Thursday, September 28, 2006


Now I may have gone publicly quiet on tambours (possibly in self-defence) but I've been thinking about 'em. I went on an info hunt last night - a re-cap really. I'd already done it a few months ago, but failed to make a note of references... D'oh. Anyway, I think my primary source to start with will be Tage Frid Teaches Woodworking, Book 3. Yeah, that's right, book 3, the one no-one buys 'cos all the designs look dated. Hah, well I have it and it's the most info on making a tambour doored cabinet I've yet come across. So I'll go with Tage mayherestinpeace, at least for the first one. Always the possibility of it being the only one, mind you...

I've also decided frame 'n' panel makes it too complicated, so solid carcass is the order of the day. I have some well-seasoned pine rescued from the chapel in the village that's just about fit for workshop use, so that's looking favourite as material for the "first one" moment. Possibly painted...? Hmm, getting a bit ahead of myself there!

The only difficulty I'm really struggling with at the moment is hanging the blessed thing. I like the idea of the encorporated french cleat - let's pull that out from the comments from Mike:

"instead of a double back, I would inset my back panel about 2" to allow the tambour to move between it and a French cleat, which would be dovetailed into the rearmost frame members. I've done that before [for the cleat] and it works well."

But 2" of lost depth?! Not a problem for the saw till, but could be An Issue with the Tool Cabinet Vision, 'cos I only have so much depth to play with after all. The alternative, it seems to me, is to take the cabinet height up and allow a dead space at the top for the cleats and put the false back as close to the tambour groove as feasible. But then again that could look really awful too. So what other cabinet hanging options are there? TF cheated like hell by having a top cabinet with the main hanging cleats, then screwed the tamboured cabinet to the underneath of it with one cleat at the bottom to screw through into the wall. Maybe I should...? I mean you can never have enough storage, can you? But then again it's not much use if you can't reach it.

Ah, don't you just love the design stage...?


  1. Actually you would only be losing the extra depth of the cleat, which could be as little as 3/4"--5/8" to 11/16" for the cleat and 1/16" clearance for the tambour. But still I see that even that amount may not be acceptable.

    However, as the curve of the tambour brings it at least 2"-3" below the side/top join at the back, there's no reason a cleat could not reside there. Which would make for a thick cleat of about 2" to 2 1/2" in height.

    And yep, love the design aspect. Makes it a practical application of Gill's thread...

    Take care, Mike

  2. Does it have to be hung?

    I know the current trend is to have cupboards on cleats so that they can be moved around but is that really likely?
    You could just sit the cabinet on a couple of nicely designed brackets to hold the weight and a simple screw/bracket in the wall at the top to prevent tipping, as there will be no forward opening doors weight transference away from the wall will be reduced so only a light upper fixing would be needed.


  3. Andy, fair point. I suppose I was vaguely thinking along those lines myself. Good point about no forward opening doors actually helping in that regard too. Ta muchly :)


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