plans for a rolling door unit

HomeGrown

Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2015
Location
New York
Does anyone have plans for a rolling door unit? We have a play coming up and we want to build a door that we can move around easily to be the door to various different rooms. I've seen a lot of tips for how to fix various issues with freestanding doors, but I can't find a base set of plans or a suggested way to build an efficient door unit.

Thanks for the help!
 

manuallyfocused

Active Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2010
Location
Los Angeles
Here's a quick version of a basic door unit I've had some success with, and a rough drawing that should hopefully make it fairly clear how it's made. The drawing is roughly based on a 32" x 80" door, adjust the measurements as needed if your door is a different size. The process is as follows:

-Start with a pre-hung door from a home center. You can do this without the pre-hung frame if you already have a door you want to use, but buying pre-hung saves you installing hinges and a doorjamb.

-Add a 2x4 or 2x6 frame on top of and on the sides of the pre-hung door, give yourself an extra 1/2" or so on the bottom (more if you have a particularly uneven stage) to allow for any flex in the frame when the door moves around

-Add a piece of 1/8" x 2" steel or aluminum flat stock to connect the bottom of your 2x4 or 2x6 frame together

-Add 6" x 6" steel flat L-brackets to the top corners of the frame to help keep it from racking (if you want longer you can get bigger L brackets or old framing squares and drill them out). You can use plywood triangles instead as long as they are on the side the door doesn't open towards, but that's a bit less visually pleasing

-Build caster plates from a 2' 2x4 (longer if you're going to use a taller than standard door or if your actors are going to be rough with it), a 2' x 1' piece of plywood cut into a trapezoid-ish shape (see the drawing) and a couple of 2x4s cut at angles to hold them together

-Use total-lock casters if you can (these lock both the swivel and the wheel). I like the 4" blue rubber ones from Rose Brand, or the 3" red ones from Home Depot.

-Attach your caster plates to the sides of your frame so that the bottom of the wheels gives you at least 1/4" between the floor and the flat stock on your frame (allow for more room if you have an uneven stage)

Good luck, and have a happy new year!
 

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bobgaggle

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2007
Location
Philadelphia, PA
Can you work steel? We just built a double swing free rolling door with 4x4 box tube. Designer didn't want a sill iron, so the 4x4 with mitered seams had enough rigidity to resist racking with the weight of the door. Overall weight of the frame keeps it from tipping when the door swings all the way open too. I can post some pics if you want to go down that road
 
Last edited:

HomeGrown

Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2015
Location
New York
Here's a quick version of a basic door unit I've had some success with, and a rough drawing that should hopefully make it fairly clear how it's made. The drawing is roughly based on a 32" x 80" door, adjust the measurements as needed if your door is a different size. The process is as follows:

-Start with a pre-hung door from a home center. You can do this without the pre-hung frame if you already have a door you want to use, but buying pre-hung saves you installing hinges and a doorjamb.

-Add a 2x4 or 2x6 frame on top of and on the sides of the pre-hung door, give yourself an extra 1/2" or so on the bottom (more if you have a particularly uneven stage) to allow for any flex in the frame when the door moves around

-Add a piece of 1/8" x 2" steel or aluminum flat stock to connect the bottom of your 2x4 or 2x6 frame together

-Add 6" x 6" steel flat L-brackets to the top corners of the frame to help keep it from racking (if you want longer you can get bigger L brackets or old framing squares and drill them out). You can use plywood triangles instead as long as they are on the side the door doesn't open towards, but that's a bit less visually pleasing

-Build caster plates from a 2' 2x4 (longer if you're going to use a taller than standard door or if your actors are going to be rough with it), a 2' x 1' piece of plywood cut into a trapezoid-ish shape (see the drawing) and a couple of 2x4s cut at angles to hold them together

-Use total-lock casters if you can (these lock both the swivel and the wheel). I like the 4" blue rubber ones from Rose Brand, or the 3" red ones from Home Depot.

-Attach your caster plates to the sides of your frame so that the bottom of the wheels gives you at least 1/4" between the floor and the flat stock on your frame (allow for more room if you have an uneven stage)

Good luck, and have a happy new year!
Just wanted to send a very belated thank you. We used your plans to build a rolling door unit that worked great and we've put into our inventory to use for future productions!