They Slide! They Slide!

Life can be quite vexing.

We have all experienced difficulties and tragedies.

But, I put forth that there are few things more vexing than having an old house with sliding doors…which don’t slide.

I have been through a lot in life. A lot. Don’t get me started. But, sliding doors which don’t slide is JUST TOO MUCH TO TAKE.

I mean, there are limits to what we must endure. Right?


The Cross House has three pairs of pocket doors. And a single very wide pocket door. Only the pair to the dining room actually opened/closed as intended by God.

The rest? It was like doing battle. Tugging and pulling and sweating and swearing to get them closed.

I simply don’t ascribe to the idea that one should do battle with their old house.

Limits! I have limits!


Last March I reached my limit. I would win the battle. I WOULD WIN!

Except I had no idea of how to win.

The internet saved me.

For, there, I found Stephen Thorp. And Stephen gallantly offered wise strategies for removing the doors (a task which had totally befuddled me) and and and offered to restore the highly damaged wheels.



Door removed. See the wheels on top?



Geez. I learned that these are called yokes. And my yokes had, obviously, gone bad. Very bad. But it would soon prove that Stephen was a magical wizard, and had the ability to erase time. Scroll way down to see proof of such magic…


























ZOUNDS! ZOUNDS! ZOUNDS! The yokes look brand new! And of exactly the same material as used in 1894! Obviously, Stephen is a very great and very powerful magician! And the results?



One door between the Library and Parlor re-installed!



And two doors. I WON THE BATTLE!!!!!!!! No more tugging and pulling and sweating and swearing to get them closed! (The white vertical line is the ghost of a wall which was built against the door to create a bathroom in 1950.)



The pair between the Parlor and Foyer (the left one has been refinished). They now open/close with ease. And as they do, my eyes spontaneously water with tears of joy and wonder and appreciation.



All thanks to a magician. My gratitude is considerable.








  1. Tiffaney on September 16, 2016 at 8:51 pm

    Who builds a wall against a movable door?!

    It boggles the mind.

    Aside from that, congrats on functioning pocket doors!

  2. Julia on September 16, 2016 at 9:03 pm

    Looks like the yokes not on you after all Ross…happy sliding!

  3. nathan on September 17, 2016 at 1:14 am

    You do realize that you are going to have to somehow post a video of the doors in action… Such a thing would be almost pornographic to us…

    • Sherry D Hyman on January 8, 2017 at 12:44 am

      I would say….orgasmic….

  4. on September 17, 2016 at 9:30 am

    Vexing is having your pocket doors cut in half and used as a toilet partition in the basement! I will hear none of your whining!!!!

    • Ross on September 17, 2016 at 9:38 am

      OK. That made me laugh!

    • Chad on September 19, 2016 at 6:31 am

      Are all the pieces there?

    • Seth Hoffman on September 20, 2016 at 11:54 pm

      Yeah, leaving the door intact and building a wall against it seems very kind in comparison to that!

  5. djd_fr on January 16, 2017 at 7:31 am

    Yes, one does hanker for a video. With sound.

  6. Sandra Lee on March 22, 2017 at 6:34 pm

    Stephen Thorpe is indeed a magician! Congrats on getting the pocket doors moving again:-)

    • Ross on March 22, 2017 at 7:38 pm

      I loooooooooove having working pocket doors!

      And I loooooooooove Stephen!

  7. Christy on April 14, 2020 at 1:34 pm

    Yay! For you, for the working doors, and for Stephen! This also helps me because I have sliding wooden closet doors in my old home that don’t slide so well anymore. I have wondered what to do about them, and this gives me some guidance! I will look into replacing the rollers on the doors, which I have actually been able to remove because they jump off the track too!

  8. Laurie L Weber on January 30, 2021 at 8:19 pm

    Hi – gorgeous and so jealous. Just awesome.

  9. Critter Mom on July 17, 2021 at 10:12 am

    Wow! I keep finding more and more of your ‘goodies’. I just found your “Wanna Meet…?” page! I LOVE pocket doors and high ceilings. I live in Historic Chester County, PA and there is a beautiful Victorian B&B in my area, owned and run by a friend of my daughter. It has gorgeous pocket doors, an incredible 4-story staircase that you can look up and see all four floors, plus amazingly beautiful rooms – all restored. The kitchen is modern because it has to be, but the entire rest of the house is a feast for the eyes.
    This area is chock-full of historic sites: Valley Forge, the Brandywine Battlefield, the Daniel Boone Homestead, covered bridges, a house Lincoln once lived in and much, much more. In October of every year, there is a tour designed for visitors to view interiors of all kinds of architecture, from the Early American Period, through the Civil War, the Victorian Era and lots more. Other than historical monuments, most of them are private homes, lovingly cared for in perfect or near-perfect condition. Sometimes you’ll see an historic home in process of restoration like yours, then some years later, it will show up on the tour again as a finished beauty. Hundreds of people come in on buses because the event is drool-worthy.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will NEVER be made public or shared, and you may use a screen name if you wish.