I'm thinking of using T-track to support a hanging sliding door.
I'd like to use the space under my front porch for storage. The porch
will have a lattice that goes from under the deck to just above the
ground, and I want to make a section of the lattice slide like a
The sliding panel will be a 4' x 2' 2x4 frame holding the lattice, so
it won't be very heavy. There will be a similar panel fixed in place
next to it, that the sliding panel slides over. For esthetic reasons
I want a very small clearance between the top of the sliding panel and
the joist it hangs from, so I didn't want to use a standard roller
I was thinking of using aluminum T-track set into a dado in the joist,
and "T-bar" fastened to the top of the sliding panel. To keep the
sliding panel from swinging, I'd have another T-track on the inside
face of the bottom of the 2x4 frame, and a traveller on the fixed
The top T-track will be two 4' lengths, and I figure I'll file the
ends of the T-bar so that it doesn't hang up when it crosses from one
to the other.
I'm just wondering whether T-track will slide easily with that much
weight over a four foot length. My gut says "sure it will", but I
thought I'd ask for a second opinion.
I think a hard wood track instead of the aluminum one may work just as well
baybe better and be easier to work with if you plan on the tracks to be
guides only. If you are going to hang the panel from the top track wheels
are going to wear the least if you can find that size. Bolts will wear the
aluminum track quickly. T-bolts would slide more smoothly than regulare hex
: If you are going to hang the panel from the top track wheels
: are going to wear the least if you can find that size. Bolts will wear the
: aluminum track quickly. T-bolts would slide more smoothly than regulare hex
: head bolts.
I was planning to hang the panel from the track, using "T-bar", which
is the part of a miter guage that slides in the T-track. So, I'd have
a full 48" of "T-bar" to support the weight, instead of a just a few
bolt-heads. Think of it as a 48" long T-bolt.
Wheels would slide better, but T-track/T-bar is simple.
One word: "friction"
My guess is that, due to inevitable corrosion, dirt, insects, etc, an
increase in "friction" is going to eventually make you wish you used a
wheel/roller system, which are devised specifically to overcome friction,
for a door overhead tracking system.
I've recently had to hang doors on an overhead, wheeled track after
refurbishing the doors. After 11 years of exterior use, the overhead wheel
based hanger system was the only thing that still worked like the day it was
Just something to consider.
Why not use hardware designed for this use? There is tons of various types
of hardware made for sliding doors, you can buy rollers for Unistrut if you
want something sorta heavy duty.
: Why not use hardware designed for this use? There is tons of various types
: of hardware made for sliding doors, you can buy rollers for Unistrut if you
: want something sorta heavy duty.
The hardware I looked at in McMaster-Carr all required significant
clearance between the bottom of the track and the top of the door.
I figured that if it wasn't in McMaster-Carr, it didn't exist.
But it looks like some of the Unistrut hardware you suggested will
do just what I want.
: But it looks like some of the Unistrut hardware you suggested will
: do just what I want.
Now that I look at it, I'm remembering why I decided against the
wheeled options. The clearance needed between the joist and the top
of the moving panel is the problem. Here's the numbers, with all
dimensions in 1/8" for easy comparison
T-Track: 6/8" x 3/8", 3/8" clearance,
or I could inset the track into a dado for "zero" clearance.
Unistrut: 13/8" x 13/8", 13/8" clearance
13/8" is wider than the "two by", so instead of a dado
I'd have to cut off the bottom of the joist.
Curtain track: 13/8" x 5/8", 14/8" clearance (Thanks, Pete!)
I think I'm back to the T-track, with occasional applications of
TopCote (Thanks, Leon!).
The hardware isn't that expensive, so if it doesn't work I can always
go to plan B.
Look at the track used for drapery tracks. Looks like a mimi I-beam
and comes with the rollers and low angle hanger system. While this
intended for indoors, it may be a simple way to go if it is protected
under an eave or facia. You could probably double it up, (hang the
lattice front and back) if you were concerned with weight issues and
use more than two rollers per track.
I'd go with the garage door track and wheels route.
T-track has close tolerances, and you have icing to consider on top of the bugs
and dirt already mentioned.
The track would be hidden anyway with the wheels mounted a few inches down the
lattice, thus raising the lattice to cover the track. A strip of lattice
mounted like a drapery valence might be considered, if needed.
Let us know how it comes out.
I made a lattice gate 5'x2.5' from the plastic lattice and the plastic edge
material sold for same purpose. Already white, X orientation. Just painted
the fasteners. Supported by L-bolts in O-eyelets, @20, 80% of height, or
so. The corners have flat corner L-brackets on both sides (8 total) with
bolts, washers, nuts. All hardware fits in track of the edge material. No
total 16 bolt, nut, washer combos at the 4 corners. Perfect bolt locations
through the inersection of the || //. Free standing on 2 eyelets when
open, it sits level across the top, not sagging, though it is twisted a
little, even when closed. glad I thought of it. used latch w/ O- in wall &
? w/ spring catch to close at other top corner. Just noting the plastic
alternative for lattice.
if you need a color, Plasticote Vinyl Color from NAPA or other auto parts
place. Like lighter fluid on kleenex, not like Fusion. Does computer
bezels perfectly too, no risk.
unless deck is really high, tracking not problem
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