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sliding cabinet doors

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Joined: Mar 21 2003

I need Help. My Eichler-esque kitchen used to have sliding kitchen cabinet doors just like yours and just like in the Eichler books etc. I want to restore/replace them But I can't figure out exactly how they worked. What kind of track etc. I don't have any to actually look at to see the track. Hardware store employees think I am crazy to want to put back in sliding doors and offer no help in way of hardware etc. I have also searched the internet to exhaustion trying to find a viable DIY solution. Any help or close up photos of original sliding cabinet doors and their tracks/hardware would be greatly appreciated!

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Joined: Mar 20 2003

my sliding doors have no hardware at all. There are two grooves all the way around the front of the cabinet (bottom, sides, and top). The front door sits in the front groove and the back door sits in the back groove. They overlap each other by an inch or so. However, when both doors are pushed to one side the sides match up, which means the doors are the same size but the width of the cabinets are one inch shorter than the doors put side to side. Somehow the doors can come out if they are lifted up, which means that the groove on top must be deeper. I can take a closer look if you want.

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Joined: Mar 21 2003

thanks so much, I think I am more confused on how to get mine to work. They may have been reconfigured too much. There are only very thin shallow grooves on the botom of all my cabinets. It sound like your are different. I was assuming there was some track or something on the top part that had been ripped out. I want to make this work. Thanks so much for looking any further help or ideas would be appreciated. Barb

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Joined: Mar 25 2003

You should note that the original doors usually ended up not working very well, primarily because they got painted and got stuck in their tracks. I replaced my original sliders with new ones set on aluminum sliding track sets for by-passing glass doors. Instead of glass, we used diffused plastic on the top and Duron doors for the bottom. Any cabinet maker can order them for you. However, if you don't have the original cabinets and now have regular opening doors, I'm not sure you still have the room for sliders as regular cabinets have frames that would get in the way of the sliding doors.

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Joined: Mar 21 2003

Thanks so much, I think I am getting some where now. You are right about the room for the sliders about an inch and a half was added on the shelves when they were re- formed. I have removed this on some already and needed the track info. I can easily build the doors them selves but I want to make sure they function well. This may be too much to ask. Thanks for details , just what I needed!

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Joined: Mar 21 2003

Forgot, what's Duron? And where did you get the bypass glass door track? Can a person just go purchase it? Thanks again.

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Joined: Jul 1 2003

Barb: I'm a pariah among this crowd because I don't idolize Eichler and have alternative views. Today, sliding door kitchen cabinets would be an inefficient design (and I wouldn't accept new construction sliding closet doors either [folding doors are more functional]). Thus, if your objective is to avoid major re-modeling, then continuing the theme makes senses - - but if this is a re-modeling effort, you may want to re-think it. But hey, there are cork, linoleum, bamboo, wood and tile flooring people so I suppose there are also sliding door, glass door, laminate, etc. kitchen cabinet people out there too.
As someone said, Eichlers should be viewed within the context of mid-century modern architecture. In his pursuit, Eichler, I think, made a number of construction errors (that others would also have made on a limited budget). My wife tells me that designers who worked with Eichler said their ideas were esthetically pleasing but typically were driven by low costs; in many cases, it was the cheapest thing they came up with that looked decent -- they also said they would not repeat them given today's (more) affluent tastes.

To your original question about track hardware, I'm sorry I have no info to offer.
(Our 1973 Eichler has walnut laminate conventional doors that look 1973 - - if my wife would stop the steady spending on home accessories, I would offer to re-model the 1973 kitchen to something like a 1995 standard (before decadence in home ownership started to set in)).

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Joined: Mar 25 2003

we have original sliding doors and love them - we do not have the sticking problem due to the fact that they weren't painted and were kept immaculately clean. so if you were putting new ones in the sticking problem would not be an issue.
cleanliness and keeping the grime down can do wonders for the sliding issue - also a little soap in the groove helps.

The other thing is they are great in an earthquake cause they won't swing open. even the self closing swing doors can fly open when heavy things bump against them in an earthquake. (this happened in the 94 quake in our 1st home)
and those add-on earthquake hooks on swing-out cabinets are a big PAIN to deal with.

a neighbor did a delightful thing cause their original doors were painted over badly - they replaced some of their doors with opaque glass and it looks fabulous.

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