There are a great many styles of hangers and several kinds of tracks in the market, and it is often puzzling to the architect to know what to specify.
With any hanger that rolls on a track, the most important considerations, aside from strength, are the friction of the hanger on the axle, and, if on a fixed track, a practical arrangement for adjusting without taking off the door. The track, also, is nearly if not fully of equal importance with the hanger ; it should be straight and capable of adjustment in case the studding to which it is attached should settle.
In most of the hangers the friction is reduced by permitting the hanger to roll on the axle while the wheels of the hanger are rolling on the track, although several of the latest devices have ball or roller bearings. One of the best combinations of track and hanger for sliding doors that the author has seen is the Coburn trolley track and hanger, the most valuable part of the invention being the track, which is made of steel, rolled to the shape shown in Fig. 355, the size indicated being that for parlor doors weighing less than 400 pounds. The wheels of the hangers run in this track. The portion of the track over the pocket for a parlor door is supported only at the ends, having in itself strength sufficient to sustain the door between these points. The inner end of the track is supported by the end of a screw bolt resting on a bracket attached to the header over the pocket, as shown in Fig. 356. The ends near the jamb, which are accessible, are supported by a screw bolts, S, working in an iron plate, P, screwed to the header. By turning these screws with an ordinary screw driver the track can readily be brought to a level, so that any settlement of the partition can be overcome. The portion of the track over the opening is also adjustable. The track can be taken out of the pocket (when the head finish is put up, as in the section, Fig. 356) without interfering with the finish or partitions. It is also not affected by warping or twisting of the woodwork, and there is no possibility for chips or plaster to fall into the track. Another advantage is that this track requires less space between the studding than some other hangers, the space required by the track not exceeding 2¼ inches. The width W, Fig. 356, will therefore generally be determined by the thickness of the door.
The hangers are made of the general shape shown in Fig. 356, all parts being of rolled steel except the wheels and bearings. The wheels run in the round troughs of the track and cannot bind in any way.
Six kinds or grades of hangers are made to suit different demands.
For parlor doors carriers with fibre wheels and wood bearings are recommended as being the most durable and practically noiseless. The wood bearings are treated with a secret filling which thoroughly fills the wood and keeps the axles lubricated for an indefinite period.
Rubber wheels are also made for parlor doors ; they make a little less noise, but are not as durable as fibre wheels. For everything except parlor doors, fibre wheels with roller bearings (as shown in Fig. 336) are recorded as being the most durable and working with the least friction. The rollers are short cylinders of steel about 3/16 inch in diameter and ¼ inch long; they are found to be more durable than ball-bearings, because of the greater bearing surface, it having been found that in many cases where ball-bearings have been used in parlor door hangers, they have proved a failure on account of the ball crushing. Various styles of hangers are also made for barn doors, fire doors, etc., and for overhead tramways.
The trolley track will also be found well adapted for large doors or sliding partitions which have to slide some distance. In such cases it will be best to place the doors outside of the partition and encase the track in a false beam or cornice, so that it can be easily got at for adjustment.
A similar track is made by the Wilcox Manufacturing Co., which is claimed to be an infringement on the Coburn track. The Wilcox trolley, however, is quite different from the Coburn trolley, being more like those used on wooden tracks. 211. Next to the trolley track the author would place the single iron bar track, one type of which (the Lane) is shown in Fig. 357. The track is placed directly over the centre of the door and is attached to a board by means of iron-brackets riveted to the track and screwed to the board or track plate. This track plate should be in one piece the full length of the track, and of well-seasoned pine, and should be put up perfectly level and securely nailed to the studding. A plank, H, should be securely nailed between the two lines of studs, a sufficient distance above the track to keep the space of uniform width, prevent the studs from springing and to protect the wheels and doors from dropping plaster. The track being of steel cannot warp, and being attached to but one side of the partition is not subject to derangement from unequal settling of the two sides of the partition.
