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With 2021 now in full swing we have loads going through the workshop, so lots of jobs that are half finished, nearly finished or just being started, so I haven’t really got anything ‘pretty’ to show you so I thought I’d share you a job from the archives, a pretty cool piece we did in the summer of 2019!


The brief was simple! (the only thing simple about it.)  “We have a door way that we want to disguise as a bookcase.”  Before you say anything, no it wasn’t Bruce Wayne, it was potentially a much more wealthy client: Bromsgrove School.

With the challenge set I put my thinking cap on to try and come up with a solution to the numerous challenges faced.

  • What to make it out of.
  • What to hinge it on.
  • How to support the weight.
  • How to provide clearance for it to swing without there being a huge gap.
  • How to install it.

Plenty of questions to ponder, so, sat in my office I tried to think, could I think of anything?  Could I heck!!  I was getting nowhere, but I knew by now that if I force my brain I don’t really do that well, so I decided to change tact and take a drive to survey a job.  Whilst driving and listening to the radio my brain kicked into problem solving mode and all these ideas came flooding in.

I remembered that a rep from Lathams visited a few weeks prior to show us a lightweight veneer faced plywood, this particular panel was half the weight of a standard sheet of MDF, so would help solve part of the issue of weight.  When I returned to the office I made some enquiries and obtained a price.

I scoured the internet for different types of hinges that could hold the weight of the thing (Despite using lightweight board we would still be looking at about 70 kg.)  Danny and I toyed with using a Piano hinge for a while but unfortunately by using this system we would have to get a heavy duty piano hinge, which from experience are never pretty and we would be relying on screws, it also meant we would need more clearance for the door to open, so we went back to the drawing board.  With going back to the drawing board I discovered that a pivot action meant that we would be able to split the clearance depending on where the pivot point was.  I set it out on CAD and it worked with a 35 mm gap either side which we could fit decorative fillet pieces to disguise.  I then had a sudden brain wave, in the past we have fitted extremely heavy fire doors and front doors and we have used a floor pivot, these particular hinges can take serious weight.

This would be fixed to the floor and locate into a metal housing.

The accompanying part of this which would be housed into the head of our surrounding frame  would be ideal.  It solved the challenge of how we would install it.

Using a screwdriver, you wind the pin up and down, so all we had to do was hold the bookcase in position and wind the pin down and voila she would swing!  The part also offered lateral adjustment which would definitely come in handy! (see threaded bar on bottom section).

That was everything except what would support the weight?  probably the easiest solution was a wheel!  Why be complicated?  Why re-invent the wheel?  So when designing I would allow for a heavy duty castor!

I talked my ideas through with Danny who made a few suggestions and tweeks which made the ideas better and I Worked out a price and submitted to the client, who agreed the price and ordered it!


First things first was the drawings and design, which I started immediately while the ideas were fresh in my head.

Working drawings for manufacturing the unit.
Drawing showing the location of the floor pivot. I used this location to figure out the spacing and position of the bookcase in the frame. The narrower rectangle shows the depth of the bookcase. (pretty deep eh!?)

This was a job for Owen and Lee.  Following the drawings they built the unit in the workshop.  In the meantime Danny rigged up the plinth to make double sure that it would work, By doing this we managed to figure out the angle and best position of the castor.

Each shelf will be supported on ‘Magic Wires’ which will allow the client to configure the shelves how they want them.
The door is complete, Just the frame left to make.
The workshop test goes well.

With everything working nicely in the workshop we load up and arrange to install!


Faced with an opening, Owen and I lay down our dust sheets and installed the frame, then with the help of Danny and Lee we carried in the heavy bookcase, located it on the floor pin and positioned the door at the angle required to wind down the pivot pin.  We then took our time adjusting the pivot pin and using shims adjusted the height of the castor until it sat perfectly in its frame.

The moment of truth!  We poised ourselves and it worked perfectly and still does to this day loaded wit paper!


This project involved a lot of R&D.  We pride ourselves in doing what many other companies can’t!  It’s not just a tag line in our brochure, we really do thrive on challenges!

If you have any questions about this or any of our other projects, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Have a great weekend!


Tags: Bespoke, Commercial Furniture, Education Furniture, JFW Ltd HQ, JFW Process, Lockers and Storage, Uncategorized