how to make floor track for pocket door

jaansuSeptember 10, 2012

I recall Brickeyee recommending to place a piece of angle iron on the floor to guide a pocket door without the need for those plastic guides that eventually scratch a door. I'd like to do this for a pocket door I am currently assembling. Brickeyee, would you give some advice? I assume the length of the iron could be fairly short, say 18" situated just inside of the door itself. How deep do you make the groove in the bottom of the door and how do you make that groove? It's not clear to me what tool I have would make a straight clean groove in the bottom of a door.

Is there some sort of channel I can buy that could be mounted into the door for the angle iron? Maybe that avoids the difficulty of cutting a narrow groove.

thanks!

Jaansu

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brickeyee

" It's not clear to me what tool I have would make a straight clean groove in the bottom of a door. "

A router with a 3-wing cutter of the desired groove width.

The shank normally has a ball bearing pilot that sets the depth of the groove.

The router rides on the face of the door with the base hanging half way off.

The biggest problem is making sure the router does NOT tip at any point during the cutting pass.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 10:40AM
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jaansu

I have a router but admit I rarely have used it. I guess I can ask for a 3 wing cutter bit to match the thickness of angle iron I purchase.

thanks!

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 10:58AM
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brickeyee

You can stack 3-wing cutters on their arbor to obtain the desired groove width.

I use aluminum angle since it is thinner than steel.

Be sure to round the edges that will be rubbing in the groove.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 11:23AM
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mike_kaiser_gw

To expand on what Brick suggested, this is the kind of router bit you need:

This particular bit is a set that allows you to cut different thickness grooves but you can also but cutters that just create a fixed width.

Although this picture isn't a door it should give you a good idea of how you are going to use the router:

You might want to practice on some scraps before starting on your door. Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 8:56AM
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brickeyee

Be sure to stop the groove before the exposed edge of the door so it does not show on the exposed edge of the door.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 11:06AM
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jaansu

Thank you, I bought the slotting bit and I see this will be a simple job as long as I am holding the router flush to the side of the door. Now I have to figure out why my router is completely dead, although it has been ~10 yr since I last used it. Hope it is only the switch.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 12:17PM
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brickeyee

"I see this will be a simple job as long as I am holding the router flush to the side of the door."

That is indeed the trick.

The router must NOT be allowed to tip at any point during the cut.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 11:26AM
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