EPBOT: Make Your Own Sliding Barn Door

The total cost for this door - wood and hardware combined - was less than $100. LESS THAN $100, YOU GUYS.

Here's the breakdown:

Wood - $40
Wheels - $30
Metal rails & tubing - $25

If you already have the door, then that's only $55 for the hardware - $55 versus $400. It doesn't require nearly as many power tools as you might think, either: just a strong drill and an angle grinder with a steel cutting disk to cut the metal rails. (If you're making the door, you'll also need a circular saw - or a hand saw and a whole bunch of patience. :D)

So...you ready for this?! Then let's get to it.

There are several ways to make a simple plank door. We used exterior tongue-and-groove board normally used for house siding:

(The opposite side is a classic bead board.)

Stick the boards together with plenty of wood glue, and then secure them with ratcheting straps for a tight fit while the glue dries. The three skinny boards you see on top there aren't attached; they're just there to act as a brace for the straps and to make sure the door doesn't bend:

Lock those straps down tight!

Once the glue has dried the next day, attach cross-boards to the door, if you like. (You don't have to, but they do add extra support & visual interest.) Here I've also distressed my door by banging it up with a hammer and screw:

Now stain or paint the door to your preference:

I stained mine to match the cabinet doors we just made.

Now, on to the hardware!

You'll need two 2.5 inch pulleys that look like this:

Lowe's and Home Depot didn't have them, but John finally tracked some down at Ace Hardware. (I also found some here on Amazon for about $13 each.) The only part of the pulley you need is the center wheel, though, so pull the center pin and pop that out:
Now take a bar of 1.5 inch solid steel (available at any hardware store), and stick one end of it in a table vise:
Bend it down as you see John doing here. (This really doesn't require a lot of strength; the leverage of the bar does all the work for you.) The hook you've just made is what's going to hold your wheel.
You need to clean up the hook shape, though, so next remove it from the vise and bang the bend flat with a hammer:You want to get a nice, sharp bend, so go ahead and hammer the point all the way down if you have to.

Odds are you'll have to flatten it a bit too far, so now pry the hook back up a bit:


...and then slip the pulley casing in to get the distance right:

Go ahead and hammer on the steel with the casing inside; you won't be needing the case for anything, so it doesn't matter if it gets banged up.

Now test the fit with your wheel; it should fit perfectly, with just the right amount of wiggle room on either side of the wheel:

John is holding the wheel in place with his thumb; it should *not* be a tight fit.

That's one bracket done! Now cut your bar to whatever length your door requires:

Spaaaarky.

And repeat the whole process for bracket number two. (You can see here that John bent both hooks on either side of the bar and then just cut it in half.) You may also want to grind down your cut edges, in case they're too sharp.

When you have both brackets ready, it's time to attach the wheels. Drill a hole straight through each hook, piercing both layers of steel:


Your wheel will be supported by a pin placed through these holes. The original pulley pin will probably be just a hair too short, so you may need to get a slightly longer bolt with a nut to hold it in place.

Also drill holes lower down on your bar where you want the screws to go - the ones that will attach the bracket to your door.

Right. If you plan to paint your hardware, now's the time to do it!

We used a flat black metal primer. (I plan to age it with a little sanding later.)

Attach your bar brackets to your door. I didn't grab a photo before we hung the door, but here's a close-up of the hardware:


Now all that's left is the rolly bar!

This bar is the same 1.5 inch solid steel as the door brackets, so just cut it to the length you'll need for over your doorway, and then drill holes spaced roughly 2 feet apart down the length of it. Make sure you drill these holes in the lower third of your bar, not directly in the middle.

Now my lovely hand model will demonstrate how this bar will attach to your wall:


Ok, so here you've got a honkin' (technical term) concrete anchor in John's right hand. That goes in the wall. That long screw sticking out goes in the anchor. Between the steel bar and the anchor is a half-inch steel tube, cut to about two inches in length. The tube acts as your spacer - very important. Each of the holes you drilled in your bar will have this same set up.

When it's installed, your bar should look something like this:

Note again that the bolts are located on the lower third of the bar, not the middle. This is important because you want your door's wheels to be able to roll

Source: www.epbot.com

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  • Avatar Technojay I am looking to buy a new French Door refrigerator.?
    Dec 03, 2008 by Technojay | Posted in Maintenance & Repairs

    Which brand is the best? Which brand should I stay away from??

    • GE has a nice looking new line that functions very well, but get the GE Profile if you can afford it. You may have an authorized GE Scratch & Dent dealer in your area! Call around, because these are where the deals a …(consumer reports, consumer affairs) on this brand's models before you commit to one. Unless you know how to tell who made a kenmore, you may get something made by LG or Frigidaire or who really knows! I hope this helps!