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Forum topic by richgreer posted 07-13-2011 04:06 AM 5730 views 2 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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richgreer

4541 posts in 2542 days


07-13-2011 04:06 AM

Does anyone know where you can read or watch a “how to” on a tambour top? This is the kind of top used on a roll top desk and on some bread boxes.

I’m probably going to be building a console that will house the control panels for our church’s audio system. We need to be able to secure it and a tambour top and lock seems like the best approach, but I have never done one.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.


21 replies so far

View Sawkerf's profile

Sawkerf

1730 posts in 2536 days


#1 posted 07-13-2011 04:28 AM

Unless you’re set on making your tambor, search the web for one. I’ve seen them in several places and in a couple of different styles.

If you just gotta make your own, the easiest would be to cut several strips of wood ~1/2” wide x ~1/4” thick x ? long and glue them to a piece of medium weight canvas.

-- Adversity doesn't build character...................it reveals it.

View jimp's profile

jimp

208 posts in 3229 days


#2 posted 07-13-2011 04:32 AM

Here is a link to video showing the method using cloth.

Here is a method using router bits to make parts that link together like a chain.

-- - Jim, Carroll, OH

View rcs47's profile

rcs47

182 posts in 2597 days


#3 posted 07-13-2011 04:33 AM

Rich,

Tommy Mac does a show with one:

http://www.thomasjmacdonald.com/content/0112-bread-boxpeabody-essex-museum/

I made a roll top desk 35+ years ago, and glued canvas to the slats with yellow glue. I cut a rabbit in the bottom handle board to receive the canvas. Then covered the canvas with a piece of wood and screws to ensure everything held together.

I think Tommy uses a specific type of canvas, but I can’t remember. They are rerunning his season 1 shows now, and you might be able to catch his breadbox show.

Good luck,

-- Doug - As my Dad taught me, you're not a cabinet maker until you can hide your mistakes.

View Bernie's profile

Bernie

416 posts in 2305 days


#4 posted 07-13-2011 05:03 AM

Rich – One of my projects is a breadbox which has a tambour rool up door. In the post, I mentioned how I had used a 1/8 roundover on the slats thinking it was enough. I ended up glueing the door and discovering it wasn’t enough. I had to scrape the edges several times before I got it right.

What I did was assemble the ends and cutting them in shape. Then I clamped a mirror image of the ends which were about 3/8” smaller with the same exact shape. That was my template I used to guide my router to make the groove for the door to slide along.

I know this is a quick simplified synopsis of what I did. I’m willing to elaborate on what I did if it would help. Please feel free to ask… but I know you can do it. I’ve seen your projects etc.

-- Bernie: It never gets hot or cold in New Hampshire, just seasonal!

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lew

11348 posts in 3223 days


#5 posted 07-13-2011 05:07 AM

“Norm” did one on The New Yankee Workshop once.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

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TopamaxSurvivor

17677 posts in 3144 days


#6 posted 07-13-2011 08:18 AM

I haven’t done one, but did quite a bit of research. If you make your own, besure to put the easy tearing side of the material lenghtwise, not on the edges. It will last a lot longer.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Jeff in Huntersville's profile

Jeff in Huntersville

404 posts in 2662 days


#7 posted 07-13-2011 12:49 PM

Rockler sells the tambour already mounted on cloth. They also sell a router bit set to make your own. The slats fit together so you don’t need the cloth backing. Instructions included with the set. I did it for my roll top desk. You can see it in my projects. The router bit set is easy to use with a router table.

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4541 posts in 2542 days


#8 posted 07-13-2011 02:13 PM

Sawkerf -

Buying a pre-made tambour seems like a very good idea in my situation. I checked and it looks like I can get exactly what I need with respect to size and choice of wood. They come sanded and ready to finish so we will be able to finish it to match the rest of the console.

I didn’t realize this is an option. Thank you.

IMO – This is a classic case where buying beats building.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3965 posts in 2632 days


#9 posted 07-13-2011 04:22 PM

This is an item I would really try to buy, rather than build, Rich, I think you are on the right track. There are a whole set of special skills, and special materials and knowledge required, it seems. With little use for the experience gained in other situations.

Without thinking about it, we all make implicit decisions about buying instead of building all the time. Everything from hinges to table saws is buildable. Just doesn’t make any sense. I built my own TS switch. It works great and is unique. I forget it is even there. But if this one broke, I don’t think I would rebuild it.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Woodwrecker's profile

Woodwrecker

3928 posts in 3043 days


#10 posted 07-13-2011 04:48 PM

I know Norm did one Rich.
I’m not sure which episode it was though.

-- Eric, central Florida

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

4997 posts in 3131 days


#11 posted 07-13-2011 06:50 PM

Rich—I have made four tambour-top boxes (like the ones in Sandor Nagyszalanczy’s video that JimP posted above).

They really aren’t that difficult. I used a heavy cotton canvas from a Hancock’s Fabric store, and knocked all four of them out in an afternoon.

—Gerry

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

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TopamaxSurvivor

17677 posts in 3144 days


#12 posted 07-13-2011 06:54 PM

Shouldn’t the well rounded woodworker make one of everything just for knowledge and experience?

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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SCOTSMAN

5839 posts in 3053 days


#13 posted 07-13-2011 07:02 PM

Norm did a roll top desk with tambour maybe he has avideo of it? Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

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TheDane

4997 posts in 3131 days


#14 posted 07-13-2011 08:01 PM

Topa—I am pretty ‘well rounded’, but I didn’t think we were talking about my waist-line!

—Gerry

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

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SCOTSMAN

5839 posts in 3053 days


#15 posted 07-13-2011 09:12 PM

Hey gerry welcome to the clubLOL as my German friends say a man needs a little buffering fat to see him through the winter LOL. Alistair ps I have enough for the next ice age

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

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