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Sliding Cabinet Door Options? Never done this before... :-)

I'm getting ready to make an entertainment center. But, we want sliding doors on the front/bottom and I've never done it. Gonna have to choose an approach. Makes me fearful.

Any thought/advice/experience appreciated. Seems like the options are:
 
- Wood on wood. There's an article at Fine Woodworking that recommends this approach. But, I have difficulty trusting it.

- Wood in 1/4" plastic track. Rockler sells a plastic track that can be inset top/bottom. It works for 1/4" ply doors or a door with a 1/4" bottom. Wood runs on plastic.

- Full rolling hardware. Don't know too much here yet. But, there are hardware options out there with wheels, etc.

I will need them to be long lasting and attractive. A simple build is nice. But not entirely necessary...

...Doug

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Here are a few great resources for you Doug - the episode James mentioned! This is just one way of doing it though... there are a lot of options which I'm sure people will share here.

http://www.woodsmithshop.com/episodes/season3/301/?play=E301_Teaser...
http://www.woodsmithshop.com/download/301/slidingdoorshopcabinet.pdf
Thanks. I'll look at the Woodsmith vids. Googles quite a bit yesterday but didn't get clarity. :-)

I suppose I love the elegance of a wood on wood solution. And, prefer for them to slide well and for a long time  more than I need elegance. 

Hmmm...

James Waller said:
I have been interested in doing something with sliding doors myself. I watched the Woodsmith Show where they built a pegboard wall system that had sliding pegboard doors. I think they used the "rolling hardware" method. Now if you could see each option in operation, you could make a decision on what you want.

Go to Google, type in "sliding cabinet doors" and just look at the images to get some ideas.
Hi Doug,

I recently built an entertainment center with sliding doors (it's posted here on the Kreg site) and used 1/4" sapele ply sliding in an open slot/dado. I originally chose a track system from Rockler but sent it back for refund. It came with four guides and two tracks. The guides were to be mounted in 3/4" ply and the tracks laid in 7mm slots. I found the guides easy to mount, but the tracks required a special router bit. (I couldn't use my table saw because I needed a stopped dado/slot.) I also found that the posts on the guides fit loosely in the tracks which made for a bunch of slop. The doors would have moved forward and back in the tracks because of the excessive play in the tracks and disrupted the clean look I was going for. Also the 3/4" doors would have looked too bulky. After sending the tracks back I opted for the 1/4" ply. It worked awesome. As long as the door is roughly as wide as it is tall tracks simply aren'y necessary. My doors are bit taller than they are wide and I experience no racking at all. A neat trick is to wax both the slots and the doors. Also make sure that your top track is deeper (2x) than the bottom so that you can lift the doors within the top track and pull them out of the cabinet. This makes for easy adjustment and repair.

Hope this helps,

Mike

Mike -

Thanks. (Sorry for the delayed response - it's been crazy busy...)

 

After digging around and reading the advice in this thread, I'm going to opt for the 1/4" door. Found a solid core 1/4" that looks really great.

 

Now, the adventure continues...

 

...Doug


Michael DeMattos said:

Hi Doug,

I recently built an entertainment center with sliding doors (it's posted here on the Kreg site) and used 1/4" sapele ply sliding in an open slot/dado. I originally chose a track system from Rockler but sent it back for refund. It came with four guides and two tracks. The guides were to be mounted in 3/4" ply and the tracks laid in 7mm slots. I found the guides easy to mount, but the tracks required a special router bit. (I couldn't use my table saw because I needed a stopped dado/slot.) I also found that the posts on the guides fit loosely in the tracks which made for a bunch of slop. The doors would have moved forward and back in the tracks because of the excessive play in the tracks and disrupted the clean look I was going for. Also the 3/4" doors would have looked too bulky. After sending the tracks back I opted for the 1/4" ply. It worked awesome. As long as the door is roughly as wide as it is tall tracks simply aren'y necessary. My doors are bit taller than they are wide and I experience no racking at all. A neat trick is to wax both the slots and the doors. Also make sure that your top track is deeper (2x) than the bottom so that you can lift the doors within the top track and pull them out of the cabinet. This makes for easy adjustment and repair.

Hope this helps,

Mike

Hi Doug - I've been toying with sliding doors. A thought occurred to me to run a slot cutter down the bottom dado, essentially making it a t-slot and slipping a strip of UHMW in to assist with the sliding of it. I was also thinking the top and bottom edges of the doors should be rounded over also.  I haven't tried this yet, just some ramblings from a wandering mind. I have a couple of projects that are candidates for sliding doors coming up in the future and have been doing some pre plan work on them.

gdatomic said:

Mike -

Thanks. (Sorry for the delayed response - it's been crazy busy...)

 

After digging around and reading the advice in this thread, I'm going to opt for the 1/4" door. Found a solid core 1/4" that looks really great.

 

Now, the adventure continues...

 

...Doug


Michael DeMattos said:

Hi Doug,

I recently built an entertainment center with sliding doors (it's posted here on the Kreg site) and used 1/4" sapele ply sliding in an open slot/dado. I originally chose a track system from Rockler but sent it back for refund. It came with four guides and two tracks. The guides were to be mounted in 3/4" ply and the tracks laid in 7mm slots. I found the guides easy to mount, but the tracks required a special router bit. (I couldn't use my table saw because I needed a stopped dado/slot.) I also found that the posts on the guides fit loosely in the tracks which made for a bunch of slop. The doors would have moved forward and back in the tracks because of the excessive play in the tracks and disrupted the clean look I was going for. Also the 3/4" doors would have looked too bulky. After sending the tracks back I opted for the 1/4" ply. It worked awesome. As long as the door is roughly as wide as it is tall tracks simply aren'y necessary. My doors are bit taller than they are wide and I experience no racking at all. A neat trick is to wax both the slots and the doors. Also make sure that your top track is deeper (2x) than the bottom so that you can lift the doors within the top track and pull them out of the cabinet. This makes for easy adjustment and repair.

Hope this helps,

Mike

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