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Tiki Central Forums » » Beyond Tiki » » old furnature question about sliding cabinet doors
old furnature question about sliding cabinet doors
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 06, 2002
Posts: 464
From: Penna
Posted: 2012-10-21 07:21 am   Permalink

I know alot of TC people have older vintage furnature in their bars and houses so I am going to pick your brains about a problem I am having with a 1950s era china cabinet, which holds my tiki mugs and old barware. The cabinet has sliding glass doors in front of the shelves and they are really hard to slide. They fit into a groove on the top and bottom and are supposed to glide along. There are no rollers or any hardware, nor is there anything stuck in the groove to prevent movement. How can I get them to slide more easily? is there a wax or polish I can use? Also I do not see any way to remove the glass from the cabinet. I am literally tugging at them with all of my might to get them open to add new mugs to my cabinet. Thank you in advance for any help you can offer.

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Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Nov 23, 2006
Posts: 6161
From: Sun City Lincoln Hills (NorCal)
Posted: 2012-10-21 08:39 am   Permalink

I found this for you...hope it helps. The only problem would be if the furniture is warped and the opening has tightened on the glass.

Smoothing Your Sliding Door Track

DoItYourself Staff

When a sliding door track gets gummed up and dirty, it can make using the door a hassle and a pain. In order to prevent this from happening and becoming a problem it is important to not only get the track clean, but also to lubricate the track so that it will slide easily.

Cleaning the Track
Cleaning a sliding door track can be accomplished through several different methods. The first thing you need to do is remove all the dirt and grime. You can do this by using a multipurpose cleaning spray. Just spray it into the track and leave it to soften any accumulated dirt. Once it has been on the track for about 30 minutes or so, come back and attack it with a toothbrush and a soft cloth to wipe up the grime as you move along the track.

Another approach is to first clean out the track with the vacuum cleaner. Most vacuums have a crevice attachment that can be used in the small space of the track for your sliding door. After vacuuming, then take a small whisk or other similar brush and vigorously brush away any remaining dirt and grime.

For stubborn bits and pieces of dirt, you may find it necessary to take a nail or other tool that can be used to dig into the dirt and clean out any small holes or crevices in your door track that are designed to allow water from the outside to drain from the track to the outside. Once you have dug this type of dirt up, you may decide that it is best to either vacuum it clean or follow it with a cleaning solution.

Whatever your cleaning approach, first make sure that the track is clean and dry before you move on to applying a lubricant to help the door slide better.

Once you know that the track is free of debris and dirt, then you are ready to begin applying a lubricant to the sliding door track. The most popular lubricant for this purpose is WD40. This is a common lubricant that contains light mineral oil and mineral spirits.

Another popular method of lubricating and smoothing out a sliding door track is to simply spray a light mineral oil directly on the track and slide it back and forth until the lubricant has been fully distributed along the track.

You can also carefully spread petroleum jelly along the track with your finger or a small brush and then move the door back and forth to distribute it along the entire length of the track.

Finally, an eco-friendly green approach is to spray or spread a small amount of fish oil along the track and run the track back and forth until the track slides smoothly. You can purchase fish oil at most health food stores or in the pharmacy section of most drug stores of grocery markets. Fish oil does not smell “fishy” and is inexpensive.

If you sliding door is not sliding smoothly along the track, try cleaning the track first and then applying a lubricant along the length of the track. Soon you will have it sliding smoothly again with a little effort.

Read more:

"Oh waiter, another cocktail please!!!"

[ This Message was edited by: VampiressRN 2012-10-21 08:40 ]

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Dr Ventures

Joined: Dec 08, 2010
Posts: 8
From: MN
Posted: 2012-10-21 09:55 am   Permalink

Use a plastic credit card-like thingie and a q-tip to remove the gunk and debris from the track. I like to save expired gift cards for such. Clean the wood with a spray-bottle of diluted Murphy Oil Soap, which is *great* for cleaning furniture. While wet, wipe out the remaining gunk with a rag. Let dry overnight. Finally, run a regular paraffin candle over the track to act as a dry lubricant. You can use the candle method on sticky drawer tracks as well.
Barkeep- another Suffering Bastard!

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Dr Ventures

Joined: Dec 08, 2010
Posts: 8
From: MN
Posted: 2012-10-21 10:08 am   Permalink

corrected: just done with the bench - The wax is made by HOWARD, not Murphy.

If you really want to give the track a good greasing, use Howard Feed & Wax on it. The stuff is great for restoring dry wood in general. I'm using it today to bring back a Witco bench I bought this week. And NO, I am not a shill for the company - it just works wonders.

Also, don't use that other method, as it's for patio doors, not wood furniture. The petroleum-based liquid oils will really mess up the finish!

Barkeep- another Suffering Bastard!

[ This Message was edited by: Dr Ventures 2012-10-21 10:13 ]

[ This Message was edited by: Dr Ventures 2012-10-21 11:32 ]

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Atomic Tiki Punk
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 19, 2009
Posts: 7048
From: Costa Misery
Posted: 2012-10-21 12:49 pm   Permalink

Since this is a straight glass in a wood groove type of display case
many of the above suggestions may not apply, if the wood rail has become
warped or pitted,this can be a problem.

First you will need to clean the rails, you can use steel wool to clean and sand the inside
surface of the rails,you may need a tool (screw driver etc. with the steel wool)
to get deep into the rails depending on the depth.

Be careful not to damage the finish of the wood outside the area of the rails.

if this gives you more movement sliding the glass, then a bit of "Graphite Lubricant"
only in the groove of the rails (Top & bottom) will give the glass more movement
you can get it at most hardware stores and is fine for wood,does not stain etc.
you may have to apply it every couple of months.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 08, 2010
Posts: 503
From: Western Australia
Posted: 2012-10-21 7:20 pm   Permalink

Highly unlikely that you can't remove the glass, generally the top groove would
be "deeper" so that the glass could be lifted and swung out at the bottom.

As the good doctor suggests, plain old candle wax works a treat, though you'd have
to clear the grooves and re-apply regularly. Post a picture of your cabinet so's we
can see... and also check out your mug collection.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 06, 2002
Posts: 464
From: Penna
Posted: 2012-10-22 2:37 pm   Permalink

Thank you all so much for your advice!! I am going to give the grooves a good cleaning and then figure out which of these methods to try. Thank you!!!

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