STORDAL Hack Revisited
We got the doors up and it was a satisfying to see another long-imagined project so close to completion, but as we were standing back admiring our work, things started to seem just a little wonky. As it turns out, the walls on either side of the opening were not in the same plane.
I remember making that screw-up. And I also remember deciding to ignore it.
So, just as we were reaching the point where I was starting to feel like we had banished new construction drywall dust forever, we had to go and do some demo and some rebuilding and make a whole bunch more.
But after much procrastination and foot dragging and misery, the offending wall was torn down and rebuilt and re-drywalled and taped and mudded.
And then a whole bunch more dust was created and vacuumed up from every possible surface.
And then, finally, we re-hung the doors and I was forced, once and for all, to pay some attention to getting them to hang and operate as if they were made for the space, and that information is what follows. I know the original has been a very popular post, so hopefully I've made things clear and do-able in this addition, but if not, please feel free to leave me comments or questions and I'll address those as best I can. And also keep in mind that there's no reason you'd have to use this particular style of door. IKEA offers several varieties of sliding doors for PAX and this hack would work exactly the same with all of them.
In the original incarnation, I rejected using the bottom rail for this hack, but after some looking and seeing, I decided that the only way to achieve a satisfactory install and get the doors to operate and hang perfectly was to figure out how to incorporate the bottom rail...which I did, but I also had to concede the fact that to achieve the above AND leave the threshold clear, I was going to have to live with only one door being operable.
But trust me, it doesn't matter, and the hack is 100 times better for it.
So, how to address the bottom?
First, here's what the whole deal looks like from the back. It's hard to tell, but I ended up moving the STOLMEN post so that instead of being centered in the opening, it's about 4" to the right of center, the reason for which will be revealed shortly. Other than that alteration, the top rail set-up remains unchanged from my previous post. Keep in mind that in the photos that follow, the operable door is on the right, and the left door is fixed. (From the front, the operable door slides in front of the fixed door.)
Notice the rail across the bottom of the inoperable (left) door? Normally this would run the full length of and be attached to the lower edge of the PAX carcass for which it's intended. For my purposes, it's cut down from it's full length to be the same 4" longer than half the opening width and since we are carcass-less, it's attached to the STOLMEN pole and the side wall of the opening:
I used the clamp thingie on the STOLMEN post as a standoff, and a small L bracket screwed into the wall to hold the rail up at the same height as it would be were it on a PAX carcass.
A close up of the wall attachement with L bracket:
And a close up of the STOLMEN pole and clamp that holds the other end of the rail in place:
Putting that rail to use and getting the doors to hang and slide perfectly means the fixed door has both of it's lower brackets attached and in use, slotted into the the lower track just as they would in a normal install. The operable door uses only a single lower bracket at the corner where the two doors would overlap. The bracket that would normally attach to the front edge of the operable door (the edge where you would grab the door (or place a handle) to open is not used. The length of the bottom rail and the position of the STOLMEN pole described above are very much on purpose, so that when the doors are in place and the operable door is fully closed, the lower bracket is still slotted into the bottom rail. And because you wouldn't want that rail sticking out all by itself into nowhere, the STOLMEN pole is positioned behind the end few inches. This arrangement is shown in the last photo, above. Note that the operable door is closed and its lower bracket is retained in the track.
It's a little trick to get the door brackets slotted into the rail and get the rail fixed to the wall and post and at just the right height, but a little patience goes a long way, and once everything is in place and adjusted, the doors hang perfectly and the operable door works exactly as it should. And since both doors are supported entirely by the top rail, nothing catastrophic would occur if the "fixed" door is moved but it would be a bit of a pain to thread it back into the lower track so for a little insurance, truly fix the fixed door in place with a stop screw through the upper or lower bracket.
And then celebrate your super cool, clever and perfectly useful new room divider...on a budget! Hurray!