Scott, my husband, is an AMAZING DIY handyman. I like to call him the Handy Husband. Between the hardwood floors, our entire home office, the kitchen table, and now these closet doors, hung from a barn-style track system that he designed and engineered himself, we have saved tens of thousands of dollars to get such custom touches in our home.
We fell in love with barn-style track systems that are hanging gorgeous doors in and on all the design magazines and websites right now. What we couldn’t stomach was the $400+ price tag. We searched high and low for a tutorial that would tell us how to re-create the rustic-meets-modern look of this exposed hardware, but couldn’t find any that were detailed enough or produced the look similar to the kits we would buy if we had a limitless budget.
So Scott spent weeks designing and putting them together himself, for a total of less than $120 (not including tools).
He is so extremely thorough and pays so much attention to detail it kinda makes my head spin. We’re very opposite like that. So I’m sure you can imagine how much “fun” we’ve had collaborating on this blog post. And hopefully you can understand why it’s taken over a month to get it up after I let you all peek at our doors this summer.
Let me say, because of his attention to detail and insistence on creating a very thorough tutorial, complete with materials list and illustrated diagrams, it should (hopefully) be easy for the intermediate handyman/woman to recreate in a weekend.
Please note: THIS IS NOT A BEGINNER’S PROJECT. I’m not saying you can’t do this as your first DIY project, but it’s definitely challenging if you’re new to using these tools.
Please also note: You will need a variety of tools to do this. That said, most of the tools would likely be found in your garage if you’ve done a few home-improvement projects.
To start, you’re going to attach the track wheels to the bars that will hold up your doors. The diagram above can be viewed at full size by clicking on it, or going here.
Let’s walk through each of the steps illustrated above.
1. Grab a 3/4″ x 36″ x 3/16″ flat bar, and begin to bend the bar about 6-8 inches from the top. Bend the bar to a 90 degree angle.
This part is not exactly easy and takes some strength. Scott started the bend by laying it over a piece of the bent angle steel on the floor with about 6-8 inches sticking off one side, standing on top of the steel bar. He started bending it with his weight by stepping down on it. After he got the bend started, he hammered it until it reached 90 degrees.
2. Place the steel round rod (dowel rod) inside the seam. Hammer the flat bar another 90 degrees until the bar has completely folded over. Keep the rod in the seam of the bend the entire time so your bend is curricular to allow head space for the wheel.
The rod and the flat bar need to be held in place (preferably by someone else standing on them) as you continue to hammer the flat bar until it’s folded. That someone else, in our case, MAY have been our 4-year-old.
3. Place your drill 1.5 inches from the top of the bend. Drill a 7/32″ pilot hole through both sides of the bended rod. To prevent from burning out your drill bit, you may want to dip your drill bit periodically into some engine oil. If it does get dull, sharpen the tip with your grinder.
4. Using a crowbar, pry the bent end of the bar away from the straight end to make room to insert the wheel. Only pry it about 45 degrees.
5. Insert the wheel and shaft. Line up the shaft with the drilled holes. As you can see in the image, the shaft will likely have to go in at an angle. As you slowly hammer it down, it will straighten out. (Make sure the shaft doesn’t get pinned between the steel pieces or pressure from the hammer might break or jam it.)
6. Now cut the extra length off (at 11 3/4″ from the top of the bend) from the long end of the bar and the short end, using your miter saw with a masonry blade. The excess from the long end will be used for a second wheel and bar.
Please be careful when you cut the excess off at the top near the wheel that you don’t hit the wheel with the blade. Be prepared for sparks!
7. Drill 3/8″ pilot holes 5″ from the top of the bend and 10″ from the top of the bend. Again, use motor oil if needed to keep your bit from dulling, and use the grinder to re-sharpen your drill bit as you work. You can also use the grinder to smooth out the cuts at the ends and where the holes are drilled.
Repeat those steps 3 more times (assuming you’re only hanging 2 doors and/or only need 4 wheels on bars), and then have a beer…
Unless you’re jumping right into the next part of this project: the track. (If you’re on my homepage, click through to read more.)