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Barn Door Tutorial

Friday, September 5, 2014
Happy friday all!! 
I know some of you have been waiting for this, so here ya go! I thought a friday was a perfect time to post this so maybe you all can tackle this little project over the weekend! 

Barn Door Material list

Wood
(2)-Plytanium 8inch center 4x8ft. ( these will make your door) $28.98 each
(4) 1x6x10 white wood board (trim for your door) $6.88 each
(1) 1x6x8 (decorative piece to mount track on) $4.88 each                                                                             

Steel
(1) 8' x 2" piece of steel (track) Free
(1) 3' x 2" piece of steel (door bracket) $7.20 

*disclaimer-Lowes and Home Depot did not carry the 8ft piece of steel. We are lucky enough to have a friend who owns a sheet metal and copper fabrication shop. This is where we got our 8ft track. You will want to find a specialty hardware store or google a steel fab shop that is local to you and see if they can provide you with one.

Hardware
(2) 3" steel pulley (its in the garage door section at Lowes) $4.93 each

(6) 3/8"x 5" lag screws ( attach the rail to the wall) $0.31each

(16) 3/8" flat washers (go on every bolt and screw you have) $0.94 bag

(6) 3/8" lock washers ( go on before every bolt) $0.94 bag

(2) 3/8" x 1 1/2" hex bolt (attaches through center of wheel)$0.21 each

(4) 3/8" x 2 1/2" hex bolt ( connects steel bracket to the door)$0.21each

(6) 3/8" x 3" black pipe nipple- you can find them in the plumbing section ( used as spacer for the      3/8" x 5" lag screw) $1.49 each

(6) 3/8" Hex Nuts $0.06 each

(3) 2 1/2 x 1 1/2 Corn brace L bracket ( these are used for your stoppers at either end of the rail and as the floor guide for your door) $3.95

1.5" trim nails $1.00 

1" wood screws $1.00

100 grit sandpaper $4.99 pack

Wood Glue $7.97 16oz

Door Pull $4.49 (Tractor Supply)

Equipment
awesome wife with amazing ideas
super crafty husband to execute those ideas
table saw 
(you can also use any circular saw or jigsaw, hell you can use a steak knife but it might take you till next year) 
miter saw
nail gun ( but you can use a plain 'ol hammer if you want)
sander 
grinder or any specialty saw blade that will cut through steel
drill (or screwdriver) 
Hammer Drill (you can also use a drill press) 
level
Socket Wrench

Spray Paint-flat black $5.98 each
Semi gloss white paint $20.84

GRAND TOTAL $179.00 


*This is a tutorial for one double sided Barn Door with trim work on one side only. You will have to double the amount of wood you need for the trim if you want it on both sides. We didn't trim both sides because the door will stay open most of the time and we didn't want the added weight for something that we didn't feel would show very much. 

How we made it...


First we cut the overlay off of both pieces of wood siding using the table saw. 
This cleaned up the edge.
 This photo below shows you how we cut the end off.
 The next step was to use wood glue and glue both sides of the wood siding together.
We glued the back sides together and then placed a bunch of heavy crap on top to hold it tight while it dried.
 Heavy crap holding it down shown below.
 Next step was to screw the two wood siding pieces together.
Brian drilled 1inch wood screws in where the trim would eventually lay on top so that the screws wouldn't be visible when the door was finished.
Next step was the trim on the "front" of the door. 
This is the side that would show in the dining room. He used the miter saw and cut the white board to make the trim on the door.
 
 He used a nail gun to nail all the trim down and then using a 100 grit sandpaper sanded the entire door. Trim included.
The next step was to paint.
(disclaimer: we forgot to add the center trim first so you can go ahead and add all the trim at once, we're just ding dongs and painted twice) 
You also want to paint your 1x6x8 support beam at this time and spray paint all your hardware black.

We added in the trim for the center of the door and filled in the gaps with wood filler and then painted it all.
So pretty but boy is it heavy!

Next step is to mount the 1x4x8 white wood to the wall.
Using a level and finding the studs with a stud finder Brian screwed this piece in to the wall with a standard drill. 
The purpose of this piece of wood is not only to be decorative but to also add extra support to the Lag screws which support the track. It gives the screws an extra 3/4" of wood to go through while also providing the needed clearance for the door to move freely on the track.
Next step is your 8ft piece of steel.
We measured the wall to see where the studs were and then using a Hammer Drill and 3/8 inch drill bit, drilled 6 holes in to the 8 ft piece of steel. Brian used some oil to lubricate the bit each time he drilled a hole since he didn't use a masonary bit. If you are having difficulty drilling your holes, you can first drill a pilot hole with a smaller bit to get you started.
*MAKE SURE YOU DRILL THE HOLES LOW ENOUGH ON THE BAR TO ALLOW THE WHEEL TO MOVE FREELY ACROSS THE BAR AT THE TOP!


