I am building a 60" roll top desk. Never built tambours longer than 47". Does anyone have thoughts on the optimum size of the slats (thickness and height) for a red oak tambour 60" wide by 34" high? I plan to contact cement the strips to artist canvas, unless someone has a better backer to suggest.
(Furniture Making Forum)
From contributor F:
First of all, I would use yellow glue instead. When I make them, they look like the cross-section of a Kit-Kat bar. 3/4" at the bottom and 1/2" thick.
I抦 thinking that I may have made the rails and stiles that receive the tambour groove a bit too narrow. I hadn抰 thought about how much I would have to beef up the thickness of the slats to facilitate that extra foot of length. I抦 thinking that my best direction at this point is to lay out the widest groove possible with the largest radius possible at the bends and then to test what width of slats will work without binding. Binding is a bad thing with a tambour!
Pertaining to the yellow glue: will it stick to the artist canvas? I usually stain and clear coat the slats first to prevent any possible glue/stain issues, but might try a test tambour with yellow glue. Poly glue would work, but dealing with the foam between the slats can be a real problem. Spraying on contact cement is rather quick and easy, but I always worry about the slats letting go.
Someone told me a while back that he used duck cloth, I think, for his backer material. Has anyone tried this? I use artist canvas because it doesn't stretch much and lasts a long time. However, it is easier to find duck cloth by the yard than artist canvas.
You might also look at some old kitchen queens. They have a groove that is about 1/4 inch deep. This groove feeds into a round holding pond that is 1/2 inch deep. You roll the curtain up like a sleeping bag to load it, then pull it down into the groove.