January 5, 2012

#180- Part 3- Getting on Track

Alright, I’ll be honest... I didn’t spend my entire vacation relaxing.  I couldn’t help but find a little time to keep working on those ridiculous closet doors.

For those of you just joining us, check out the more detailed explanation here, but the short version is that Bath Crashers built us amazing wardrobes, but didn’t put any doors on them, so after months of back and forth they gave me $500 to make some myself.

I built them, and after 8 long days finally finished staining them.  So while I waited for the stain to dry, I had to come up with a plan to hang these big, wooden monsters.

First I had to deal with my track.  I had one closet at 75” wide, (just over 6 feet) and another at 51” wide, (just over 4 feet). And apparently I was being punished for all of my overindulgence this holiday season, because the track only came in lengths of 4 feet, 6 feet or 8 feet.  So I had to purchase a 8’ and a 6’, and then saw down to the correct lengths.  

As I blabbed about back in this capiz chandelier post, I hate cutting metal.  It’s not hard per-say, but it is hard work.  I start by slowing going back and forth until I make an even groove in the metal.

Than I go to town sawing in long, fast strokes until I’ve broken out into a Matthew-Mcconaughey-Working-Out-On-The-Beach sweat.  Is it hot in here, or is it just me?  Eventually, literally 20 minutes later, you get through to the end.

Once I had my two tracks cut to size, and what my mother would call a “glistening sweat” (Women don’t sweat, they glisten, she told me.  Perhaps she hasn’t seen me after a marathon...) It was time to figure out where these tracks would go.

The wardrobe they built us which did include mirrored doors, was clearly built with doors in mind from the start.  See how the top and bottom of the cabinet runs out past the inside dividers so that the sliding door tracks can attach to them, and the doors look inset?

Not so much on these guys:

So my plan was to stain a piece of 1 x 8, cut to the length of my doors, and hang this wood over the top of the wardrobes just enough for the width of the track.  Luckily my brain is always swimming with the “what’s next,” so I had cut this board in advance, and stained it along with my doors.

My “board” was actually 2 boards since I we are talking about an almost 11’ length, and there was no way I was getting a 12’er home from Home Depot without causing an accident.  I just connected them together by overlapping the track over them.

And here’s the obligatory “Ryder helping me with his own tools” photo

You’re welcome.  I swear for every photo you see on this blog I have another exactly the same, except Ryder is insisting of standing in front of the camera and saying "Cha-eeeeese!" in it.  The boy loves getting his photo taken.  Like father like son.

Hi might kill me for that one...

I knew these tracks were going to have to stand up to the weight of all 4 wooden door frames, the glass door inside, and years of frequent back and forth use, so I didn’t kid around when it came to attaching them.  Instead of screwing my track board to the top of the waredrobes, I used some heavy duty nuts, bolts and washers.

I practiced with the track wheels before I got started, and found that the doors would actually hang back 1/2” from the track towards the closet.  So I grabbed a 1x scrap, which is 3/4” in width, and used this as my guide to make sure that my track was spaced appropriately away from the closet to allow the doors to slide freely.

Then I drilled a hole with a 3/8” drill bit through the underside of the closet, up and through the track board.  Once it was clear I could run my bolt through (with a washer on each side) and then tighten the nut on top.

As you can see there was barely any clearance between the top of the closets and the ceiling, so I got a little carpel tunnel trying to tighten all the bolts.

And in the end- here’s how the track looks

So far so good I think.  They don’t stick out in front of the closets as much as I thought they would, so that’s a good sign.  We wouldn’t want to make this galley bathroom feel even skinnier.  Check back tomorrow and I’ll give you all the details on how I finished up the doors and put the glass inside them.


  1. Feel free to yell at me if I missed this part but - what kind of track did you use? We are building a sliding door for my son's bedroom closet and all of the tracks I have found online are super expensive. We are looking for something simple like this one! I'm sure Lowes/HD has them but I always forget to look when we go there for supplies for our current kitchen remodel! :)

  2. HI Lizzy- You're right, all I could find was really expensive ones at Home Depot and Lowes too. Surprisingly though, our local Menards store (big box hardware store located in the Midwest area) had these tracks for pretty cheap, I think they were $19 for the 6' and $24 for the 8'. Unfortunately Menards doesn't have a website (they're old school like that), but hopefully you live near by one and can take a look. If not, I've heard of people calling Menards and if you ask nicely they'll let you purchase via credit card on the phone and they'll ship it to you. Good luck!