Advice needed for sliding door project run amok

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I am building a cabinet with sliding doors (due to space constraints). It is 36" high, 74" long and made from cherry plywood. I got 1/4" cherry for the sliding doors that are to run in a sliding door track I purchased from Rockler.
The plywood I made the doors from was the wrong choice. It started warping and it very difficult to fit in the sliding door track. The rest of the project is complete but I need to find a better choice for the sliding doors (something that is stable and straight). I finished the doors the same as the cabinet(50/50 blend of Watco natural oil and poly followed by two coats of poly after the watco blend had fully dried) but clearly I need to changes horses. Do you have any suggestions for me?
TIA.
Dick Snyder
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If I understand you correctly, you're running the 1/4 ply directly in the track?
I don't think that will work - plywood is not rigid enough for that sort of purpose. Usually when the door runs directly in the track, it's tempered glass, which is very rigid.
For a wooden door, I think you're going to have to build a frame around the panel with 3/4 solid lumber, and use sliding door guides, like these:
http://www.rockler.com/european-style-sliding-door-hardware
John
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On 3/14/2015 2:37 PM, John McCoy wrote:

When I read the reviews of the track on the Rockler website, everyone had used 1/4" plywood directly in the track. The picture on the Rockler website showed bypass glass doors. I think I will call Rockler on Monday to see what they have to say. I got my plywood from a very high turnover dealer here in eastern Mass so I assume I just made a bad choice of wood rather than buying crappy wood. I think I will call them too to see what they have to say. I don't have enough room in the bypass to use 3/4" plywood. I am kind of stuck with my design.
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wrote:

In a situation where the enclosure is complete and the thickness of the doors has been defined as 1/4", no more, no less; I'd recommend glass for the door material. You could have the glass frosted, smoked or whatever, but if you insist on wood doors you have some demo to do and some more design work.
Good Luck.
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On 3/14/2015 3:15 PM, Dick Snyder wrote:

I hope you held your plywood flat or straight up and down and clamped when you got it.
The changes in humidity from shipping and such require something to stabilize it.
I have had similar problems with ply, I have been clamping all ply to a rack vertically oriented so it won't twist ever since.
Thin ply is a tough one. I am sure the oil did not help. I am sure it is still wet inside.
--
Jeff

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Did you varnish both sides at the same time ? If you left the inside bare the moisture can hit the bare side and swell.
Martin
On 3/14/2015 2:15 PM, Dick Snyder wrote:

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On 3/14/2015 2:37 PM, John McCoy wrote:

Not really, my parents had a setup like that, and it has lasted for 50 some odd years. I still have it in my shop. I took the doors off when I put it back, but just to check, I put them back in today. Still good.
They can last.
Not sure why you needed to buy the track, these were just grooves in the bottom and top of the carcass.
I don't know a way to fix it.
--
Jeff

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On 3/14/2015 10:11 PM, woodchucker wrote:

The general consensus among members of the rec who commented is that the plywood was too big to remain stable. Each sliding panel is 30" high and 34" long. Even before I put a finish on it it was curved. I had hoped (incorrectly) that the track would take out the curves which were in one direction only - the longest one). I bought it at the end of December and kept it in my very dry warm basement where my shop is.
Anyway, I am moving on to try 1/4" smoked acrylic sheets which should be very stable.
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wrote:

Did you finish both sides of the ply? If not, it WILL warp. Also, is there a way to "frame" the plywood with something like a metal channel (finished in oiled broze or something that doesn't stick out too much from the cherry?)
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On 3/14/2015 2:43 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

I did not finish both sides but even before I finished it, the wood was warping. I had (foolishly) hoped that the upper and lower track would straighten things out. I just replied to another poster than I will call Rockler on Monday to see what they have to say as well as my (excellent) plywood supplier.
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On 3/14/2015 2:18 PM, Dick Snyder wrote:

Always finish both sides of plywood panels.
While the fact that you didn't may not be the entire reason the 1/4" ply warped so badly, it is most certainly a contributing factor not in you favor.
What grade was the ply?
Lower grades of 1/4" plywood are notorious for turning into potato chips, particularly if they are subjected to sunlight and wet conditions on only one side (even on the ride home to the shop, but a plywood grade like A-1 usually gives you a better chance.
There are some ways to solve the problem if you have enough clearance.
Might want to consider salvaging your investment by making 3/4" frame and panel doors, with the top and bottom door rails having a 1/4" tongue that fits in the groove.
You should be able to cut a tongue quickly and easily with a table saw, and since it it won't be seen, it doesn't have to be pretty.
You could even make frame and panel doors 1/2" shorter in height, then glue nail a 1/4" strip on the rails in the appropriate location as a tongue.
Be creative ...
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On 3/14/2015 3:57 PM, Swingman wrote:

Yeppers. I put the strip in the center but OP could put it on the edges.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/100373064@N03/
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On 3/14/2015 6:05 PM, Max wrote:

My depth space is very limited. I don't have room for two 3/4" doors
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What if the spline(?) for the track is offset for each door? You might have to trim any interior shelves by a little.
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What if the spline(?) for the track is offset for each door? You might have to trim any interior shelves by a little.
How much _can_ you sacrifice in shelf depth? It wouldn't take but a 1/2" thick frame or maybe even 3/8" with a rabbet to add sufficient stiffness to the panels. Doesn't have to be a centered groove, a rear flush rabbet'll do the same trick...
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On 3/15/2015 4:18 PM, dpb wrote:

The panels/doors have to pass by each other
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On 03/15/2015 4:47 PM, Dick Snyder wrote:

So, they still can/could, just need the width of the thickness of the panels which could be as little as 3/4" total plus a smidge for clearance...
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On 03/15/2015 4:51 PM, dpb wrote:

And, in fact, they can still go in the 1/4" grooves simply rabbet the bottom/top edges to fit and turn the to panel overhangs to front/rear, respectively on each.
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On 3/15/2015 7:43 PM, dpb wrote:

I went to a glass store today to see if they can track down smoked acrylic glass.
Meanwhile I am thinking more about your idea. As I understand it, I should make a frame and panel door with the 1/4" cherry as the panel. The panel track from Rockler is 7/8" wide. This leaves just under 1/4" for the two panels to pass each other. If I made 1/2" frames with a rabbet on each frame edge to create a spline to slide in the track. I would end up with something just a little wider than I have now. I worry that the 1/2" frame with the unruly 30"x 34" plywood in it would rack a lot but I guess it is worth making a frame to see what happens.
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On 03/16/2015 8:32 PM, Dick Snyder wrote:

...

...

That's the idea, yes. What's the ply core, do you know? What's the RH in the workroom area and where it's been stored and how was it stored? It's possible you might be able to reduce EMC and get it to return to more nearly the neutral stress position at time of manufacture which will tend to cause it to go back to nearer flat. If you can do that, and _THEN_ finish it to reduce further moisture migration you may have a shot.
I sorta' fanned on the overall size of the panels initially; that's pretty large. You possible could make the frame and inset panels in somewhat like window lights instead of just one single panel...could end up as a "design feature", perhaps... :)
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