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Installing Leatherneck Barn Door Hardware

Installing your barn door track and hanging your door is pretty easy to do. This article explains how to install barn door hardware manufactured by Leatherneck. Leatherneck tracks can be ordered with holes pre-drilled or without holes. The track has to have solid backing to lag into. If you're installing on an existing doorway and are not sure where the studs are, you'll want to order a non-drilled track so you can use a stud finder, locate the studs and place the lags where they need to be. In this installation, we planned ahead in construction and installed backing behind the drywall all the way down the length of the track. If you can plan ahead and install backing like this, it will save you a lot of time drilling holes in a steel or (in this case) hard stainless steel track. Drywall anchors will not be adequate for mounting these tracks, you have to lag into the studs or into backing to get a nice solid track and smooth operating door.

What you will need for this install:

- 1/2 Inch drill bit
- 3/8 Inch drill bit
- 3/16" drill bit
- Power drill
- 3/4 inch wrench
- 5/8" wrench.
- Your Leatherneck Barn Door Hardware Kit

Prep for installing lags for your barn door track. For our installation, we have nailed up a 1x6 header piece where the track will be installed. We did this because we liked the look of it and we were already casing out the opening. We wanted to be able to lock this door and needed a jamb for the door to close into. To do this we have built up a jamb that protrudes out as far as the door will away from the wall so that we can install a strike plate for the Cavilock CL400C Keyed Pocket Door Lock we've installed. As mentioned before, we already had backing behind the drywall so we had ordered a predrilled track. Add the height measurement of your door, add the size of the gap you want beneath the door, and 1/2" gap above the door. The sum of these measurements will be the height you want to the bottom of the track. Typically, you would have a 1/4" gap at the bottom of the door for the nylon glide to work as intended. If you need more than that, you may need to make an adjustment (like we did for carpet flooring).

Drill holes for the lag bolts Once you have marked out the holes, drill a pilot hole with the 3/16" drill bit or smaller. This will help make sure you have a stud or backing behind. The use the 1/2" drill bit to drill the depth needed for the lags. Get someone to help you hold up the track and install the spacers and lags using 3/4" wrench.

Mark location on the door for hanger installation. Layout the placement of your hangers. To do this you need to add up the width of your track and 1/2" gap you need between the track and top of the door. Then subtract from that, the recess in the hanger wheel. Then you can lay the hanger on the door and space the wheel that distance from the top of the door and mark the location of the holes. If might be handy to have a spare hand to help you do this and keep the hanger square on the door. This left us with 1 3/8" from the top door edge to the center of the top through bolt of the hanger. Most leatherneck applications would probably be the same or close, we always suggest double checking all the math to make sure you're right on with the track you have in hand. The hanger location right to left on the door can vary, but you'll want to plan ahead for stop locations on the track. In our case, we could use a factory drilled lag hole for the stop mounting location if we put the hanger at 4" from edge of the door to center of the through bolts, so that is what we did. We covered our stained door with painters tape to protect the door surface. Predrill all the way through the door carefully, then drill 3/8" hole through the door. We recommend drilling a little from the back side first to prevent an unsightly blowout on the back of the door when the drill comes through.

Mounting barn door hangers. Now you can mount up the door hangers on the door. We had to install ours after moving the door into place because our door was so large it wouldn't fit through the opening with the hangers installed.

Prepping your door for the nylon fin. To keep your door from swinging and possibly falling off the track and hurting someone, you'll want to install the nylon glide that will be hidden beneath the door. To do this, you need a 5/16" wide slot on the bottom of the door that is about 1/2" deep. We kept started and ended ours about 1" from the edge of the door so that you can't see the cut on the door edge. We used a plunge router to make this channel. We have also used a circular saw, but that did require a bit of chisel work at the end of the channel. Since we built our own door, we did this before the door was completely finished.

Installing the nylon glide. Installing the nylon glide is usually pretty simple if you have a solid floor surface like concrete, hardwood or tile. Ours was carpet which required a couple of extra steps. First space your door parallel and level with the wall, then measure over to the center of your channel you made in the bottom of the door. Install the nylon glide right where that channel is located. The nylon glide has to be installed before you hang the door on the track. In our case, with a carpet floor, we first figured out the location of the glide. Then we cut a small chunk of carpet out and melted the carpet edges to keep it from fraying. We used a hardwood like oak to fabricate a spacer to put the glide at the proper height. This gave us a 3/16" gap at the bottom above the carpet so the door wouldn't rub.

Your finished barn door with Leatherneck barn door track. Now, carefully lift your door up on to the track with the track in the recessed portion of the wheel while making sure the nylon glide slips into the channel on the bottom of the door. Next, install the antijump block on the top edge of the door right behind the hanger. This will keep it hidden. The antijump block will keep your door from bouncing off the track if someone pulls it hard. This is not likely to happen with this very heavy solid door with glass inserts we have built, but if it did happen it could cause some real damage or injury. Very much worth installing the $10 part.
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