Pocket Door Technology

Pocket doors are an interesting idea, where there are no doors which are forever seen in rooms, covering up wall areas. But I think I have found an advance even for pocket doors.

I found a way where a slight touch on such a pocket door can immediately cause the door to rapidly slide open or shut, and where it then securely stays in that new position.

Some pocket doors seem to not want to stay open or closed, and are instead PARTLY sticking out of the wall, which is unattractive.

I added some extra items which are also inside the wall. Essentially, I install a horizontal pivot with around a six inch long arm circling it, where that arm has a one-pound-weight at its outer end. This is located inside the wall farther back past where the opened door ever gets to. A connecting rod arm attaches to the innermost edge of the pocket door itself, and to the rotating weighted arm.

When the door is completely closed, the moving weight has rotated JUST PAST being vertical, so it applies a slight constant force which keeps the door closed. If the door is even slightly opened, that weight passes over the vertical and then is able to fall down the back side of its revolution, which causes the motion to pick up speed as the weight falls, so the door starts to open more rapidly. Once the weight has passed under the bottom of its motion, the opening movement slows down and the door is barely moving as it becomes fully opened.

It then passes slightly past being vertical, but now in the opposite direction, where there is now a slight force which keeps the door fully open.

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The mechanism of the rolling wheels of the pocket door cause a modest amount of friction, which could keep the door from fully opening or closing, and when this happens, the door will stop exactly halfway open, due to the rotating weight now being at its bottom. This is easy to avoid happening by simply giving a slight nudge when starting the door to open or close, where it can overcome any friction to complete its opening or closing motion.


This presentation was first placed on the Internet in April 2012.

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C Johnson, Theoretical Physicist, Physics Degree from Univ of Chicago