How to Build a Sliding Book Case
Installing a sliding bookcase is a very classy way to show off your literary collection. You can even use the sliding bookcases as a clever way to hide and reveal other objects, such as a wall-mounted television. This project uses a two-track system with rolling casters and a metal rod. You’ll have a rolling bookcase that glides evenly and one that has a rod at the top to support the weight of your bookcase and book collection.
Remove any carpeting from the area where the bookcase will be installed as it will interfere with installing the tracks and allowing the casters on the bookcase to move freely.
Lay your bookcase horizontally on the floor. Place one caster on the far left front edge of the bookcase. Point the wheels so they will glide perpendicularly. Use a pen to mark locations on the bookcase for holes to attach the hardware.
Drill the holes for the caster and attach the hardware. Repeat this process to attach casters on the ends of the remaining three corners of the bookcase. Make sure that the wheels on the front and back are aligned the same way so the bookcase will roll straight and evenly.
Stand the bookcase upright and place it in its permanent location. Slide the bookcase horizontally to the right, 16 inches away from the wall. Take a straightedge steel ruler and draw a line on the floor from the center of the caster wheel on the front of the bookcase to the wall. This will serve as your guide for installing the sliding door metal tracks. Repeat the process for the caster wheels on the back of the bookcase.
Remove the bookcase from the area so you have room to install the tracks for the casters. Take a steel tape measure and extend it, using the guide marks from the left to the right sides on the floor. Draw a horizontal guide line to use for laying the front and back tracks for the caster wheels.
Place the tracks on the floor, following your guide lines. Drill holes for the screws every 16 inches so that each track is securely attached to the floor. Use a screwdriver to install screws on the far left and right of the track. Put the bookcase on the track to test the alignment and make any adjustments if necessary. Once the track is lined up correctly, install the remaining screws to attach the track to the floor. You can increase or decrease the spacing of the screws if needed but make sure that each track is attached to the floor by at least four screws.
Slide the bookcase to the far left wall 6 inches from the edge of the wall. Mark a spot on the wall 4 inches from the top of the bookcase and do the same on the outside of the bookcase on the left and right sides. These marks will be your guide lines for installing the pipe and end caps. Repeat this process on the far right wall.
Attach the end caps for the pipe rods on the left and right walls. Remove the bookcase and drill a 3-inch hole on the left and right sides of the bookcase. Sand the edges of the circular openings on the bookcase for a clean finish.
Glide the pipe rods through the openings on the bookcase and set the bookcase in position with the casters fitted into the tracks. Position the pipe rods in the end caps to complete the project.
- Consider installing a 1-by-1 wood piece and covering it with a piece of molding. Then you can hide the roller casters and add a decorative touch to your rolling bookcase system.
Cheryl Munson has been writing since 1990, with experience as a writer and creative director in the advertising industry. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism with a focus on advertising from the University of Wisconsin in Madison.
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