Then he attached the 8ft steel piece to the 1x4x8 wood using the lag screws which fit through the center of the pipe nipple.
This is how you will attach the rod in order of hardware:
Lag Screw
Flat washer
8ft Track
Pipe Nipple 
Using a hammer he tacked it in to the wood and then used the socket wrench to secure it all the way in.
(picture below is close up of this process)

The next step was to bring in the door. 
This was only possible with the help from our neighbor because even though I consider myself freakishly strong, there was no way I could carry it in to the house! Its just too heavy. 
Next step is your brackets using your 3ft piece of steel.
 Cut your 3ft steel piece in to two 18 inch pieces with your grinder. 
The next step is to add your wheel to these two pieces. These will be your door brackets.
In this order:
3/8" x 1  1/2" hex bolt
flat washer
wheel pulley
flat washer
lock washer
3/8" hex nut

Now you will attach your 18" piece of steel (these are your door brackets) to the door. 
Measure how you want your door to hang from the track.
 This will depend on the clearance you need from the floor to the bottom of the door. 
Our door way is 7'10".  On the 18inch steel pieces we drilled the holes 1.5" from either end of the steel and the middle hole was drilled exactly at 9 inches from either end. Dead middle. Three holes total. 
We knew we needed 1/2 inch of clearance from the bottom of the track to the top of the door and we needed 1 1/2" of clearance from the floor to the bottom of the door. Once we had this information we drilled the holes in to the door at the location we wanted our brackets to be.
We attached the brackets in this order:
3/8"x 2 1/2" Hex Bolt
3/8" flat washer
door
3/8" flat washer
3/8" hex nut
The next step is to attach the door pull....easiest step by far!
Okay, now that you have your hardware all in place it is time to hang the darn thing.....hands sweating, praying that you did the math correctly.....YAY!!! IT WORKS!!!!

Next we attached the floor guide because due to the weight of the door it will push away from the wall without a guide holding it in place. 
We used a Corn brace L bracket and drilled it in to the floor and stuck a furniture pad on to it to keep it from scratching the wood and also to allow the door to roll against it smoothly. This held the door in place.

Next we attached the last two Corn brace L brackets to the 1x4x8 white wood holding the track to serve as stoppers and keep the door from rolling off the track! That would be bad!

Once those are in place, you can safely use your door!
(I got a little ahead of myself and took this picture before we attached the stoppers...oops!)
Here is the back of the door that is visible to the kitchen when closed

You can see above where the 18' bracket bolts attach to the back of the door. 
And that my friends is how you make and hang a barn door!
My thoughts about this project..
It wasn't easy but it wasn't hard either. We were able to execute it rather quickly which is always a major bonus in my book. We did try to stain the door first with white stain. It didn't end up looking very good in our opinion so we went ahead with painting it instead and I like it much better this way. Its funny that once we did this project, I now see Barn Door Hardware for sale everywhere I go. 
The thing is, its always way more expensive then what we ended up paying by making it ourselves. I know that finding the 8ft piece of steel seems like a huge pain but with a little leg work you will find one and it will be so worth it in the end.  
If you have any questions about this tutorial, please leave a comment and I will answer all of them the best I can! 
In the end I hope that this is a useful resource for you especially if you are getting ready to tackle this project in your own home!!
Good Luck!
13 comments on "Barn Door Tutorial"
  1. Awesome tutorial, Anissa (and excellent photography)! And by the way, Brian is the best model ever! ;)

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    1. Thanks Dee! I really tried to make it as detailed as possible. Oh and yes, he was very happy about being in so many pics:)

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  2. Hi Anissa! I work with Cassity over at <a href="http://www.remodelaholic.com>Remodelaholic</a> and we would love to feature this! Drop me a line at hello@remodelaholic . com and we can discuss the details. Lovely work, and such a lovely home!

    Cheers,
    Lorene

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    Replies
    1. Oops, I messed up the link! Let's try that again... Remodelaholic

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  3. Hi, Yours is the best tutorial on this project I have found. About to replace two doors using this. I see you used 3" pulleys but do you think it would make any difference to use 4" pulleys? I would like the larger diameter on one of the doors we are putting in. Thanks for any input you can offer.

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  4. The door looks amazing! Those steel used as tracks and door brackets are really clever. I like the fact that you decide to make it a sliding door, it is much more convenient to use. I also like its color, it makes the kitchen look old school yet classy. Thank you for sharing this lovely post. All the best to you.

    Rosemary Bailey @ Wabi Iron & Steel Corp.

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  5. Thank you so much for your step by step tutorial! My hubby just mentioned today that maybe my idea of a barn door would be a good idea. Now, I have something to show him to prove that not only is my idea good, but also doable!!

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  6. The door looks great! You guys did a pretty swell job on this. It seems like it requires a lot of hard work. But by the looks of things, it’s all worth the effort. Anyway, I like how you painted the steel tracks. It will probably fade due to the grinding, but I think it’ll add a more vintage look to it – which is pretty nice. Thanks for sharing this. Have a great day!


    Bernice Parsons @ Badgeranodising

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  7. Wow! It seems that this barn door turned out a great project, given that the materials are high quality. Also, the steel brackets are also a great idea to make the door more durable. Well, thanks for sharing about this. All the best to you!

    Arthur Greene @ Central MM

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  8. I Cant wait to try and make this! Super excited!!!
    gopaintsprayer.com

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  9. How about making a frame that sits inside the wood siding panels for the front and back, nailing that and then making the outside frame and diagonal piece? It would cut back on the weight quite a bit, I think. What do you think? It looks stunning!

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  10. Nicely presented information in this post, I prefer to read this kind of stuff. The quality of content is fine and the conclusion is good. Thanks for the post.
    sliding glass door repair

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  11. So if you are still checking on this, how did you create space between the bolt holding the steel rod and the piece coming down from the pulley wheel that is attached to the door?

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