Reply by runswithscissors

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Posted on sliding barn door

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3118 posts in 2903 days

#1 posted 05-01-2017 04:38 AM

I made my own for my garden shed. The track is a 1 1/2” square tube (steel or aluminum). I split the tube with an angle grinder (1/16” thick cutting disk) for the steel track. Took 2 cuts to make a wide enough slot. Welded on a few tabs for connection to the wall (or overhead, in my case). Wheels are inexpensive ball bearings of a diameter that fits in the tube. Hangers are 1/8” steel strap with a pin through to serve as an axle for the ball bearings. There are 2 ball bearings per hanger, one on each side, which means they hang evenly. I don’t recollect what diameter the axles were—I think the smallest I’ve seen is 3/8”. I may have used 1/2” o.d. tubing if the bores were 1/2”. Anyhow this door has worked perfectly for maybe 12 years now, with no maintenance required. The slot is wide enough that the flanges on the bearings overhang and ride in the slot.

If you were to use aluminum for the track, you could easily cut the slot on the table saw. One nice thing about this setup is that there is no danger of jumping the track (except at the ends, which have to be blocked), because the bearing (wheels) are boxed in. The only downside is it is a bit noisy.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

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