Installing a saddle as a track to pocket doors

bpeikesFebruary 11, 2013

I had some double pocket doors installed to separate an area into two rooms. (office off bedroom). We used the Johnson hardware, which comes with some ugly nylon guides for the doors which don't really work that well.

The doors currently clear the floor by about 1/4 inch, and what I was thinking about doing was buying a 5 inch wide, 5/8 inch saddle, and cutting a slot in it so that it could be used as a guide for the doors. I figured it will also make the doors a bit more sound proof and act as a guide.

I've looked around for other solutions to keeping the doors running straight, but haven't seen any hardware. I've heard of cutting a slot in the floor and installing some kind of metal track, and then putting pins which come out of the bottom of the door and sit in the track, but have not found a source for that hardware anywhere. I would definitely like that over a "split" saddle.

Any ideas?

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kirkhall

What gets recommended here frequently is to cut a slot in the bottom of the door and cut an angle iron piece (very short). Install the angle iron piece in the pocket of the wall on the floor, and line your slot along the bottom of the door (out of sight) with the angle iron piece. Any "damage" to the door is then out of sight rather than being where you see it from the plastic things. Also, you aren't left with a permanent track in your floor either.

I do not know what you mean by saddle though, so your idea might work. though, it might mark up the outside of your door with time.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 2:00PM
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kirkhall

From Brickeye in a clipping I have:
"I do not use the typical plastic guides to prevent door sway (they will scratch the face of the door eventually).

Mount a short section of aluminum angle on the floor of the pocket and cut a mating groove in the bottom of the door to prevent sway."

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 2:07PM
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palimpsest

You can see the channel in the floor under these pocket doors in my last house. I wanted the door to the right to pull all the way over to the left (on occasion) because it does not go all the way into its pocket. So that door would have swung freely without a track.

They used aluminum U-channel that was rough cut to depth and then ground down with a sander at the time the floors were finished. The doors have a spring pin like those used on bifolds on the bottom. I would have preferred brass, which was also available but the track isn't as noticeable as it looks in the picture.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 2:12PM
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brickeyee

"You can see the channel in the floor under these pocket doors in my last house."

Sort of defeats part of the advantage of a pocket door, continuous floor.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 3:00PM
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palimpsest

It hardly defeated their *primary purpose. Unfortunately the track was necessary because the right door was designed to slide completely over to the left, which meant it was hanging free with no lateral limitation. Had the floor been completely parallel to this wall maybe the metal channel may not have been needed. A slight space in the finish flooring may have sufficed well enough. However, it wasn't since the house was 170 years old and not square.

You're awfully critical of a lot of things other people do; I assume your house is perfect in every way.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 4:30PM
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palimpsest

The better way to stabilize a conventional pocket door is the way suggested with the pin in the floor and a groove concealed on the bottom of the door. That is the least obtrusive. My concern with a small saddle is that it could cause people to trip if they are not expecting it.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 7:13PM
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bpeikes

The problem with the slot in the door and the pin in the floor is that you can't stabilize the center of a double pocket door. I would rather go with the brass slot in the floor and a pin in the door. What I like about the idea of the split saddle is the improved sound proofing too.

Now that I think about it, ideal would be brass slot in floor and a piece of metal which runs the whole length of the door. That would require the slot running all the way into the pocket, so I guess it's out of the question at this point.

In anycase, does anyone know a source for the brass U track and a "roller" type pin?

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 7:50PM
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palimpsest

Try this place:
http://www.brassfinders.com/railing_tubing_flatback.php

And for the pins:

http://jhusa.net/200sdbp.aspx#Optional_bottom_door_guide_and_guide_track_

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 9:50PM
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bpeikes

Thanks. Don't know how I missed that on the Johnson hardware site. That brass channel is pricey, I'll have to call Johnson to get the measurement of the inside of the track. Found a couple of other sources for the brass track that appear to be less expensive. Dkhardware.com has 8ft of 1/2" track for 30$

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 11:01PM
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brickeyee

"you can't stabilize the center of a double pocket door."

You can lock the bottom of the doors together so that one is tied to the groove in the bottom of the other, and the one closest to the pocket uses a longer track in the pocket a few feet long.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 10:06AM
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