Why is Plastic a Better Addition in Barn Door Hardware?

Why is Plastic a Better Addition in Barn Door Hardware?

Titus Gilliam

Conventional thinking would lead one to assume that the more components made out of steel for track hardware kits would be better, but Reclaimed Lumber Products has learned through research, development and innovative design that adding nylon parts in key areas can increase the performance of barn doors.  Our goal is to always be improving on our designs and the quality of products we offer for sale; we found that polymer nylon can perform better than steel due to it being lighter, shock absorbing, and maintain color though the piece.  Let's look at couple examples of custom components that we are phasing in the use of molded plastic parts to replace the metal.  

Originally our flat track grooved wheel was machined steel.  We kept the same dimensions but changed to glass filled nylon.  With this change here are some of the benefits that we gained: went from one ball bearing to two which increases the load capabilities, quieter and smoother ride without the steel on steel sound, corrosion resistance, made locally in America, and more predictable results.

Barn doors need a floor guide to keep the bottom of the door from banging into the wall and hold the slab to hang plumb.  We used to supply an L bracket made from bent steel that screwed to the floor and a slot in the bottom of the door rode over the top of the vertical steel.  These floor guides were powder coated in matching colors to the track.  We took similar proportions, designed a new plastic guide, and found that the plastic option was indestructible.  We have never had one break or wear out.  Whereas the steel ones could be bent and over time the color finish might wear or chip off.  The nylon has softer corners and eased edges so the door feeds better over it; self lubricating, the door moves smoother in the channel.  If it ever wears, the color is throughout the piece so it doesn't show.  There is more adjustment in locating the screws with the plastic piece, and extra fasteners can be easily drilled right through it.  We still offer the steel guide as an option on special request, but our standard kits now come with the black nylon floor guide.

Our end stops on the flat track are made from rubber bumpers which keeps one from having a steel on steel hit and a terrible clang.  These rubber stops absorb the impact, and the cushion makes for a softer stop.  On special request, for extra heavy doors we supply a steel angle reinforcement that goes behind the rubber bumper to strengthen it. 

Don't worry, though, we look at the best components for each part in our track kits; steel is still a key part of whole solution.  All of rails are made from thicker steel than the industry average; our hangers also have wider straps than normal.  We use timber lag screws instead of the cheap normal lag screws that easily break and sheer off.  Our heavy duty tracks can support much more weight due to design and upgraded materials.  We encourage you to compare the features and materials that go into making our barn door hardware the best quality option you have!