I frequently get requests to fix pocket doors that have come out of the track and are difficult to operate. I used to be reluctant to take this kind of job; I could replace the wheels on top of the door, but I couldn't guarantee that would take care of the problem. So I developed a method that resolved this both for me and for my clients. Without breaking into the wall, I remove and replace the old track with a high-quality track and hangers from Johnson Hardware (model 100PD, which costs me around $24; 800/837-5664, www.johnsonhardware.com). Not only does the Johnson hardware roll a lot more smoothly than the typical cheap original hardware, but it's designed so the wheels can't come off the track. To remove the old track, I take out as many of the attachment screws as I can get to by reaching inside the opening. I bend down that section of the track and cut it off with metal snips. I then use a short combination crowbar and nail puller to remove the remaining track. I cut off the end of the bar so it will fit into a 1-inch-diameter iron pipe, which gives me an extension handle to get back into the recess (see Figure 1). The track rips off easily, but it's hardly ever easy to get all the screws out, so I leave them in place.

Figure 1.Cutting the end off a small crowbar/nail puller and fitting it into the end of an iron pipe provides a tool for reaching into tight spaces.

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