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Sliding Doors

I did this project a few years ago. Decided to post in case anyone is looking for an idea like this.

I did this to divide the two living rooms when needed. Either during parties, to keep kids from crawling off the one step between the rooms or when my wife wants to watch a different TV show than me. And I like projects. Our house isn't very big. The main wall is load bearing and holds all the plumbing electrical vents etc. So pocket doors were out. And either way french doors would swing would just get in the way of couches, entertainment centers etc. So I decided to do what you'll see below.

I started out with two plain 24" doors from Menards. No hinges or holes for the door knob. Then I purchased sliding door tracks from my favorite place, McMaster. The part number was 1223A6. It's listed as bypass door track and is 4'. However, it comes with two 4' pieces of track which I put end to end to get 8'.

I started with an 8' 2x4 and attached it to the wall.

Underneath, I attached the track, end to end. I used some small plastic spacers I had to keep the track just a little bit away from the wall.

Then I attached the roller brackets to the doors. There are 4 in the kit. Two for each door. And they are adjustable and detachable so you don't have to slide the door out the end. I liked that.

Now I did want to just pull each door closed. I wanted to pull one door and always have it be centered. So I made a simple pulley set up. I attached some T brackets (Menards) to the center of each door.

Then I put pulleys near each end of the track. I bought some pulleys from McMaster but the pulley didn't have a bushing and was real sloppy. So I cut that out and used screen door rollers. Real nice and a lot quieter.

Then I used some thin cable, cable ends and turn buckles for adjustment.

To understand how this works, I made a crude drawing (not my finest work but I'm not on my CAD computer).

You can pull or push on either door and they will close together. I have a video to show you how they work.

Then for the finishing touches, I used dummy door handles turned vertical on the one side.

On the other side, I used spring loaded handles from....McMaster. p/n13165A31. Then the kids can't leave them open and destroy the drywall. I free handed the hole with a router.

Then to keep the doors from swinging in, I made some C channel wrapped in some foam I had. They just catch the edge when closed and they work pretty good. I probably could have come up with something better but that's what I used.

Lastly, to cover the workings, I used some small angle brackets to attach a valence.

Final pictures.