DVD Storage Cabinet - Router Forums
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-17-2017, 06:26 PM Thread Starter
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Default DVD Storage Cabinet

I am open to your comments and critique.

My wife's niece is asking for a cabinet to store here DVD's.

She wants...
1) A cabinet with about 5 shelves to store DVD's
2) A second cabinet that is hinged to hide the DVD's, yet have adjustable height shelves for books and other stuff.

Attached is my drawing she likes. The two cabinets will be attached via piano hinge, either left or right (that will be her choice).

Basic dimensions are 30 inches wide overall and 60 inches tall.


1) I originally drew the plan with 1/4 inch backs. Now I am having second thoughts. If I buy a sheet of 1/2 inch Baltic birch, I can cut it into two pieces (30"x60"). That would make both cabinets much stronger.

2) I need to make the front section a little shorter so it can be opened without dragging...maybe an inch or so.

3) What should I use for a "latch" to keep the cabinet closed? Magnets?

4) The drawing shows a face frame on the rear and front. Does the rear cabinet need one?

Your thoughts and advice appreciated.
Bring it on.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-17-2017, 06:59 PM
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If I may make a suggestion - look at building a caster under the bottom of the outer, out-swinging cabinet. Depending on what's stored on/in the outer cabinet, there could be quite a bit of weight - maybe too much for a piano hinge? - and the caster will support the weight and stop the outer section from sagging. I would also recommend some type of tapered guide to ease the two together. With the right combination of caster and guides, you could probably get away with magnetic catches.

You could have a hollow section at the bottom of the outer cabinet, closed off with baseboard trim to match the room maybe, just enough clearance to slide without dragging on the carpet if needed.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-17-2017, 08:34 PM
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I recommend angling the DVD shelves so that they slope down about 2 inches towards the back. Make gravity your friend. The titles will be easier to read on the lower shelves with them facing upwards just a bit as well. If someone bumps it, they will be less likely to fall out.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-18-2017, 05:36 AM
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I was going to say the same as Tom about the hinge. A loaded bookcase could weigh hundreds of pounds. At the very least I'd go for heavy-duty exterior door hinges. A caster would help support the weight but its effectiveness would depend on the floor covering and the evenness of the floor.
I believe bookcase-doors often use pivots at the top and bottom rather than hinges along the edge. That might work, with the bookcase part living inside the carcase of the back cabinet, instead of in front of it.

On the face frame question, my feeling is that aesthetically the rear cabinet doesn't need a face frame, but if you're going with hinges then it might well need it to help bear the weight.

I think I'd go for some sort of catch with a positive latching mechanism like a door latch, rather than a magnetic/friction/sprung type. You don't want something with that mass coming open when not intended! Also spring/magnet type catches tend to have a sharp "break" that may lead to things falling off the shelves when opening and closing.

This looks like a great project Mike, with some interesting challenges. No doubt it will be a fun and satisfying one. Looking forward to seeing how it turns out!
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Last edited by AndyL; 01-18-2017 at 05:38 AM.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-18-2017, 07:21 AM
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Just a thought, Mike... I wonder if you've considered two 'doors', one opening to each side? It would reduce the weight / stress on the hinges, if you have the room to open to each side.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-18-2017, 07:25 AM
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Are you planning to anchor it to the wall? A swinging cabinet that large is going to pull the stationary part of the cabinet over, possibly even when completely empty.

I'm planning on building a cabinet for my DVDs soon, and I have decided to make the front shelves split in the middle, so each is 1/2 the width of the back stationary cabinet and hinged off both sides of the stationary cabinet with piano hinges, but I'm still thinking that I should attach it to the wall.

I'm also planning to make the base and the top of the cabinet the full cabinet depth of the closed cabinet, so the front swinging cabinets will be more like doors off the rear cabinet. The base will be heavily reinforced too. This should help significantly with stability when the front cabinets are hinged open. I was planning to install locks top and bottom in the stationary base and top to keep the swinging cabinets closed, but I may not install locks at all, and just depend on magnetic catches to hold them shut. I don't really need to lock mine. I'll also be drilling the hinges so that I can add 2X the number of screws, and will use longer screws than those included with the piano hinges.

