more durable with metal lined slots, bearing shod pins, etc.



From the original questioner:
Thanks. I'm trying to picture how this works. Do the door rails take the short cut as the pins ride the groove when turning the corner?


From contributor D:
One set of pins - top and bottom - are at/near the outside edge of the door, and ride in the groove running from front to back in the two horizontal panels forming the top and bottom of the box. The other two pins are maybe about 2/3 down the rail towards the center, and ride in the groove parallel to the front of the cabinet. The two grooves meet at the front outside corner. As the door is opened, the rails cut the corner somewhat - the corner pins slide straight back and the rail pins slide sideways to the corner, turn 90 degrees, then slide back. This is the drawback for some installations since it cuts the corner off the opening, so to speak.

You can mock things up in about 15 minutes, and by moving the pins around you will see how their placement affects the geometry and action. Just groove out two pieces of 3/4 panel and drill 1/4" holes into the two edges of the door in several locations. You will see very quickly how things work.

We use these for near zero clearance hidden panels - mostly horizontally acting - used to cover speakers or whatever. If you know where to push, the panel comes up and out right into your hand, and is a very cool operation.



From the original questioner:
Thanks again. Good description. I'll give it a try.


From contributor R:
You might want to look at a raised panel look invisible tambour door. They take 5/8 strips and rout in the raised panel profile. The tambour strips are butted together and will only roll up one way. Seams are nearly invisible when closed.

Would you like to add information to this article?
Interested in writing or submitting an article?
Have a question about this article?


Have you reviewed the related Knowledge Base areas below?
  • KnowledgeBase: Knowledge Base

  • KnowledgeBase: Furniture

  • KnowledgeBase: Furniture: Custom Furniture


    Would you like to add information to this article? ... Click Here

    If you have a question regarding a Knowledge Base article, your best chance at uncovering an answer is to search the entire Knowledge Base for related articles or to post your question at the appropriate WOODWEB Forum. Before posting your message, be sure to
    review our Forum Guidelines.

    Questions entered in the Knowledge Base Article comment form will not generate responses! A list of WOODWEB Forums can be found at WOODWEB's Site Map.

    When you post your question at the Forum, be sure to include references to the Knowledge Base article that inspired your question. The more information you provide with your question, the better your chances are of receiving responses.

    Return to beginning of article.



    Refer a Friend || Read This Important Information || Site Map || Privacy Policy || Site User Agreement

    Letters, questions or comments? E-Mail us and let us know what you think. Be sure to review our Frequently Asked Questions page.

    Contact us to discuss advertising or to report problems with this site.

    To report a problem, send an e-mail to our Webmaster

    Copyright © 1996-2016 - WOODWEB ® Inc.
    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without permission of the Editor.
    Review WOODWEB's Copyright Policy.

    The editors, writers, and staff at WOODWEB try to promote safe practices. What is safe for one woodworker under certain conditions may not be safe for others in different circumstances. Readers should undertake the use of materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk.

    WOODWEB, Inc.
    335 Bedell Road
    Montrose, PA 18801

    Contact WOODWEB











  • WOODWEB - the leading resource for professional woodworkers


      Home » Knowledge Base » Knowledge Base Article