How to build a sliding barn door

Written by steve smith
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A sliding barn door slides right along the wall and is completely out of the way during operation. These doors open in deep snow, and can be opened when objects are in front of the barn. They can also be opened partially to allow you to slip smaller objects into the barn. To allow for easier opening and prevent warping of your tracks or styles, you need to build the doors lighter than regular barn doors.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • 2-by-4 inch boards
  • 4-by-1 inch planks
  • Nails
  • Screws
  • Saw
  • Hammer
  • Power driver

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Cut your 2-by-4 inch boards to the height and width of the barn door to create the frame. For stronger frames, double stack the 2-by-4 boards or use 4-by-4 inch beams. This will add a lot of weight, so consider whether the extra strength is really necessary.

  2. 2

    Assemble the frame using metal braces and galvanised nails or screws. Cut a cross brace and install it in the centre of the frame. For large barn doors, you may want to use a diagonal cross brace in each half of the frame.

  3. 3

    Cut your planks to the height of the barn door and lay them on the frame. Attach them to the barn door frame using galvanised screws or nails. Use a dab of wood glue or adhesive for added strength.

  4. 4

    Mount your sliding barn door track to the top of the frame, using an accurate carpenter level. Use wood screws and a power driver to mount the track to the barn door frame.

  5. 5

    Mount three to four track wheels on the bottom of the barn door, if the door is going to slide across level ground. If the bottom of the door is higher than the foundation, which is the case if your barn has an entry ramp, mount another sliding track on the bottom frame of the door. The tracks can be located anywhere on the frame edge.

  6. 6

    Measure the distance between the mounted tracks, and then install the tracks for the barn walls. Double check each measurement, and remount if necessary.

Tips and warnings

  • Use lighter wood like pine rather than heavier, harder woods for your barn planks. Other manufactured boards may also yield more strength and less weight. These manufactured boards can also last longer.
  • Do not make your sliding barn door too heavy, because it will be difficult to push open and will warp the tracks.

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