Â Hanging Sliding Doors Using a Sliding Door Kit
After making a couple of hanging doors for my daughters loft bed, I was ready to hang them. Â As a recap, the doors have 1/4″ plywood panels painted with metal-based primer, white paint, and then will eventually have dry-erase paint on them.
- Tape Measure
- Miter Box
- Hack Saw
- Cutoff Wheel
- Drill Bit
- Countersink Bit Set
- Kreg Pocket Hole Jig
- Drill with Torque Setting
- Deckmate #8 Â 2″ deckÂ screws
- Deckmate #8 x 1 5/8″Â screws
- White Board Magnets
- 60″ Stanley Sliding Door Kit
3 Hours not including making the doors
Determine which Kit to Purchase
The first thing I did was measure the gap where the track was going to go. Â The gap was 51″ so I purchased the Stanley Sliding Door Kit S403-150 which was 60″ long. Â I purchased mine from my local Lowes, but Amazon has several models and brands as well. Â Be careful when ordering off of Amazon since there’sÂ a variety of models and prices. Â I purchased mine for about $18.00 at Lowes butÂ Amazon had some models that were over $100.00. Â The main difference I noticed was the quality of the rollers and hardware. Â I didn’t think that it would be worth the extra money for the better hardware, however I debated it for a while before I came to this conclusion and ultimately the decision came down to the fact that I have put a lot of money into the bed already.
Obviously the trackÂ was too long for the gap so I knew going in that I would have to cut it using either my hack saw and miter box, using a cutoff bit with my air compressor, using my angle grinder, or using my Rotozip with a cutoff wheel (wow, I have a lot of cutoff tools).
Adding More Support For the Track
Since the track was Â 2″ wide and I was attaching it
to aÂ 2 x 6 (1Â 1/2″ x 5Â 1/2″) IÂ needed to add more supportÂ to the bed . Â I cut a 2 x 4 down to 1 1/2″ wide (a 2 x 2) Â and used my Kreg pocket hole jig to drill the holes on each end. Â I also drilled 5 holes in the face of the board with my #8 countersink bit to attach with Deckmate #8 Â 2″ deckÂ screws. Â I used the Deckmate deck screws because they are coated and won’t corrode – you have to be careful when screwing into cedar orÂ redwood because the tannins in the wood will cause the screw to corrode and leave black streaks running down the wood. Â That is why cedar fences haveÂ black streaks running down the boards where the nails or screws are. Whoever installed them didn’t use coated screws or nails. I’m not sure if part of the issue on fences is because they are outside in the elements, but, with as much time as I have spent on this bed, I wasn’t about to take any chances…
Cutting the Track
Next I needed to cut down the track to the right dimensions. Â The instructions say to Â cut the
track 1/8″ less than the width of the opening. Â Since my opening was 51″ I cut mine down to 50 7/8″.Â I marked the cut with a Sharpie and then used my square to make the line.
Originally I startedÂ cutting with my hack saw and miter box, but it was clearly going to take too long and consume too much of my energy so I broke out my Dewalt cutoff wheel.Â ItÂ took less than a minute (a little longerÂ because I was takingÂ pictures) to cut it off with the cutoff wheel.Â Once I was done cutting it off I filed down the sharpÂ edges with my file. Â This step really wasn’t necessary, but it only took about a minute and I figured it was worth the time so I wouldn’t cut myselfÂ on the sharp edges.
Mount the Rail
Next, I clamped the rail to the
Â support, making sure that the track openings were opening to the inside of the closet as per the directions. Â The I used my square to line the face of the rail up to the outer edge of the support. Â I used one of the included screws to set up theÂ depth of my drill bit by holding the bottom of the screw head against the drill bit and then tightening the chuck once the depth of the drill bit was set.
After everything was squared up and clamped I drilled my first pilot hole Â in the far left hole and then screwed in the screw. Â After my first screw was in I moved my clamp to the middle part of the rail, lined up the right front of the rail with my square, drilled the pilot hole and then screwed in the screw. Â With the rail supported on both ends, I chucked up my drill bit once again and drilled all of the rest of the pilot holes followed by screwing in all of the screws.
