Industrial Sliding Barn Doors | DIY

Zack Herberholz
by Zack Herberholz
21 Materials
1 Week
Here they are--the long awaited sliding barn doors, yep these are the ones I have been talking about for months on "The Crafted Podcast".

This was a really fun project! I was commissioned to build two custom sliding barn style doors for a house up in Daytona Beach Florida. The client supplied me with the weathered cypress which was reclaimed from an old prison fence!
The door track and hardware I used were from Rustica Hardware

If you aren't familiar with my work, I try to fabricate as many parts as possible, this project gave me the opportunity not only to forge my own nails, but my own handles as well!

A comprehensive link to the tools and products used can be found in the video description on my Youtube Channel ZH Fabrications

Here is a link to the YouTube video of the build. I'm limited to 15 pictures here so there are a few tips and in the video that I wasn't able to fit here. The video is condensed down to 11:00, and I do my best to keep it entertaining, please let me know what you think.
Alright, so I received the prison fence in two assembled panels. Obviously t he first step was to disassemble them. I found it easiest to dismantle it by laying it across the bed of my truck (1961' Apache) :)
Welding up the frame. I'm using a Lincoln Electric 140C MIG welder, and a speed square to assure a proper angle. Prior to welding the frame I ground off the mill scale and put a slight chamfer on the miters with an angle grinder.

On to some dimensioning. Here I'm trimming the boards to length with a circular saw to fit inside the frame. One of the coolest features of these boards are the weep holes--the streaks of discoloration where years of rust from the nails leaked down the boards. I removed length from both ends to try and draw emphasis to them.

Trying to stand these things up to take a look at how everything's coming along. The tall door is actually taller than my garage, so I have to stand it up at an angle--I need a larger shop.
These are some battens I made which will be used to hold the vertical boards in place. I used a bandsaw to re-saw the boards to approximate thickness and followed that up with a planer for a flush fit with the back of the frame.

I fabbed up some eyelets out of 1/8" steel which I will later drive some hand forged nails through. The eyelets are radiussed 1/8" mild steel. I used a Jigsaw with a metal blade to cut the radius, and again I used a MIG welder to affix them to the frame.
The gussets were actually an afterthought--it turns out the hardware(rollers) had to be installed 2" in from the outside of the door so I needed to make a support to bolt them to. I tried a few different styles but decided the fleur-de-lis was was the way to go. I did quite a bit of research and these were actually a common accent in a lot of medieval pieces. All of the door hardware was from Rustica Hardware.

Welding the corner gussets in place. After welding, I ground the welds flush with an angle grinder.
And shooting three coats of Minwax lacquer, I use a Qualspray LVLP gun with a 1.9mm tip which allows me to spray the finish without thinning.

After tapering the nail, I'm about to cut it off before heading the nail. The full process can be seen in the video.

Here I'm drifting a hole to 3/8" diameter which will accept the mounting wrap. This part is always stressful. The trick here is to hit hard and work fast as the cold drift wants to suck the heat out of the piece you are drifting.

Heat, bend, repeat.
Securing the finished handle to the door, I'm very happy with the way these turned out. This was my first time forging a handle like this, and I certainly hope it wont be my last.

Well, thank you guys so much for making it this far. If you enjoyed this please do check out the quick condensed build video here--it's more entertaining than pictures and text I swear :)
Also pleaser feel free to check out:
Patreon -ZH Fabrications
Newsletter - for weekly news and discount on some of my smaller accessories and swag.

Until next time!

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  • Diena Cameron Diena Cameron on Jul 18, 2017
    Zack, Seriously STUNNING ! Wow, you've got real talent. Thanks for letting us into a small piece of your world. I am so in love with those doors but especially the hardware, beautiful !! Could i ask what one door might go for on the market ?

  • Carol T Carol T on Jul 28, 2017
    Love your work! Question is: how to secure privacy with the space from wall to door as in a bathroom scenario?

  • Jaye Jaye on Oct 07, 2018

    the Video was fascinating. You are so skilled and talented. A modern day Michelangelo. Do you sell your work?

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