A small lip of about 3/8" on the front edge of each shelf, rather than sloped shelves,
will keep the DVD boxes in place and will be easier to do, but it will only be needed on the moving shelves. Just make certain that you space the shelves vertically so there is a 3/4 - 1" gap above the DVD boxes to allow them to be lifted as they are pulled out. DVD boxes are not as deep front to back as most books, so you will need to decide on the depth that is really needed and consider leaving the lip off of shelves that will hold books.


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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-18-2017, 08:42 AM
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@MT Stringer

Here's an article that addresses some of the potential problems, although is really slanted towards pivoting bookcases http://www.thisiscarpentry.com/2012/...bookcase-katz/

Doing a search, most of the literature seems to be covering a swinging/pivoting bookcase inside a door jamb, and I think that this is because of the potential weight of the bookcase and the loads on the support structure. A suggestion to use HD door hinges is one way to approach the problem, but bear in mind that the fixed leaf of the hinge is normally attached to wall framing - i.e. doubled 2x4's. I've made a couple of hinged door cabinets in the last couple of years, none as large as the one you're planning and none carrying the kind of weight potential that you could have - and there is some flexure of the 3/4" plywood cabinet side in both cases, not much but enough to be noticeable. Your idea of a heavier (1/2" plywood) back and the addition of a face frame will help but there's going to be some flexure. As mentioned by @CharleyL , there is going to be a fair overhung force on the back cabinet, and it would need to be securely fastened to the wall.

I didn't copy the link, but HD sells a Murphy bed that is hidden by a swinging bookcase, you may want to look at that for some ideas.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-18-2017, 10:00 AM
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Mike...........I hardly feel qualified to give advice to someone of your advanced skills, but I'll give an opinion.

I don't think the cabinet needs a rear face frame, as long as you're using a strong back material that is well attached. Normally, I think you'd be fine with ab1/4" thick back, but having built a vcr cabinet some years ago, I found that the weight of the videos adds up surprisingly fast, so racking could be an issue. I think all the other replies have covered all I know, and then some. I agree with Paul about making double doors instead of one. I didn't have very good luck with magnets on mine because my doors had storage space in them too, and the weight of them when loaded would cause the magnets to lose connection. Maybe the cabinet wasn't exactly plumb, and the weight of the loaded doors was too much for the non-rare earth magnets I used.

It seems I never finish what I
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-18-2017, 08:25 PM
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@MT Stringer

The post by @CharleyL mentioned making a cabinet with double (15" wide) doors and that kind of made me think in another direction. How about a cabinet where the front bookshelves are mounted on pantry slides? They make a set that are 15" wide Accuride 301 - 2590 Television / Pantry Slide 14" C3012590-14 | CabinetParts.com that look as if they would work. Make the back cabinet with an overhanging top and protruding base (think a truncated U lying on it's side) with the front bookshelves sliding out to the sides - this wouldn't need any more room than the two door swings. The base could be made sturdy enough to support the weight and it would be easy to make the components out of panels that would hide the joints - e.g. the front and rear cabinet sides could be made with panels to look like a door so it would look like two doors side by side when closed. I'd look at putting a half lap joint on the edges of the side panels to help camouflage the gap. The bottom could have a baseboard on the three sides and top could have a crown molding on three sides, with the center section sliding out at the edge of the baseboard and crown molding respectively.

Another plus for the double door idea - whether swinging or sliding - is that the 15" wide shelves wouldn't need stiffeners along the edge where the 30" probably would if it was carrying any kind of weight.

I know it's a ways from your original idea of the hinged bookcase, but it may be more practical, construction wise, if you look at what may be needed to support the swinging door.
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