Internal Box Pieces
To hide the tambour door from view when the box is opened, I added two internal pieces of 1/4″ thick Baltic birch plywood (no one will see the edges), the internal box back and top (pieces 5 and 6). You can cut these pieces to size now. When they are assembled within the grooves you formed for them earlier, the top will butt up to the back.
Cut the Tambour Slats to Size
The tambour door consists of 14 pairs of alternating maple and bubinga slats (pieces 7 and 8). Each of these 28 slats has a 30° chamfer on one edge. The best way to create these is to cut 3-ft. lengths of maple and bubinga to the correct width and thickness and form the chamfer along one edge. Since these are small pieces to handle, I recommend clamping each piece in a bench vise and chamfering them with a sharp hand plane. Plane in the direction of the grain and follow up by sanding the show faces smooth.
Once your chamfered stock is smooth, you can crosscut the pieces to length. You should be able to get four slats from each 3-ft. stick, so you’ll need to repeat the process until you have 14 slats of each species. Set the non-chamfered edge of each like-wood slat together, and then alternate pairs of bubinga and maple, matching the chamfered edges. Begin the panel with a maple pair followed by a bubinga pair, and continue the alternating process until complete. This will produce a roll-top panel with nice design character.
The only other piece that’s made from bubinga stock is the push/pull handle (piece 9). Use the pattern at left to cut this piece to size, and shape the ends using a disc or oscillating sander. Position the push/pull handle on the door’s second maple slat. Drill pilot holes through the parts, and drive two small finishing screws through the back of the slat and into the handle. Disassemble the parts — they’ll be reattached after the fabric is applied.