Wednesday, March 6, 2013
If you're on Pinterest as much as I am, then you know sliding barn doors are, like, design crack right now. They seem to work with just about every style, from ultra modern to shabby chic to vintage industrial, and they SLIDE OPEN. C'mon. That's just awesome.
So naturally, I wanted a barn door for our laundry room makeover, if only because I can't find anywhere else in the house to fit one. John and I looked for sliding barn door hardware online, and the cheapest price we could find was about four hundred dollars - and that's just for the hardware!
You guys already know what happened next: John thoughtfully examined the hardware and announced, "I can TOTALLY make that."
And so he did:
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:
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:
cabinet doors we just made.
Now, on to the hardware!
You'll need two 2.5 inch pulleys that look like this:
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.
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:
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:
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:
Ok, so get this: YOU'RE DONE! All you have to do is lift your door into place on the track, and get to sliding!
That's all the stuff it's covering up: pretty much our entire pantry. The door does overlap the edge by about four inches when it's open (the wall wasn't quite big enough for it to slide back further), but that's not an issue for us. Finally - no more clutter, and no more dusty cereal boxes!
I've outlined the basics here, but if you want a much more detailed barn door tutorial (complete with diagrams and precise measurements), head over to this post by Jill of Baby Rabies. There may be some slight differences, but overall it's the same techniques we used. (And I found it - where else? - on Pinterest. Ha!)
Well, hope you guys liked seeing the next stage of our laundry room makeover! We're still not done, of course; next I'll show you our plumber's pipe shelving and the super fun and steampunky way we've devised to hide our water heater. That bit's not quite finished yet, though, so believe me when I say I'm probably WAY more excited to see this than you guys are. ;)
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