Proposal: Wood shop door improvements

We have a wood dust problem in the space. Dust collection is being discussed elsewhere ( and #dust-collection-working-group on slack) so let’s focus on the door here.

I see two problems with the door:

A. The self-closing mechanism is no longer working as well as it once did.

B. When closed, there are large gaps around the edges where dust can escape the wood shop.

For problem A, I propose that we:
  1. Replace the trolleys. These are $98.44 (including tax and shipping) for a set of two: If the existing ones can be cleaned/rebuilt then we’ll have a spare set for next time.

  2. Tilt the track slightly so that it closes with gravity and doesn’t require the counterweight (or requires less counterweight). This may require the purchase of a couple more hanger brackets, at $6 each (plus tax): I say this because the existing ones are showing some signs of slippage, which suggests to me that more support is needed:

If we are tilting the track we may not be able to re-use the same mounting location though.

For Problem B, I propose that once the self-closing action is reliably restored, we install strip brushes at all the gaps to block dust from crossing into the main space. These come in a thousand different varieties (and prices), but here is one example made for a standard 36" door that costs $38 on Amazon. I’m sure we could do better if we shop around.

Is this something that can come out of the building improvement budget? I’m happy to order the parts if I can be reimbursed. I can help with the installation as well but handling the door is going to be a 2-3 person job so I would need help.

Edit: anyone with more door experience is also welcome to chime in :slight_smile:


Yes, there is room in the budget and this sounds like a modest and reasonable maintenance expense.


@ddq I like your plan and am interested in helping when you need it.

I would suggest planning to return the unused stuff to princess auto or only buying what we need. VHS has a lot of extra stuff hanging around, it’s unlikely we’d be able to find a spare track in the future.

Am happy to cover one of both trips to princess auto once the ice melts.

Fair point. The existing trolley may just need a good cleaning but we won’t know until we take it apart. We can easily return stuff if it turns out we don’t need it. I will have a bunch of work days in Abbotsford soon so I can stop at Princess Auto on the way back one of those days.

Also, thanks for offering to help. When are you generally available? I have some evenings and usually weekends (but not this coming weekend).

I’m available most weekends now that kids soccer has wound up. I work Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri 6:30am - 3pm so available Wednesdays and most days from 3pm. The more notice the better but I can do same day some times.

The toughest bit about this project is probably going to be moving that electronics bench to get access to the full length of the track.

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@TomKeddie I picked up a new trolley set and a couple more brackets from Princess Auto today.

The next couple weeks are going to be busy for me but could we tentatively plan for the evening of March 8? I likely wouldn’t be able to get there until around 6pm.

March 15 or 16 might also work.

Clearing and moving the electronics bench is going to be quite a task, you’re right! If anyone else reading wants to help, they are more than welcome to join!


I’ll try and come by to give a hand.



Huh, my reply went missing. Both days are good for me. I’ll try to start cleaning the electronics bench before then.


Operation Woodshop Door Problem A, Update:

We put a laser level on the door track and discovered that it was actually travelling slightly uphill previously. We tilted the whole track so it’s now a bit downhill, to help with self-closing.

The support brackets for this type of track are supposed to be mounted every 24 inches, and it previously had about 6 feet between brackets. We added three more brackets to hopefully prevent the track from moving.

We also replaced the wheel trollies with new ones from Princess Auto that seemed to have slightly smoother bushings. This was kind of a “the old ones don’t look too bad, but we might as well replace them now since the door is already off”.

Result: the door closes a lot easier now but there are still some improvements needed.

Thank you to @myelophone and @Majicj for helping and especially to @TomKeddie for doing most of the work while the rest of us watched.

Next steps for Door Problem A:

  • shim the door track out from the wall a bit more to stop the door brackets rubbing on the wall (this is why it stops about half way)

  • install a stop for the counterweight so the door doesn’t slam so hard at the end of its travel

  • install a full height stop for the door that will also function as a dust seal for that one side

  • (maybe) install a short guide on the floor to guide the door home/stop it swinging at the end of its travel

  • fix the wood shop sign letters (sorry to whoever made them, we had to remove them to install the brackets)

  • move on to Problem B (dust sealing) once all of the above is done


thanks to all of you for doing this!!!


Update: I tried adding a shim (separately) to each of the hanger brackets at the end of the track to eliminate the rubbing on the door frame. This just made it worse, so I took the shim out again and left the track how it was before. It seems that the way I attempted to shim the track put it on an angle which then made the wheel trolley rub on the track.

This is the spot where the door hanger bracket is rubbing:

Does anyone else have time to investigate/fiddle further, or have any other ideas?

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Perhaps we put the old hangers back? I’m up for another work day on this.

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The part that’s rubbing wasn’t changed. Not sure if there is something different about the new wheel trolleys to cause that, but maybe?

I can have a look next time I am in, but my thoughts are that the centre of mass of the door may not be centered under the track, or there is something else that is pushing it out of alignment.
Possible fixes might be:

  • to add mass to one side of the door to balance it out
  • add some guide rollers near ground level to hold the door the proper distance out
  • clearance the wall with a persuader (probably a bad idea)
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How about we try switching the brackets to the other side of the door?


That might solve it. Would just have to figure out how to make the carriage bolts work or use an alternate fastener with a really low profile head, like maybe a stove bolt or a flat head socket cap screw.

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Can you simply reverse the hanger but not the bolts, possibly add huge washers to maintain structural integrity on the wall side?

I’m going entirely off the most recent posted photo and am willing to help out if anyone thinks this is a good idea.

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I changed the pulley system a little, it was pulling the door to one side. I think we’re good on the track but I’m ready to be wrong.


Woodshop Door Saga Update:

I spent some more time fussing with the door. The wood shim under one of the hangers was causing the trolley to rub on the track because there was a bit of a bow in the track in that spot. I took out the shim and flipped one of the hanger brackets to the other side (because it was rubbing on the wall):

This is incrementally better but the hanger bracket on the other side of the door is still rubbing on the wall. I think flipping it over as well might solve the problem, but that is a bigger job because there isn’t enough clearance to get the bolts out without taking the door off the track (I tried).

Edit: if anyone else has time to try flipping the other hanger bracket, they are more than welcome to. :slightly_smiling_face:

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I filled in the gap in the door stop with a piece of 2x3 and more weather strip.

Seems like the angle of the door has changed, seal isn’t complete any more. Will look at this next time.