DIY Barn Door Hardware for $30!

This tutorial will show you how to build barn door hardware for around $30 without using any special tools. Everything can be bought right at your local big box store. It goes well with my barn door tutorial so you can build a custom barn door from 3 choices. The best part is that they are ALL under $50!
The first thing you need to know is which bit will drill through metal. The left one is for wood, the middle is masonry and the right is the one you want. That's for metal.
Right now is a good time to make friends with someone who has a drill press. If you can't do that, you can drill through using your regular drill, just don't make any plans to use your arms for the next day or so. It takes a while.
I used a 1 1/2" by 72" piece of steel and matched the bit size to the lag screws I bought. The specifics are on my blog. Mark where the studs are in the wall on your piece of steel so you know where to drill. Also, do not center the holes, you will need more room on the top so that the wheels will roll easily.
Place the steel on a 1 x 4 and mark where to drill the holes. This board will be directly on the wall. To assemble the rail, put a 1" copper spacer (found in the plumbing dept.) the steel bar, then hold it all together with a 4" lag screw.
To install the rail :Drill pilot holes in the wall and with the help of a buddy, screw all the lag screws into the wall. Your rail is complete.
For the door hardware, you will need to cut pieces of steel that are around a foot long. I just did this with a vise and a hack saw then filed the sharp edges. Drill the holes. I used carriage bolts to hold it onto my door and nut caps on the backside.
I bent the top of the bar just so that the door was a bit more flush against the wall. The wheels are just the inside of 2" pulleys and they work like a dream. I've heard of using Razor Scooter wheels with the rubber taken off, but they are more expensive and I've never tried it.
Now you have the hardware and the rail ready for a custom barn door. That tutorial will be coming up next on Hometalk, but it's already up on my blog.

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 4 questions
  • Donna Evans
    on Jan 28, 2019

    How did you bend the top of the bar?

    • JOHN
      on Mar 2, 2019

      put it in a vise and push or hammer; then repeat at the other bend

  • Donna Evans
    on Jan 28, 2019

    Is there anything needed at the bottom to prevent the door from swaying?

    • Ste40710489
      on Mar 15, 2019

      Yes a door guide is recommended either underneath the door or behind so that you cant see it.

  • BuffBiscuit
    on Mar 17, 2019

    Great info. Do you have any DIY suggestions for a 2-rail double barn door build?

Join the conversation

3 of 5 comments
  • Anna Ibarra
    on Jun 23, 2016

    NICE!!!! ;-D

  • Cinder
    on Feb 21, 2018

    Actually I don't have a question... just a tip for drilling. If you start your drilling with a very small drill bit (the smaller, the better), and progressively increase the size of the bits. You will get to the size hole you want, without killing either your drill or your arm. It also takes way less time. Really liked your post.

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