Recent project: sliding door part 1

March 16, 2016

I am a firm believer in just doing things. Jump in, you’ll figure it out. I wanted a sliding door, and my options were to buy a door (used and then refurbish to look how I wanted) or make my own, I decided to make my own. After all, what else is Pinterest good for?

After doing what I considered extensive research (on Pinterest, duh), I put together what I thought was a decently-laid out plan. Are you getting a feeling about this project? Let me walk you through how it went.

The Plan

Buy wood. Stain wood. Screw two 2x4s onto a bunch of 2x6s to create a door. Mount the door onto the tracking system, which I already knew how to build after doing a curtain rod. Seems easy enough so I jumped right in.

Home Depot Trip #1

Purchased 3 14′ 2x6s. Had them cut in half, leaving me 6 7-foot boards. 6 boards at 6 inches across is 36 inches. Bought a 2×4 and had it cut into two 36 inch lengths. Bought my stain, screws, wall anchors, and the piping necessary for the tracking system.

When home, laid out the 2×6 boards. One edge lined up nicely.

Nice and even.

Nice and even.

The other edges were jagged; all the pieces had been cut to slightly different sizes. I also laid the 2x4s to see their placement. The edges should have lined up (remember my 36 inch math above?).

Uh oh.

Uh oh.

BUT NO! Turns out that 2x6s are actually 5.5 inches wide, not the full 6. It has to do with the depth of drywall and it’s better for builders that they are 5.5 inches, not 6. So now I needed another 2×6 and to center the 2x4s.

In theory, the wood would have lined up at the ends of the 2x4s.

In theory, the wood would have lined up at the ends of the 2x4s.

That lead me to my

Home Depot Trip #2

Picked up one more 2×6. Thankfully, we have a friend who lives nearby with a saw. He graciously let me come over and helped me cut the wood to it was all the same size. Time to start.

Attempt #1

Staining in the garage

Staining in the garage

Stained all the wood in our garage over the course of three days. It was the middle of a cold spell in January. 10 degree high days do not make for efficient dry time or warm painters hands.

Once all the boards were finally dried, I brought them back inside (so I could feel my fingers when working) and laid them down to start putting the door together. My plan was to lay down one 2×6 and screw on one 2×4 near the top and one near the bottom. Then add a second 2×6 and so on.

So I started.

On attempting to drill in my first screw, my drill died. Another call to our friend nearby and I had a second drill.

When his drill struggled to get the screw into the 2×4, I went to the internet. Duh, hardwood is hard and you should use a drill bit to drill a hole for the screw to go in first. Upon doing that, my screws went in much, much easier. But I did strip quite a few screws in the process.

Board 2 presented a problem. It wasn’t completely straight. I tried to squeeze everything together as best I could, but I really needed another pair of hands and a ratchet strap. I found another person, but not a ratchet strap. So we used a belt. Needless to say, a belt does not work effectively at tightening wood together and it promptly broke under pressure.

We continued despite the belt. When we got to the sixth board, I realized that I had started my 2x4s at the edge of the 2x6s, meaning they extended beyond the sixth 2×6 but stopped short of the end of the seventh. At this point, I had stripped too many screws to make unscrewing the 2x4s a viable option.

(insert frustration)

We stopped with 6 boards with the idea that we would cut off the excess 2×4.

But the saga continues…in part 2!

See how I rectified the situation in part 2!

See how I rectified the situation in part 2!

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