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I'd like to custom install Ikea PAX sliding doors into my existing closets, recessing them into the closet opening. My idea is to create a custom "frame" simulating the Ikea closet frame onto which to install the Ikea mounting hardware. The Ikea hardware is designed to slide onto a 3/4" thick frame.

My question is: would a 3/4" x 3/4" wood molding screwed onto a 1.5" x 6" or a 2" x 6" wood plank be able to support the 130 lb Ikea doors? The top rail would be screwed onto the molding and the weight of the sliding doors would rest entirely upon this molding.

See the photo below to illustrate the design. In this picture the sliding doors would be mounted to the molding and the doors would face left (the inside of the closet would be to the right).

I can screw the molding to the larger wood piece every foot and also use wood glue between them. I have no experience in wood working and such a small molding seems like it might not hold up. Thanks!

Design of custom recessed frame for sliding doors

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  • I think this should be a firm yes, especially as you're planning on glueing the strips on (very different if just screwed or nailed in place). One important question though is the type of wood you're planning on using, softwood or hardwood?
    – Graphus
    Jul 31 '16 at 7:47
  • Are you replacing the extruded aluminum rail that normally is used for installing the PAX doors with the two pieces of wood that you have illustrated? If that is your plan, you are looking for trouble. What will the track for the wheels ride on and what will keep them from falling off the 3/4x3/4 piece. If not, how is the the rail to be attached? There is no doubt that the 2x6 will do the job. Properly attached (ideally glued and screwed) the attachment will do the job and is entirely dependent on the quality of the connection - softwood or hardwood doesn't matter.
    – Ast Pace
    Aug 1 '16 at 0:23
  • @AstPace, softwood/hardwood certainly does matter in this application, modern softwood is very poor in the main, with far too much earlywood so will tend to wear excessively if used for a running/bearing surface. Not that hardwood would automatically give something better, it's not like you'd want to use poplar here :-)
    – Graphus
    Aug 1 '16 at 6:58
  • @Graphus You are absolutely correct, but the question is "bearing capacity", not "wearing capacity". :) And we still have the fundamental question of what OP is trying to do
    – Ast Pace
    Aug 1 '16 at 7:08
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While your concept can certainly work, there are several considerations that will help it perform well.

  • Wood species. A softwood is not nearly as strong and will be more prone to splitting especially if the molding is attached with screws (as shown). Consider using a hardwood for both the molding and the 2x6 parts. If you use a hardwood, you could use a 1x6 for attachment to the wall.
  • attachment method. You show screws to connect the molding to the 2x6. I would recommend attaching the pieces using PVA (standard wood glue). This will be plenty strong enough for the load. If you do use screws pre-drill the holes in to prevent splitting the wood when the screw is installed. Drill the hole in the molding just large enough to allow the screw to slide in without turning and the hole in the 2x6 approaching the diameter of the screw shaft so that for the most part, only the threads are engaging the wood. Do not over tighten the screws.
  • Grain direction. IF screws are used, I would recommend that the grain direction for both the hanger and the molding be side to side rather than vertical to prevent splitting and pullout of the screws over time (the screws are very close to the bottom of the 2x6.
  • Mounting the 2x6. Be sure that the screws used are long enough to reach into a stud in the wall at least 1 1/2". Make sure to stagger them so they do not align vertically.

Good luck!

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  • OP was planning to glue as well as screw, "...and also use wood glue between [the screws]" Re. grain direction, I think this is one area where flat-sawn might actually be a better choice than QS, which might have a tendency to split between the annular rings.
    – Graphus
    Aug 1 '16 at 6:53

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