The single track is now used by several manufacturers, that and the trolley track having almost displaced the double wooden track, unless it be in the cheaper buildings.
The hangers used on these tracks require an accessible and practicable means of adjustment, so that either the front or back edge of the door may be raised in case the bearing partition settles, and an anti-friction provision for the wheels. The method of adjustment varies with each make of hanger, but a great many have an adjustment somewhat similar to that shown in Fig. 359, which works very well for the front edge of the door, but can not so readily be got at on the back edge. This adjustment also necessitates right and left-hand hangers. Several hangers are adjusted by means of a serrated screw, as in Figs. 358 and 360.
Previous to the introduction of the roller and ballbearing hangers the provision for anti-friction had generally consisted in permitting the axle of the wheels to roll in a slot in the hanger carriage, as shown in Fig. 358, and this has been found to give very satisfactory results for parlor doors. If a door has to slide a long distance, however, this arrangement becomes impracticable on account of the great length of slot required. For ordinary parlor or barn doors, however, a sufficient length of slot can easily be provided, and hangers of this style are much to be preferred to cheap roller or ball-bearing hangers. In fact, it is generally admitted that there is no bearing so poor and unreliable as a poor quality ball-bearing. A ball-bearing hanger, therefore, that is sold for a less price than the standard hangers, should be looked upon with suspicion. Roller bearings are more durable, as the rollers, when of the same quality, have a greater crushing resistance.
Fig. 359 shows the Lane single rail, ball-bearing parlor door hanger, which is the same as their standard hanger except in the bearing, the Standard hanger having a slot bearing similar to that in the Lundy hanger. The ball-bearings in the Lane hanger have cups and cones carefully made and hardened, and polished steel balls guaranteed not to crush ; the quality and workmanship being equal to that in high-grade bicycle bearings. This
Fig. 358. - The Landy Hanger, bearing adds slightly to the cost of the hanger, as well as to its working quality and durability. Ball-bearing and roller-bearing hangers are, of course, adapted to any length of track.
Fig. 359. - Lane Ball-Beating Hanger.
The " New Model " Lane parlor door hanger, shown in Fig. 360, represents, perhaps, one of the best of the low-priced hangers, the reduction in cost being due to a less amount of material in it and somewhat less labor. It has roller bearings running on a hard steel bushing. The adjustment is made by means of a nut with serrated projections or flanges both above and below the fastening plate, so that the nut may be turned either from the edge of the door above the plate or from the side by removing the stop.
When parlor door hangers were first introduced two tracks, generally of wood, were used for the hangers to run on, and several double-track hangers are still used. As has been stated, the principal objection to a double-track hanger is that the two sides of a sliding door partition are very apt to settle unequally, thus leaving the tracks at unequal heights and interfering with the proper working of the hanger. As long as the tracks are on a level, however, double-track hangers work fully as well as the single-track hangers, and if there were no chance of the partition settling, the double-track hangers would be preferable.
Fig. 361 illustrates one of the better types of double-track hangers. Barn doors are now generally hung from an overhead track in much the same way as house doors, except that the hanger, being exposed, is commonly screwed to the inside of the door.
Fig 360 - Lane New Model Hanger.
Fig. 361. - Richard's Hanger for Wood Tracks.
Most of the manufacturers of parlor door hangers also make barn door hangers that work in about the same way as their house door hangers. The Coburn trolley barn door hanger has the same form of track as that shown in Fig. 355, varying in size to correspond with size and weight of the door, and the hangers are of the same general pattern, although the manner of attaching to the door is entirely different, and a lateral adjustment is provided so as to move the door sideways in case it should warp and bind against the wall. The trolley track is especially suitable for places where the track is exposed, as nothing can possibly get into it and it requires no hood.
The Lane barn door hanger and track is very similar to their standard parlor door hanger, and works very satisfactorily.
Barn doors, when hung at the top, should be provided with one or more stay rollers at the bottom to prevent their being blown in.