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I have a closet with bifold doors. They keep coming off the track so I decided to get rid of the damn thing and separate the two panels and fashion them into swinging doors.

There’s one problem that I can’t exactly figure out. Normally, these bifold doors have a 1/2 inch “lip” in front of them from the moulding that runs from the floor, up the side, across, and down the closet. Basically, the decorative framing around the closet opening.

How could I use a hinge in this setting? Would I have to notch out parts of the lip for the barrel and pin to sit outside the lip? Would those swing-out hinges that look like two L’s folded against each other possibly work?

Also, each panel is 17.75 inches and the room inside the closet is 36.5 inches end-to-end, with the 1/2 inch lip on each side excluded. Would you recommend a full or no mortise hinge?

Front of closet

Inside of closet

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  • The 1/2" lip probably used to hide the gap at the side edges of your door. What gap do you want between the doors at the middle? What is the door casing opening size? That number would be the side to side measurement between 1/2" lips plus 1/2" for each lip. Do you have access to a table saw?
    – popham
    Nov 6, 2023 at 22:03
  • Ideally, I’d like as little a gap between the doors in the middle as possible. The opening size would be the 36.5 inches side to side, if the doors were installed behind the lips. If they were flush, then there’s only 35.5 inches of room to work with. No table saw, unfortunately. Nov 6, 2023 at 22:23
  • You probably want to replace the door casing then, shifting so that the inside edges are flush with the jamb and header. Then you'd be able to install traditional hinges (assuming that's what you want).
    – Huesmann
    Nov 7, 2023 at 12:56

2 Answers 2

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Standard stop molding is 3/8" thick. Remove the 1/2" lips at the sides. Figure out where you want the face of your door, and install 3/8" thick stop molding by positioning its near edge at the door face's location ("near" when you're standing outside the closet looking in). 5 finish nails per piece is good.

This new edge will allow a 1/4" gap at the middle of the doors if the door closes tightly to the stop molding. By choosing the hinge mortise depth, you can divide this 1/4" gap between the 3 gaps: One at the middle and one at each side. The "knuckles" of some hinges may be too large to fit in the 3/8" space afforded by the stop molding. Piano hinges have effectively no knuckles to fit, so if you can't find anything else that works, there's always piano hinges.

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An easier solution than yours is replacing the track with a better one. For example, the 75lb one here. I'm not affiliated with that company except as a customer, and not recommending them over any other one you might like. It's an example to illustrate the enormous quality difference between typical builder grade tracks and what you can get if you want.

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