Big barn doors for my shop?

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Forum topic by CovenantCreations posted 09-06-2010 08:34 PM 6409 views 1 time favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View CovenantCreations's profile


127 posts in 3101 days

09-06-2010 08:34 PM

Hi, I want to get rid of the crappy garage door that is on my current shop that I am remodeling. I would like to put swinging doors on it (barn doors) if you will. The only problem is that I have to span a 18 foot opening only seven feet high. I know there is going to be a lot of weight and leverage with a door that long but I was thinking of supporting the two top corners that meet with a cable attached to the side of the shop. For those of you who have built something similar how did you do it? Thanks for the advise.

9 replies so far

View Brandon's profile


4152 posts in 3150 days

#1 posted 09-06-2010 08:42 PM

Would it be possible to put large casters at the bottom-meeting corners?

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View 8iowa's profile


1587 posts in 3960 days

#2 posted 09-06-2010 09:05 PM

My “Workshop in the Woods”, built in ‘07, is actually a 24’ x 28’ “garage package” from Menards. (an upper mid-western “big box”)

Since I was building a workshop, not a garage, I didn’t want a typical garage door with all that cumbersome mechanism inside on the ceiling. My choice was two 60” x 80” double doors, one on the main level, and the other directly above, giving access to the loft. I reasoned that I was not likely to build any projects larger than the double door, nor was I going to have any machinery that was too large to fit through.

This has worked out very well and I’m pleased with my choice. I have been able to install well spaced lighting on the ceiling, and I have more wall space.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 3182 days

#3 posted 09-06-2010 09:47 PM

Have you thought of sliding doors as an option? Like these.
Might be a better option and don’t have to worry about the wind catching them and out of the way when open.
Just a thought.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View rkevins's profile


79 posts in 3128 days

#4 posted 09-07-2010 01:33 AM

The shop that my dad and I share is in a 30 year old former poultry house, we have had “barn doors” on it all these years if we ever redo the doors we will eather go with a rollup garage door or sliding doors, on most newer poultry houses sliding doors are the standard as well as Rollseal ( by Hired Hand) but the Rollseal doors in my opinion are not secure enough for a shop. The barn doors catch a lot of wind. I hope this helps Kevin

View helluvawreck's profile


32087 posts in 3065 days

#5 posted 09-07-2010 01:46 AM

I built some sliding doors once for a plant; they weren’t quite 18 ft. I don’t think, but wouldn’t have missed it far. The thing about sliding doors is that they are supported by ball bearing rollers at the top however many you want to put so the weight is distributed across the whole length of the door. Also you don’t have to worry about the swing out arc. If something is in the way then you have to move it out of the way before you can swing a hinged door all the way around. Plus there is a lot of leverage that is pulling on the top hinges. If you’re handy with metal working you can rig up you;re own hardware. You need a track of some sorts plus some brackets with some rollers that run on the track. You can just as easily have one door as two. Also, you can put a track on the bottom as well. There are lots of advantages that come with a sliding door/doors if you think on it.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View CovenantCreations's profile


127 posts in 3101 days

#6 posted 09-07-2010 04:27 AM

I understand that sliding doors would distribute the weight much better, but Those wont work in my situation. Just looking for advise on barn doors. And to brandon, that is a great idea, but the ground slants off pretty good outside the doors so I don’t think that will work.

View CovenantCreations's profile


127 posts in 3101 days

#7 posted 09-09-2010 04:33 PM

Any one else dealt with anything like this?

View terrilynne's profile


836 posts in 3092 days

#8 posted 09-11-2010 04:54 PM

Have you considered making the opening smaller? You can add some windows for light and airflow and it will also give you more wall space for benches and tools.

-- Terri, Rocky Mountain High Colorado!

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 3469 days

#9 posted 09-11-2010 05:28 PM

I had to split two barn doors – one on each side….as the expanse across the shop opening was made to allow some larger tools to wheel in and out – about 13’ or so. I used premium siding to make the doors as I wanted something strong but light (there is a single 1”X 2” frame around them (pocket screwed together) to give just a bit of support). I also hung them on piano hinges so that the stress is distributed evenly. The door frame has stops and jamb around them and a low flat threshold to allow rolling carts to move through. I reserved an area to put rollers on the door bottom if the stress and wood movement caused the doors to sag….but after a year that has been unnecessary – as the piano hinges are holding up very well.

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

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