Patching pocket doors

I finally got around facing the intimidating task of adding extensions to the bottom and top of our replacement pocket doors. And because our friend Drew plays the enabler, there was no starting the job without him.


The pocket doors were exactly seven and a half inches too short. I had purchased some half inch oak stock that would allow me to add four inches to the bottom and three and a half inches to the top of the door.

The half inch oak stock wasn’t enough by itself to extend the two and a quarter thick doors. We took a piece of solid southern yellow pine framing lumber and ripped it down to one and three eighths inch. The yellow pine served as the core with the half inch oak stock as the veneer on both sides.

The top extension holds the rolling mechanism and has the rest of the door hanging on it. And those doors are heavy! To prevent the them separating from the extensions, we had to rely on some sturdy hardware and a fair amount of wood glue.

We also made sure that the extensions were a tiny notch wider than the door. That allowed us to sand them down and have a perfectly smooth transition between the old and new.

The finishing touches were followed by lacquering the doors. Of course we used a water based and VOC free product (Acrylacq by AFM Safecoat). While the lacquer was curing, we could start thinking about hanging the doors and getting the rolling mechanism to work.

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About Marcus de la fleur

Marcus is a Registered Landscape Architect with a horticultural degree from the School of Horticulture at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and a Masters in Landscape Architecture from the University of Sheffield, UK. He developed a landscape based sustainable pilot project at 168 Elm Ave. in 2002, and has expanded his skill set to building science. Starting in 2009, Marcus applied the newly acquired expertise to the deep energy retrofit of his 100+ year old home in Chicago.

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