Sliding Doors

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Sliding doors, picture 1

Sliding doors can be found in any size and are used for different purposes in real life and so are my LEGO versions. Possible applications can be buildings, train models where sliding doors often are used on freight cars or even bigger machinery like my mining and stripping shovels. The advantage of sliding doors is that they use very little space and therefore you will find them in places where swing doors are unsuitable.

Sliding doors, picture 2

The construction of my LEGO version follows a simple principle. A plate is used as a door and is guided by three rails - a lower and an upper one as well as the inner rail.
The upper rail always consists of plates with door rails of the size 1' x 2' and 1' x 8'. The lower rail can be done in the same way. But there is another possibility if the door shall lead to a balcony or a service platform. Then the rail can be realized with tiles that are part of the platform. Always be aware that the length of the rails have to be at least twice the door width minus one stud. You can subtract one stud because the door can't fully open due to the necessity of being guided by the third rail. This means that with an opening of x studs, the door itself can be opened just by x - 1 studs.
This third inner rail is done by a Technic axle that is hold by two Technic bricks of the size 1' x 1' x 1'. These Technic bricks are attached above the door opening so that their lower edge lies on the same level as the upper edge of the door opening. Due to the maximum length of Technic axles of twelve studs, the door width is limited to ten studs. If you like to hold the Technic axle in place with bushes, then the door width is limited to nine studs - when using half bushes - or to eight studs - when using standard bushes. On the axle glides another Technic brick 1' x 1' x 1' upside down which is attached to a headlight holder brick which itself holds the door via a 1' x 2' x 1' inverted slope brick.
I have tested this principle up to a door size of eight by sixteen studs and it still works well. On a wall one stud in thickness you have to add one stud on the inner side for the third rail and about half a stud for the door on the outer side. This means that an eight wide train car with a sliding door on both sides gets just one stud wider.

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