Pax Hack – His and Her Closets

Materials: Pax Tonnes, Malm Chests

Description: My wife and I recently purchased a Dutch Colonial home built in the early 1900s. Due to its age, the house lacks storage space, especially in the bedrooms. The Gambrel-style roof (characteristic of domestic Dutch Colonial architecture) rendered large triangular volumes on either side of the house that were great for storage but hard to access. The Pax Tonnes sliding doors (we used white panels only) provided the perfect solution to allow access to these large storage volumes, while adding a modern juxtaposition to the traditional aesthetic.

The existing walls were demolished and reframed to create the expansive openings an inch less the width of the doors). The top track was secured to a ¾” ledger board fastened directly to the 2″x12″ header (you will need 1 ½” gap between the top of the track and ceiling to lift the doors onto the track). Because the glass doors are heavy, I drilled pilot holes in the face of the track every 16″ to compensate for the fasteners we could not use in the typical assembly (make sure they are high enough so the casters clear the screw heads … I learned the hard way). The bottom track was secured to a custom cut piece of oak stained to match the floor with 4″ countersunk wood screws. The bottom track (cut to fit within the framed opening) was then secured to the oak strip with the standard hardware.

Threaded 1″ black pipe, floor flanges, galvanized cable and fittings were used to create closet rods and we put Malm 3-drawer chests for our folded clothes below. The room itself is clutter free because all of our furniture is tucked away behind the sliding doors. We finished the install off with some directional can lights and gender graphics (the glass panels make for a giant dry erase board).

Although careful planning and measurement was critical, the doors do have some built in adjustability that made the install successful. Phase 2 is to retrofit the male side with coolers filled with Heineken.

Updated: 12 Nov 2011

Since the walls were load bearing we had to building temporary walls to support the roof trusses while removing the existing studs and installing the header.

Headers were installed for each opening and the interior was stripped down to the studs…and to our surprise, there the gabled roof sections were not insulated correctly

The top track was fastened to the top of a 3/4″ wood ledger board through the manufacturer drilled holes.  I pre-drilled additional holes in the face of the top track for fasteners that kept the track securely in place when the heavy doors were installed (the first time I hung the doors I had not added additional face fasteners and the door kept falling off the track because the track itself was bending).  The added fasteners must be pre-drilled towards the top of the track or the caster of the doors will get caught on the screw heads.  Since the weight of the doors is carried by this track, it is crucial that the track is securely fastened about every 16″ to resist deflection.  Drywall was installed around the top track

Before mudding and taping

At this point I had to make sure that the doors were going to fit and slide correctly.  I assembled the frame of one door to try a dry fit…

Tolerance was close but the door slid without interruption over our uneven floors.

…and a detailed shot of the top track when the install was complete (notice the height of the screws along the top track allowing the casters to roll without obstruction)”

~ Patrick, St. Louis