Sunday, October 25, 2009

Dining Room: Pocket Doors

When I decided I wanted double doors leading into Myrtlewood's dining room, I didn't know exactly how I'd design them. There isn't enough clearance on either side of the doors - they would block the staircase if they opened into the foyer, and would interfere with the cabinet doors and furniture if they opened into the dining room. After mulling this over a bit, I came up with the perfect solution - pocket doors!
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Installing pocket doors required me to tear out some of the framing I'd already erected, so I put it off for a while, but I've finally finished them. I built the doors out of prepurchased panelling and door frame molding, although I did have to do some modifications to get the top panels sized correctly.

I rigged up some window frame molding I had lying around to create an upper track along which the doors slide. Here's a picture of it from the back (as you can see, I haven't started on the foyer walls yet).

Of course, once I painted everything, the doors didn't slide very easily at all. This is the same problem I've had with the windows, but I think I've found a solution. I used a bit of Slip It Sliding Compound (purchased at Woodcraft) to lubricate the track, and the doors slide much more easily now. I'm definitely going to use this stuff on the windows, too.

I wasn't sure what hardware I'd use; all the standard dollhouse hardware seems to consist of doorknobs, and what would be the point of doorknobs on sliding doors? But then, in the woodworking section of my local Hobby Lobby, I came across a package of clasps. I think their actual purpose is to be used on wooden boxes, but one side looked a lot to me like a door handle. There were four in a package for US$1.49, which is a lot less than what dollhouse stores charge for their doorknobs. I had to cut off the ends and file them down a bit, but I think they work perfectly for these doors.

Let me know what you think!


rosanna said...

Perfect, thank you for this post. I'm going to have same doors in my house but I was afraid that it could be impossible to do!you give me hope. Have a nice evening Rosanna

Tabitha Corsica said...

A perfect solution for your "framed" dollhouse! And such a lovely look.

Unknown said...

You are so clever...the doors are fantastic!!!
Thank you again for the link,it helped very me very much!

dalesdreams said...

I'm so glad to have found your blog! That manor is going to be fabulous when you are finished with it.

I love your sense of style and your tips and photos.

The sliding doors were an excellent idea.

Ara said...

Simply genius!! And thanks for showing the behind shots!! Its always good to see the magic behind your work! Still hoping to shrink someday so I can come live there :) haha - ara

Pubdoll said...

Wow, sliding doors! I'm so impressed by your skill, fantasy and talent. Beautiful work - again!

Sans! said...

I kept shaking my head in awe when I enlarged your pics. So they are called "pocket doors"? We just call them sliding doors here. Brilliant of course and the door handles are better than perfect. I will really like to see your house in real life someday . I have no doubt it will be on tour as an exhibit for some museum if you want it to.

Texas Belle said...

Thanks so much everyone for your comments!

Why don't dollhouse component manufacturers make sliding doors? There certainly seems to be some interest in them. Believe me, if I could have purchased them somewhere instead of building them myself, I would have!

Rosanna, I've not seen enough of La Casa Rossa to know whether you're building it out of plywood or some other material. I think the wall would need to be hollow for the doors to slide into. Even if you're building the walls out of plywood, though, I would think you could build just one of the walls out of stripwood and posterboard as I have here, so you'd have someplace for the doors to slide into.

Sans, they're called sliding doors here, too, LOL. I think "pocket doors" was perhaps the terminology used for them in the Victorian era, when they first came into popularity. As for the house touring, I'm not sure my type A personality could stand letting it out of my sight for that long. Perhaps I could shrink myself down to scale, as Ara suggests, and travel along with it!

Anneke said...

I love symmetric forms and this looks just great! love the little paintings on both sides!

Linda Carswell said...

Your doors look wonderful...I'm a firm believer if you think long and hard you can come-up with a solution to every problem...which you have showed to be true! A perfedt solution.
Don't put your house on tour, no-one will look after it like you do!!

Regards, Linda

Amanda S. said...

Great job! I think those handles look perfect. You always think of interesting ways to use random stuff.

Unknown said...

Its amazing! I am definately speachless. So inspirtational also. Thanks for sharing.

Unknown said...

Belle, I think the doors turned out beautifully! What a great idea to create sliding pocket doors . . . perfect!

Thanks for sharing!


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