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I've salvaged an old door from a neighbor's demolition to upgrade the door of my small laundry closet.

I thought it would be interesting to mount the door as a sliding barn door, both as a visual statement piece and to avoid constructing a new door frame/casing.

door closed

The issue is that the laundry area door/wall (cut into a solid wall cavity that originally housed a murphy bed) is only the width of the door. There is no door-sized wall to the left or right on which to slide the door when open, as is typical for barn doors.

So, when open, the door will need to slide into free space in the hallway.

door open

Is there any hardware designed for such an application?

I can imagine, perhaps, wheels mounted under the door to support the weight. And then a rail on top to somewhat guide the movement, only from the left, but not support the door.

Vintage hardware and technology preferred, if possible, to match the door and apartment.

Any alternative suggestions are welcome as well.

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Look for "full pull-out drawer sliders." Imagine the biggest drawer in a Snap-on giant tool chest. The big drawers ofter use 2 tandem sliders on each side of the drawer. There are ball-bearing models. Look for "architectural full pullout drawer slide." They can take the weight, but they might not have the travel distance. You could build a mechanism in this way: wall >first tandem slides >intermediate plate >second tandem slides >door. Build a vintage-look box cover over the mechanism.
Or you could look at truck/trailer manufacturers for sliding hardware.

  • I found a blog post that used these full-extension drawer slides: Sliding Door with Hidden Hardware: An Experiment – pkamb Dec 28 '18 at 19:30
  • @pkamb that's so amazing! How did you find that site? – John Canon Dec 28 '18 at 23:47
  • Just via a google search for "full extension sliding door"... I purchased some 30" units myself so will post an answer soon about how they work! – pkamb Dec 29 '18 at 6:49
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I found a now-offline blog post that presents a solution using full-extension drawer slides:

Killer B. Design - Sliding Door with Hidden Hardware: An Experiment

I happened onto this beautiful solid wood old door that just-so-happened to fit perfectly over the opening for our bathroom linen closet. I was thinking of ways I could mount it, with exposed hinges like our vintage pantry door and office closet door...

But there wasn’t really enough room to add a swinging door in the tight bathroom space. I decided it should slide, but what kind of hardware? Should I do the barn door track like the one in our old home?

Drawer slides! I know, weird right? But so far it totally works! Our door opening was 24.5″ wide, so I purchased heavy-duty full-extension side mount 24″ drawer slides. They’re rated to hold 100 pounds, which is twice the weight of this door. I cut a scrap cedar 2×2 board to fit in the lower part of the door opening and attached it with pocket holes and 3″ screws. Then I mounted the drawer slides to the front of the door opening at the top and bottom, and to the back of the door. It took a lot of fighting and fumbling with it to get it up, but I was able to all by myself!

sliding drawer door

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She does mention some issues with the drawer slides:

One thing I (and you, if you look closely at that top left corner) noticed is that it does sag if left open. I’m also concerned about the potential of it falling forward off the rails. I’m thinking about mounting a bracket on the top to keep it in place, and possibly a small castor on that lower left edge.

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