Tambour Door Tips

More good ideas for tambour door construction. March 3, 2009

I need to make some roll up tambour doors. I can't just order them because its an exotic wood. I have hacked my way through this before, but does anyone have a slick way to do it? I have a vacuum bag but the glue-up can be messy. I was thinking of a hot glue gun and some kind of jig. Any ideas?

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor G:
I've stained off the shelf maple appliance garages to resemble many different exotic woods. Is that an option for you?

From the original questioner:
I can't do it. We are stain and finish specialists but this is Afromosia which looks like Teak. I just had a thought of taking a standard, maybe cherry tambour door and carefully veneering the face with Afromosia.

From contributor T:
What is the dimension of the final tambour curtain? If the arc you have to navigate is tight you can sometimes make the product turn corners better by producing ship-lap type joinery where one stave meets the next. We've done these with glued canvas and have also threaded them with steel cable. (You can get the proper cable at any place you can buy sport fishing goods. It is sometimes called "shark leader").

Something to pay attention to if these are heavy is how fast they drop when they start to free-fall. Hafele sells a spring based dampener for controlling the weight of the doors. This spring makes it easier to lift heavy doors and slows them down when closing them.

From contributor R:
Eagle America makes a tabour bit set that is designed to work with cables strung through the tambour pieces rather than having a canvas glued to the back. It eliminates the glue up issue.

From contributor B:
I make mine and use contact cement with a canvas backer. The trick is using spray cement so it doesn't run in-between the slats. Use plenty of cement and make sure it is dry. I have mine on a backer board, when dry apply the cloth and then run it several times thru a pinch roller. Ive never had a problem and have lots of them out there.

From contributor F:
Amana Tool makes a Tambour Door Router Set that is part of their Lonnie Bird tool line. It requires no cloth or wires and that means no glue problems. Hope this helps.