Pocket door design question


I'm building an entertainment center and want some input before I start on something that won't work.
Location considerations allow me a size of 48 inches wide and 23 inches deep. SWMBO requires that the doors retract completely into the case. My doors would be 24 inches (approximately) and have to retract into a case that's only 23 deep with 3 to 5 inches being lost to the pocket door slides....deep breath.... That is unacceptable.
My thought was to make the doors with a piano hinge so they would fold onto themselves and then only be 12 inches wide. But will this work? If I fold them in, they won't fold flat because the folding half be butting into the pocket door slides. If they fold out and flat would there be clearance to get past the door slides?
Luckily, I haven't started building this yet and I haven't purchased any door slides. My only solution may be to make the cabinet deeper but that will take some fancy talking to you know who....
Any help would be appreciated.
Bryan
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Bryan,
There was a post this past month where someone showed how he made folding doors that slide back into the cabinet - exactly what you're doing. In fact, he showed how to do both types. I don't have the time right now to go looking back at the posts but if you DAGS using keywords like "folding doors", and variations, you should be able to find the article. It may have been pics posted in a.b.p.w.
Bob S.

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I'll do some searching...
Thanks Bob!
Bryan
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I would think you would need some of the door exposed for the hardware, at least a couple of inches. I showed an alternative to flipper door hardware and how to do retracting doors on a TV cabinet I built several years ago . The post is still on "Alt binaries pictures woodworking " see the post by Mike Hide ,it might offer some ideas, and it certainly is a more asthetic solution than the flipper door hardware .....

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wrote:

If this will be a built in, rather than free standing, you can take the sheetrock off the wall area behind the pockets and let the door and slides go into the wall cavity.
The top picture on the linked page shows a cabinet that picked up quite a bit of depth in the center by cutting into the wall behind.
http://home.comcast.net/~tjwatson1/page14.htm
Tom Watson - WoodDorker tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet (email) http://home.comcast.net/~tjwatson1/ (website)
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What about a tambour door (like a roll-top desk, but sideways)? Can the back of your entertainment center be curved? Rockler and I'm sure many other places have pre-made tambour doors and individual parts to make your own. Alternatively, how high is your entertainment center, and would it work to use a door that slides back into the top? More like an overhead garage door, with either a tambour or pocket drawers. I know these don't directly answer your question, but maybe a totally different idea could help (if SWMBO approves, of course). Ferinstance: I've been planning a cedar-lined blanket chest, but also want to use it as a coffee table, so I didn't want to have the top hinged, but wanted more storage than drawers would offer. I was having trouble coming up with a good design in my head, until my SWMBO suggested a door that lifts up or drops down. Why didn't I think of that? Sometimes I guess it just takes someone to think outside the box. Or blanket chest, as the case may be. Good luck, Andy
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Thanks Andy, Tambour door crossed my mind but I'm not sure what the size limitations are. It will be 56 inches high (53 opening) so I don't think a tambour door would work very well at that size. I suppose this would be easier if I've ever used pocket door slides or had one to look at.... Maybe I just need to give Lee Valley a call and order what they tell me I need and see how it's going to work.
Bryan
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It's free standing. Built in is not an option. I thought of that, believe me.... :-)
Bryan
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I think your first instinct is good but you need to change where the doors break.
Take the 24" doors and make an 18" and 6" door joined with the piano hinge. The hinge axis will be on the inside. Then add a magnet catch to hold the 6" door against the 18" door once it's opened.
This allows you to use standard flipper hiinges/sliders. This also breaks up the front of the case into 4 pieces but the center 2 are equal in width to each of the outer pieces. This symmetry might be too much so you could play with some sketches. Perhaps 15" and 9" to make the 24 would be a better balance.
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That is the way I think I'm headed. If I understand the door hardware correctly, the only thing on the door is the Euro style hinges which will take up about 2 inches so even 10/14 split would work.
Thanks for the help!
Bryan
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Yep. the inset for the hinge is about 2 1/4. Test out the setup on blank wood before you commit to holes in the door. I just did a set and it took about 6 tries to get the holes in the right place. The hinges have some in out and up adjustment screws but they only give you a few 16ths of adjustment so you need to be pretty close with the hinge location to start.
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2 1/4, perfect! I should be able to make the doors and slide them into to carcase making SWMBO very happy! I'm ready to start cutting....
Bryan
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