How To Make Sliding Barn Doors Using Skateboard Wheels

| 9/13/2013 1:30:00 PM

Tags: DIY, Sliding Barn Doors, Reuse Skateboard Wheels, Instructables,

This article was originally posted in Instructables and is reposted with permission from Dewey Lindstrom.

While building a couple of sheds (OK, glorified yard barns), I wanted to equip one of them with sliding barn doors. I like the look of sliding doors and they are very practical for a shed, allowing a much wider access opening than a normal door. But I developed a bad case of sticker shock after visiting my local building outlets to check out the cost of hardware I would need for such a project. The cheapest place I could find sold just the barn door hardware (not the doors themselves) for from $246 to $326, depending on how fancy I wanted it to look. 

So I began to snoop around for some sort of alternative I could fabricate myself. And the biggest obstacle for any DIY sliding doors turned out to be the wheels/rollers. I needed something sturdy enough to take abuse, made for exterior use, that would roll smoothly, and that wouldn’t cost an arm and a leg. While prowling around in my shop for something like that, I happened to stumble on my son’s old skateboard. And its wheels looked like a perfect candidate for the job.

After a few minutes price shopping online, I ordered a set of 4 skateboard wheels and bearings from Newclue Inc. via Amazon. The total price of the wheels shipped to my door was $17.35.

Next, I needed a rail for the wheels to glide on. I found the solution in the electrical department at Home Depot. It’s called Superstrut and a 10-foot length sells for $15. It’s a 3-sided channel of heavy gauge galvanized steel. Unfortunately, it didn’t come in 12-foot lengths, which is what would have been best for my project, so I had to purchase two 10-foot lengths for $30. To provide a little additional strength, I decided to top off the Superstrut with two 6-foot lengths of 1-by-1 angle iron at a cost of $26. (I doubt this extra precaution was necessary, and I believe the rail could be built without it.)

1/31/2018 1:49:05 PM

The wheels appear to be rolling on flat stock (one side of the angle iron) instead of in a track or a flat section with a lip on the front. What keeps the wheels and attached door from sliding off the front?

1/31/2018 7:52:06 AM

Most any farm/ranch store has the hardware for WAY less work! At Murdoch’s: 12’ Box rail $45 Brackets to hang rail $10 Box rail hanger (the rollers) $50 Takes about 30 min to mount. I’ve put these on dozens of actual barn doors as well as psuedo barn doors for used decorating inside. I’ve also spray painted a couple of them black because I didn’t want the galvanized metal look.

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