View Full Version : OT. ? about bifold door hardware

02-25-2005, 04:38 PM
I seen at Lowes these one piece plastic guide pins for bifold doors, I tried to find a setup of the bifold doors, but they had none assembled for display, my question is can someone please tell me, do these guide pins just slide in the top track, or do they press fit over some sort of bushing that rides in the top track, someone asked me if I could machine these pins from aluminum, so I bought a pack and brought them home to get dimmensions, and I learned that the top of the pin tapers from the shoulder to the top end from 0.356" to .363" wich made me question do these press fit into a bushing guide, or do they just slide in the track, if they press fit, then I'll have to purchase the whole track system so I can test the metal pins onto a bushing, but if they just slide in the track then I could make the pins with some tolerance, + - .002".
I hope I explained this clearly.
Thanks for any help you could give me.

Al Messer
02-25-2005, 04:45 PM
I installed about 100 sets of bi-fold doors before I retired and they all just slid in the track--no bushing was involved, so we kept a little box of replacement "pins" in the shop to replace them when they became worn.

02-25-2005, 04:50 PM
Thanks Al
One more question do you think that taper is all that nesecary, could I just make the top of the pin the same dim. say .360 or something.?

02-25-2005, 04:51 PM
Thanks Al
One more question do you think that taper is all that nesecary, could I just make the top of the pin the same dim. say .360 or something.?

Al Messer
02-26-2005, 08:56 AM
If memory serves me correctly, the tapered part was what we drove into the wooden door and the straight part slid in the upper track. Anyhow, I do not see why the end that slides in the track needs to be tapered. Make a couple straight and try them out and see how they perform. Why do you want metal pins anyhow? The Nylon ones will be quieter in operation.

Paul Alciatore
02-26-2005, 11:17 AM
Re: why metal pins

If this is a sliding guide, I would suspect that aluminum would wear rapidly and produce metal shavings or dust. Plus the noise factor as Al said. The plastic is probably a better choice.

If a stronger pin is desired, I would drill out the axis of the nylon ones and insert a steel pin.

Paul A.

02-26-2005, 04:15 PM
A friend of ours asked if I could make him metal pins cause he's getting tired of having to replace the plastic ones all the time, I was able to go to there house to take a look at the bifold track system, definately no need for any taper, as I took a look at the pins they are up out of the door about an 1/8 to 1/4" so I think the pins I made should take care of that problem, because I couldn't make the flutes as are the plastic ones, so I made a course thread 12TPI so now they can be screwed up or down to adjust the height as they need.
I'll keep in mind the tips about noise and things, I'll have to try these out to see how they work, and go from there.
Thanks you guys for your help.

02-27-2005, 10:16 AM
Funny thing, my house was built in '75 by contractor that was so cheap the house has 2 1/2" instead of 3 1/2 " insulation in the side walls, but the bifold doors have roller bearing instead of pins.

Al Messer
02-27-2005, 05:25 PM
Be thankful you have "some" insulation in your walls, all I've got is a sheet of Aluminum foil stapled to the studs. i found this out when I had to replace a panel in my Den when I removed an old wall hung A/C unit. And as to the roller bearings in the bi-fold doors, a LOT of the older made doors had them, but I guess the manufactueres found out that Nylon would do the same job, sort of. BTW, I carried a stub of a candle or a piece of an old bar of soap in my work cart and when a resident would complain of the pins schreeching, I'd "lubricate" the track with it and solve the noise problem.

02-28-2005, 08:19 AM
But Al,
You live in Tenn where they don't have basements cuz they don't have to dig deep to get below frost line. I live in Michigan where we get real snow every winter ;-)

Sorry for the hijack :-(

[This message has been edited by joahmon (edited 02-28-2005).]

Al Messer
02-28-2005, 09:08 PM
"No Basements in Tennessee"? LOL! Mine has almost an 8 foot ceiling, although I must admit that over half of the walls on three sides are exposed to the wide open spaces and are not below ground level. It is the walls upstairs where I live that has the "tinfoil" insulation in them. Talk about walls feeling cold to the touch, and this is in the South!

02-28-2005, 09:40 PM
No-basements,ha! I'm in Misasippy and we have basements http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

Funny thing here thou they don't count as taxable living space here,easy way to get another 800 square feet in a house.

02-28-2005, 10:12 PM
Here are some pins I fabricated.
Made them out of aluminum, and machined some Delrin for the top of the pin for quiet operation.


[This message has been edited by dvk (edited 02-28-2005).]

Your Old Dog
03-01-2005, 06:07 PM
I wonder if your friend realizes what a good friend he has? http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

03-01-2005, 07:26 PM
I have 16 in insulation in the walls and 24 in in the celing makes the room easier to heat at -50F

Matt in AK