While researching antique tansu I found several examples that incorporated sliding doors. There is something about sliding doors that gives an item that Japanese feel. Plus I like them. Sliding doors just seem to make more sense to me than hinged ones. But that is a whole other discussion for another time. Bottom line is I plan to add sliding doors to at least some of my tansu designs. To add sliding doors will be a simple matter of adding the requisite grooves to the front drawer/door bearers that I detailed in an earlier post.
The first thing that you have to get your head around is that the bottom groove doesn’t need to be very deep. Even on large shoji doors the bottom groove is typically only an 1/8″(3mm) deep. Once you have that, the top groove just needs to be about 3x as deep as the lower groove. This configuration will allow you to easily install the doors. My sample doors are just scraps of plywood for demonstration. The actual doors will be proper frame and panel construction. Maybe even some fancy grid work (kumiko).