If you’ve been following along, the space at the bottom left of the cabinet is reserved for install of a tambour (roll-up) door salvaged from the donor Hoosier cabinet. Not certain what will ultimately live in that cubby re: tools, but it’s inspired by a tambour’d cabinet Stanley sold in the 30s. New, red oak tambour doors (15”x17”) cost more than $80 per. Wow, didn’t know what a treasure I had back when I reduced the donor cabinet to a stack of component pieces. Treasure… right… :-)
Anyway, each piece of the tambour’s ‘track’ assembly was carefully removed and set aside for later.
I’ve seen two ways to guide roll-top material in the wild: dado cuts and surface-mounted ‘tracks.’ The donor piece used the latter method, obviously, and I’ll do the same with the tool cabinet. The depth of the new cabinet is greater than the original, and some of the track pieces busted at removal. So new stuff has to be fabricated. I used a couple of the T&G cut-offs and traced the curves from the originals before heading over to the bandsaw.
With the pieces cut, everything could be sanded smooth with my non-oscillating spindle sander / drill press.
Here’s how the track should work!
What to do about the bottom of the tambour, which is missing any sort of handle or finger grip for open and close actions AND which doesn’t even have a proper bottom slat (thicker than the others, to mount a handle to). I’d like a single pull, or something that is flush to the front of the cabinet, so a solid bottom is required.
A thick piece of white oak is what’s called for… To best match the rest of the door, the piece should be culled from cabinet salvage. The Hoosier had oak ‘laminated’ along the front edge of another type of non-descript material everywhere but on the sides, so I picked a piece of shelf laminate as a donor. Here’s a before shot of the shelf board alongside the tambour door; notice the weak-looking bottom slat:
I ripped the oak strip from the larger piece at the table saw, then clamped it to the bench to attack it with the #40 scrub; there’s a dado to ‘erase’ from the backside, and whatever thickness remains is what it’ll be.
Followed up with a #7 jointer for flat (sides and edges), and the piece was ready for the next step.
Added a bevel to the piece by removing the front, top hard edge of the piece. Now to decide on a way to mate this base ‘slat’ to the door. How about gluing it by way of a rabbet?
Then the question is begged, how to cut a rabbet on a stick? #78 won’t work, fence on that is thicker that the material that will remain (I checked, believe me). I could use a sticking board, but don’t have one and don’t feel like making one just for this. How about a #93 shoulder plane? I’ll use a C. Schwarz trick he demo’d in his Handplane Essentials class in 2010.
Start by marking the line of the rabbet, then use a knife to strike it. That gives the shoulder plane all the help it needs: By riding just an edge of the plane along the line, so the corner of the iron is all that’s making contact with the stuff, a small groove is cut. (Note it’s shown being pulled, just to get the pic.)
I ran the tool across the work a number of times, closing the angle as I went until the sole was parallel to the work and I was cutting a rabbet. Huzzah!
Checked depth a few times as I went, and stopped when the door piece fit nicely into it’s new base. It was easy, and took about 4 minutes to do, start to finish. Nice!
Glue applied, clamped it to the bench, came out looking pretty good. Guess I can add ‘tambour repairman’ to the ole’ resume.
This next part you may have seen evidence of in previous pics, but didn’t ask about because you were too polite. With the cabinet assembled, but before the back was installed, a problem had to be addressed. The rough opening for the tambour is simply too big, by about 1/2”. Too much slop, so I found a finished piece of 1/2” maple from the cut-offs bin that was about the right size, sanded off the clear finish, then glued it into place. Now I have the rough opening I need. And a reprise of the teaser shot from Installment #9…
All that’s left is some kind of handle, and this tambour is ready for install!
-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive