How to Make a Wood Sliding Cabinet Door Track

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A wooden sliding door is an attractive feature to add to a cabinet project. Instead of using a plastic or metal door track, you can make your own wooden sliding cabinet door track. The wooden track will make the entire project more cohesive. In addition, it will enhance the quality and beauty of the overall piece. A wooden door track is essentially a board with a slot in the top for the door to slide in.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • 1-by-2-inch board, 96 inches long
  • Miter saw
  • Router table
  • Straight router bit, 1/8-inch wider than thickness of cabinet door
  • Sanding pad, fine-grit
  • Wood finish
  • Paintbrush
  • Paste wax
  • Cloth rag

Measure the length of the cabinet door opening using a tape measure. This is the length required for the sliding cabinet door track. Measure the thickness of the sliding door. The router bit used to cut the slot in the track will need to be 1/8-inch wider than this measurement.

Lay the 1-by-2-by-96-inch board flat on a work surface. Measure the board to the length that you measured for the sliding cabinet door track. Mark the board with a pencil.

Place the 1-by-2-by-96-inch board on the table of the miter saw. Slide the board on the table until the pencil mark is aligned with the outside edge of the saw blade. Pull the trigger on the saw and guide it down through the board in a steady motion until the cut is complete. Raise the saw back to the start position and release the trigger.

Lay the cut board on the router table with the 2-inch side resting flat. Insert the router bit into the router chuck, tighten and lock it in place. Adjust the height of the router bit to cut a 3/8-inch deep slot in the board. Adjust the fence on the router table to cut the slot through the center of the 2-inch width of the board and lock it in place.

Guide the board through the router table in a steady motion moving just fast enough to allow the bit to cut the wood. Remove the board from the router table once the cut is completed.

Place the board on a work surface with the slotted side facing up. Sand the entire board with a fine-grit sanding pad until it is smooth. Always sand with the grain of the wood.

Apply an even coat of wood finish to board using a paintbrush. Allow the finish to dry for at least 4 hours and apply a final coat. Allow the final coat to dry for 24 hours. Rub paste wax into the slot of the sliding cabinet door track using a cloth rag. The paste wax will allow the door to slide smoothly inside the slotted track.

Tips & Warnings

  • Install the track just before you are ready to install the door. Use 1-inch finish nails or brads, evenly spaced every 4 inches along side edges of the board for an attractive installation. Apply paste wax to the slot as necessary.
  • Wear eye protection when woodworking.

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