Sliding doors on a cabinet?

I am going to put sliding doors on a cabinet. Is there any reason not to simply rout the tracks into the cabinet, rather than putting tracks in? I don't think I have ever seen it done that way, but it should be rather nices. Thanks.
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Routing or using a dado to cut the track would be a viable alternative to the add on tracks if the wood is strong enough to hold up to the stresses
John

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I have been routing the tracks in the carcase for the last 20 years at least, and it sure makes for a smooth operating door and a better fit to boot....mjh
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I have a record cabinet that has the door tracks dadoed in. The frames are wider (thicker) than the panels so they fill in the gap between the doors.
It may be a little tricky to do this with a router because of potential tear-out. If you have a dado cutter, you may have better success.

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There was a (fairly) recent FWW article on this. Evidently, there's a handful of subtleties involved. I enjoyed (a) reading it (b) learning about it and (c) reveling in the good feeling that dawned on me when I used the plastic tracks.
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all the 2004 issues, but couldn't find it. Thanks.
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The one with the bar clamps on the front. Seth Janofsky wrote it. He's a very talented fellow - design, marquetry, furniture, photography, etc.
Patriarch
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You see the letter from someone in the latest issue about his "reducing contact area reduces friction" remark?
"patriarch snipped-for-privacy@nospam.comcastDOTnet>" <<patriarch> wrote in message

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Yeah, I caught that. I met Seth when he recently came to present at our woodworking club (club gloat!). He's an interesting, and generally patient man, in many ways. I got the sense, however, that he's pretty confident of his positions, and suffers fools not very much.
His specialty right now is on very spendy boxes and display cabinets. The attention to detail is remarkable.
Patriarch
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If they're spendy, he'd better be paying attention to detail.
"patriarch snipped-for-privacy@nospam.comcastDOTnet>" <<patriarch> wrote in message

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way: 1) the top slots are deeper than the bottom slots so that the doors can be lifted up out of the bottom slots for easy removal. This requires that the top slot have a little leeway so you can swing the door in and out. 2) don't have the full bottom edge of the door in contact with the bottom slot. Use just a couple of contact points and wax the slot well. You could try to find nylon 'buttons' to insert in the bottom edge as bearing surfaces or simply drill and 'tap' for a nylon binding head screw - this would be easily replaceable when it wore out.
Also, I agree with another poster who suggested ripping a dado on your TS rather than routing the dado but YMMV.
TWS
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Before the existence of the plastic track, a bare "slot in the wood" was the _standard_ method. Sears sold kitchen cabinets with that kind of doors in the early 50's. They were also common on record (you know, "LP's") cabinets in the 50's,,60's.
Particularly for overhead kitchen cabinets, the sliding doors have a *BIG* advantage -- you can't bang your head on the door if you leave it open. (Note: the house I grew up in had those sliding door cabinets; when I moved into 'a place of my own', it took me *years* to learn to _always_ close the cabinet doors. When you grow up 'knowing better', hinged doors are an abomination! :)
For home construction, the slot is usually cut with a table-saw, rather than a router.
The doors need to be relatively thin, and light-weight. e.g., 1/4" Baltic Birch.
As somebody else pointed out, there _are_ some design subtilities -- because the doors _are_ removable/replaceable after construction. The 'upper' track needs to be more than twice as deep as the lower one, *and* a bit wider. The _rear_ upper track needs to be 'a bit' wider than the front one. (the doors have wedge in at an angle in the upper track, before you can swing them to alignment with the lower one, thus the excess width. And they have to go 'up' in the upper track, far enough to let the bottom of the door clear the lower face, _before_ dropping into the lower track. And, obviously, _after_ they drop in the lower track, you still have to have =some= of the door still in the upper track.)
Yeah, *obvious* once mentioned. *NOT* so obvious if you haven't thought it all the way through. DAMHIKT.
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And/or bevel the rear top of the guide tennon.
I enjoyed (sort-of) reading the FWW article to explain where I went wrong on some pantry doors a while back. They touched on my bigest mistake but did not dwell on it.
I got a bit lazy since it was not a high visibility area and just jut some panels from 1/4" maple ply. Since, they have warped a bit. It is imperative that the doors be very flat to run well. 1/4" ply does not have enough substance to stay put.
One of these days, I'll cut them down and capture them in frame.

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the headboard of my bed has these. 3/4" red oak.
the slots accumulate stuff, and the doors don't slide very well until i vacuum it out and apply some sort of furniture wax. further, if the panel warps at all, it won't slide. it wasn't made well, and the upper slot is a bit wider than the doors are thick. this causes the door to tilt just a little backwards, and this jams them in.
regards, charlie cave creek, az
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