Shop made sliding doors always seem to be just not right, don’t you think? They bind, they stick, and what you want always seems to be just behind the other door.
Recently completed were a set of sliding doors to cover a “hell hole” storage space in a stair landing. They are actually pretty sweet. With a little hand planing some wax the action is just fine. Plus, no hardware needed – no hinges, no latch , no catch, and no time fiddling around getting all that hardware mortised and screwed and adjusted.
The trick is simple – cut your top groove 1/2 in. deep, your bottom groove 1/8 in. deep. With this style of door the groves are cut directly into the frame. Obviously you want your groove a little oversize width wise so the doors slide freely.
Make your doors just 7/16 in. taller than your finished opening. This will give you 1/16 in. clearance when your door is held snug up into to the top grove, just enough room to swing over the bottom sill and drop nicely into the 1/8 in. groove.
The doors should overlap a bit – how much is up to the craftsman. Remember – the more they do overlap the smaller your access will be. A small slot for the pull is nice – keep it near the center of the door and they will slide nicely.
Another benefit of these low-tech, hardware free doors – you can simply remove them and set them aside for an occasional “spring cleaning” of your storage hell hole.