LumberJocks

Struggling with math and mechanics of sliding doors

  • Advertise with us

« back to Designing Woodworking Projects forum

Forum topic by Scott posted 04-10-2017 09:26 PM 940 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Scott's profile

Scott

153 posts in 2809 days


04-10-2017 09:26 PM

Like the title says, I’m struggling with the math and mechanics of removable sliding wooden doors on wooden tracks.

I’m trying to do a tongue and groove system where I add in strips at the top and bottom of an existing cabinet to use as the guides for doors. Doors would have the grooves and the tracks would have the corresponding tongues. All 3 doors need to be removable, so the door would have to raise up and then tilt out for removal.

Should the door get the groove, or should the track? Does it really matter? What I’m also struggling with is the math and mechanics. If there is a quarter inch t/g at the bottom, I would need a corresponding quarter inch at the top, plus room to lift the door up so that the bottom can tilt front and then have clearance for removal. So I was thinking 5/8” at the top. Will this work? Does it sound correct?

If anyone has any tips, pictures, drawings, advice, etc, I sure would appreciate it. So far, I’ve made some templates with graph paper and it seems okay, but I think I’m going to definitely make some mock-ups out of scraps before I go much further.

Thanks!


7 replies so far

View papadan's profile

papadan

3584 posts in 3205 days


#1 posted 04-10-2017 10:22 PM

Put the grooves in the rails. The door will sit in it and raise up into it. Otherwise you will have the tenon showing at the top of the door that would slide up for removal.

View woodbutcherbynight's profile

woodbutcherbynight

3644 posts in 2245 days


#2 posted 04-11-2017 03:03 AM

The only math is at the bottom. If your track is 1/4 inch (6mm) at the bottom you need 5/16 ths of an inch (8mm) minimum at open distance to the top. See papadans photo above for reference to this gap. This allows the door to travel far enough up to get out of the bottom track. Sorry no pictures I had such doors once in the shop, removed them to allow more access to the cabinet.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View papadan's profile

papadan

3584 posts in 3205 days


#3 posted 04-11-2017 03:06 AM

Woodbutcher, we had those doors on an entertainment center and took them off because they were always in the way. LOL

View woodbutcherbynight's profile

woodbutcherbynight

3644 posts in 2245 days


#4 posted 04-11-2017 03:16 AM

Yeah papadan I found that out the hard way. Great idea, looked good, terrible to work with. LOL

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View Scott's profile

Scott

153 posts in 2809 days


#5 posted 04-11-2017 03:20 PM

Thanks! I was overthinking it a bit, but keep it simple is the best approach. She has another cabinet with sliders, but they aren’t removable. She wants similar doors on this one, but removable in case she wants it left open. It’s basically a TV stand with shelves for components.

I was mainly worried about the removability, but I made some scrap mock-ups this morning and I think it will be fine.

View William Shelley's profile

William Shelley

477 posts in 1306 days


#6 posted 04-11-2017 04:23 PM

The other thing you could do is make the cabinet get the track and make the door get the groove, but the inside-half of the door’s top groove would be a removable strip of wood. That way, there would be no vertical slop, and to remove the door would simply require reaching inside the cabinet and backing out a couple screws.

-- Woodworking from an engineer's perspective

View Scott's profile

Scott

153 posts in 2809 days


#7 posted 04-11-2017 06:10 PM

Thanks! I actually considered something along those lines, but the doors need to be removable (or installed) by her at anytime, not by me. If it were me, I probably would do that. But she wants to be able to do it herself whenever she desires.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com