Pocket door hardware : What's hot and what's not - a look at some premium hardware...
We just came back from Whistler the other day from installing some door hardware on a pocket door we designed, built and installed. I'm not a huge fan of pocket doors in bathrooms but sometimes we have to face them. The worst is when the pocket door makes up part of the back wall of a shower or tub surround build. What's even worse is trying to find a decent lockset and pocket door hardware.
I lucked out on this last job and it's because I thought outside of the box. Instead of me looking I asked my wife to look. She is really busy so she asked her "Mommy Friend" who works at Cantu and taadaa! I have some killer hardware.
It was a eye opening experience trying to find something nice for this custom built Alder door and through out the build a lot of common problems came up that I thought I could share here on Terry's page.
Here is a look at the door now.
The rest of this Whistler Condo has Alder doors. Only the one exterior door is White and the sliding exterior doors are black. The condo has one panel Alder Shaker style doors everywhere else and we measured the rails and styles of this pocket door to match the existing. I suggested that we use a piece of 1/4" white laminated glass in lue of a Alder panel and I think the look is great. You can see the light washing through the glass in the picture above.
This is a simple push lock set that we installed. If you push the latch at the top the bottom flicks out and prevents the door from opening. In an emergency a coat hanger or cooking skew (Bamboo) could be pushed through to unlock the door.
We installed these thumb latches each side to open the door from either side.
When the door is fully closed this latch pull is used to open the door.
I would like to say this install went smoothly but that is not the case. It was a struggle from day one. Removing the original door was a bear and we needed to cut an access panel in the closet to get to the back side of the original door track. Once removed we installed a new double track and re-hung the old door until the new one could be made. The door was a 1 3/8" and we needed a smaller version for the new door since the original was rubbibng on something inside. I could not find a supplier to make me a custom 1 1/4" door so we made it ourselves.
I'll upload some of the install process to show how this door and lockset went in.
How to install a lock for a pocket door
Here you can see the side profile of the lockset for this sliding pocket door. I needed about 3/4" of a mortise about 5/8" deep for the lock to work properly. I first outlined where the lock should go and then penciled my lines on the door. To ensure that the drilling would not cause any blow out I used my Olfa Razor Blade to score the rectangular outline before I drilled anything.
With two spade bits I went back and forth until I was deep enough.
Pocket Door Lockset with strike plate
To keep the lock from damaging the door casing you get these little strike plates.
This door was made thinner than normal so I needed to move this strike plate over the side of the casing a little. To keep it from moving and possible scratching the door one day I recessed it flush into the casing by chiselling out some of the wood.
Drilling holes in a pocket door for handles - A Forstner Bit works best
The best way to drill a large hole in a finished door is with a new forstner bit. If the bit is not not new it needs to be sharp! With so much effort invested so far it is easy to make a mistake with a crappy drill bit.
One of our work rules is "Crap tools. Crap Job." For this install I picked myself up a brand new 1 5/8" Forstner Bit for $42.00 at the local building yard in Whistler. So worth the investment and the new bit cut like a hot knife through butter.
To make sure the bit did not wander when I started drilling my apprentice prepared this guide or jig for me. Simply a 2"x4" with the through hole. A few wraps of painters tape and it is a perfect drilling jig. We use the same technique to drill holes in tile with our diamond coring bits. First you drill a hole in a scrap tile and then you use this as a guide or jig to drill the finished hole.
A magazine on the back side helps prevent any scratches from my Quick Grip clamps. The rubber bumpers are not what they used to be!
We used a razor blade to scratch up the back side of the hardware and installed some adhesive to set the handles. If you use a construction adhesive make sure the handles are clamped so that they don't push out while curing. Most construction adhesives have an expanding property to them. For this installation I used a little No More Nails but I think a clear silicone might have been best.