Help! Sliding Hardware on Stave Core Door Failure

lilacious_in_nycAugust 6, 2010

I have a Stave Core Primed MDF Door hung on sliding door hardware. The door is pretty heavy - it separated the bathroom from the hallway. There were two sliders installed - the track was above the door so the slides also hung the door. The door's weight was distributed between these two points. The slide worked fine for 1 year but recently the screws of one mounted slide began pulling away from the door. It began to pull the filler material out of the door. Here are two pictures.

One shows the remaining sliding hardware mounted. Notice the crack forming from the screw.

The other shows the failed sliding hardware removed. Notice an entire area chewed away by the mounting screws and the primed mdf surface is separated at the corner.

My questions are the following:

What can I do to prevent further cracking and separation of hardware screws from filler?

What should I fill the existing gap with?

I am thinking I should add more sliding hardware to further distribute the weight of the door amongst each mounted slide, i.e. the more screws there are the less the load for each to carry.

Thanks in advance for any help.

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The only reason you should get cracking like that is if someone drove those screws in without pilot holes. The cracking of the filler strip means that the hardware attachment was severely compromised from the beginning, and repeated movement of the door weakened the already tenuous hold that the screws had on the door until they worked loose. There is enough damage there that I am not sure it can be repaired and be good for the long term. I've got a lot of woodworking experience and I don't think I would bother to tackle that repair based on the damage I see. You probably don't want to hear this, but, if you want a lasting solution, the best thing to do is to get new doors. I don't think you need to add hardware, just make sure the hardware is installed properly next time.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2010 at 4:06AM
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Actually, it's a solid core door. Not stave core. It curiously looked like masonite inside and I checked the original receipts and it's a "Solid Core Birch" door.

So I was planning to replace the Hettich/Grant Adjustable Top Plates with an Apron style fastener instead. It works with the same track system. And fastens to the face of the door rather than the top edge. Hope it's sufficient coz I don't want to reinstall the flush locksets on a new door.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 9:12PM
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How long are the screws?

If the door is solid core it is filled with wood, just not the wood you would expect.

Particle board (in any of its versions) is solid wood, but it was sawdust/chips before being glued back together.

You can probably enlarge the pulled out area and glue in a piece of regular wood if you really want to use the door again.
Use a quality woodworking type glue (Titebond type) and make sure the sides of the enlarged hole are flat and smooth.

You need a thing glue line for maximum strength.

Longer screws designed for particle board should also be used.
They have a coarser thread.

A stain grade door would be even better since it will be made from actual wood and not chips.
An interior door should be less than $100.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2010 at 9:13AM
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