AttachÂ the Brackets toÂ the Doors
As per the instructions I mounted the brackets 2 1/2″ on center from the door. Â I used my square to measure and lightly mark the 2 1/2″ mark. Â I held the bracket centered on the mark and then marked the screw holes. Â I removed the brackets and used a 7/64″ drill bit to drill the pilot holes in the door where I had marked it. Â I then mounted the two brackets to the door making sure that i matched up the one’s with the #1 on the same door and the #2 on the other door. Â I also evaluated both the doors to see if one would look better in front than the other. Â I didn’t find any significant difference so I just picked a door and put two of the same number one it. Â If you have a door that you would prefer to be in front, make sure you mount the #2’s to the front door.
Hanging the Doors
Hanging the doors was a piece of cake. Â I angled the bottom of the front door (#2) into the closet and put the roller in the front track. Â I then pulled the door forward, away from the closet and it snapped into place. Â I followed the same procedure for the rear door.
Adjusting the Door Hangers
I used the dial adjustment on the doors to adjust the gap where the door hits the side walls. Â As long as your doors are straight and your side walls are level they should hang pretty evenly, but you may need to adjust one up and the other down in order to make the gap even going all the way down the wall.
Mounting the Door Guide
Next I added the door guide, the piece that keeps the door level. Â I wasn’t very enthusiastic about drilling
into the maple hardwood flooring that I laid, but, after weighing the options, I decided that it would be easy enough to fill in the hole if I ever took out the bed. Â With as much time as I have spend on this bed, I’m not planning on taking it out anytime soon. Â I may sell it with the house…
I measured the width of the bottom opening and then made a mark at the half-way point with a
pencil so I could erase it if necessary. Â When the doors are placed on the hangerÂ they don’t hang plumb. Â They actually tilt inward (to the inside of the closet) on the rollers. Â I considered using a level on the door to determine where to place the guideÂ so it would pull out the doors and make them level, but instead I had Abby help me pull them out and just eyeballed the gap running down the door where it meets the frame to make it uniform.
Installing the Fascia
Next I added the Fascia (the piece that goes above the door to hide the track). Â I had to custom fit it to the opening. Â I cut theÂ fascia to a width of 2 1/2″ on my table saw and then cut it to length. I sanded and stained it and then drilled 3 holes in it using my countersink bit. Â I drilled one hole 4″ from the left, one hole 4″ from the right and one in the center. Â Each hole was Â 3/4″ down from the top of the fascia. Â Since I was using Deckmate #8 x 1 5/8″Â screws, I used the #8 countersink bit to drill the holes. Â I then held up the fascia, stuck a screw in the left-most hole and pressed it in enough to make a mark on the wood I was mounting it to. Â I didn’t want to just screw it in without a pilot hole since that could split the wood. Â Instead, I got a drill bit that was slightly undersized for the screw threads and drilled a pilot hole on the mark about 1″ deep. Â I placed the fascia up again and screwed it in. Â Once it was screwed in it was held in place where it needed to be, so I chucked up my drill bit again, but this time I chucked it about 3/4″ longer to account forÂ drilling through the depth of the fascia board. Â I drilled the pilot hole, screwed in the screw and then repeated the same process for the middle hole.
I purchased a 24 pack of magnetsÂ fromÂ Amazon to use on the white board part of the door to hold up photos, papers, etc. Â They had good ratings and were pretty strong for their size. Â I put them on the door to make sure they would hold a piece of paper and they held beautifully. Â I’m embarrassed to say I didn’t consider the magnets height and if they were short enough to clear the front door when put on the back door,Â Â but thankfully they did.
Overall I’m pretty pleased with the results. Â Abby had to listen to me talk about how proud I was of the work several times. Â It’s pretty rewarding it is to come up with a plan and then implement it and for it to work . Â I can’t wait until I get the dry-erase coating on so that she can startÂ writing on the doors.