Barn door for a friend

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Project by MatthewG posted 10-29-2013 03:35 AM 12892 views 18 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A friend asked if I could build a “barn door” for a renovation of her attic. The door opening is about 79×29 inches; the door needed to be 77-1/2×31, to allow 1” overlap on each side. The door height was set by the ceiling height, minus the space needed for the rails.

After looking at a couple of options, we choose red cedar boards, rough on the side facing out. We picked eight 1×6s, about 7/8 thick, with just enough knots and interesting pattern, and decent color match. Back in the shop, I grooved the vertical edges, and put in a dark hardboard spacer, to give nice even lines. She had chosen the pattern for the overlay (the double Z), so that saved me having to think about that :) The rough surface was sanded with 80 grit to smooth them to the touch while keeping the appearance.

She already had the “roller and rail” hardware, and the handles for both sides of the door. Although expensive, it was very well crafted, heavy and solid as a rock. The only dicey part was re-drilling a few holes thru the top rail to match the stud spacing—the holes are a bit over 5/16 diameter thru the 3/16 thick steel, and I did not want the heating to mar the flat black paint. (Oil is your friend here.)

The rollers are mounted with thru bolts; you have to countersink the back sides to clear the wall surface. The top rail has to be carefully leveled, so the door doesn’t roll open or closed. The bottom edge has a slot, that slides over a “L” shaped bracket screwed to the floor. There are stops on either end of the rail to limit the door’s travel. The action is nice and smooth, in no small part due to the quality hardware. I think the door weighs about 40 pounds. It makes a really cool sound when it rolls :)

All-in-all, a very fun project, and she seems very happy! Thanks for looking!

-- Matthew, from beautiful Wisconsin USA

14 comments so far

View MilFlyer's profile


948 posts in 3011 days

#1 posted 10-29-2013 03:48 AM

Love it! Great idea for bringing a bit of the country in the home!

-- VR, Richard "Fear is nothing more than a feeling. You feel hot. You feel hungry. You feel angry. You feel afraid. Fear can never kill you"--Remo Williams

View maplerock's profile


529 posts in 3140 days

#2 posted 10-29-2013 03:08 PM

That is one fine looking door. Congratulations!

-- Jerry... making sawdust in the Knobs of Southern Indiana

View a1Jim's profile


118309 posts in 4917 days

#3 posted 10-29-2013 03:11 PM

Cool door ,very nice work.


View hoss12992's profile


4180 posts in 3232 days

#4 posted 10-29-2013 03:26 PM

This is really cool. Great job

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View MasterSergeant's profile


1441 posts in 4028 days

#5 posted 10-29-2013 04:38 PM

Very interesting, nice look!

-- Kelly, woodworker under construction

View Woodknack's profile


13585 posts in 3720 days

#6 posted 10-29-2013 06:38 PM

I have a soft spot for barn doors and would be proud to own this one, bet she is very happy.

-- Rick M,

View TheeWoodShed's profile


180 posts in 3250 days

#7 posted 10-29-2013 07:55 PM

Great job!!! Great choice of woods too!

-- "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life."

View oldnovice's profile


7769 posts in 4707 days

#8 posted 10-29-2013 08:21 PM

A door this good looking is a barndoor in name only! Have to show this to my daughter as she has been wanting one for her closet.

-- "Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." -- Aldous Huxley

View Cadkook's profile


6 posts in 3030 days

#9 posted 10-29-2013 10:40 PM

Very nice work!!

View jerryo's profile


135 posts in 4303 days

#10 posted 10-30-2013 01:24 PM

Great job Matt. That hardware is expensive but such a beautiful door warrants the expense. Jerry

View MatthewG's profile


94 posts in 4119 days

#11 posted 10-31-2013 12:58 AM

My apologies for the postings above from “Moron”. Not sure who this guy is; I flagged the posts to have them removed.

-- Matthew, from beautiful Wisconsin USA

View oldnovice's profile


7769 posts in 4707 days

#12 posted 10-31-2013 01:34 AM

MatthewG, I agree, you really can’t tell if he is being sarcastic or caustic and he does have a rather poor choice of words. Many of the comments have nothing to do with woodworking! Maybe his name fits!

-- "Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." -- Aldous Huxley

View EnredandoNoGaraxe's profile


41 posts in 3397 days

#13 posted 10-31-2013 01:34 PM

I love how this things look.

-- Sergio, Galicia (Spain),

View Joe's profile


80 posts in 3282 days

#14 posted 10-31-2013 05:15 PM

Looks great! Thanks for posting!

-- It's better to have a tool and not need it than to need a tool and not have it.

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