Introduction: Whiskey Cabinet From a 2x4 With Epoxy Tambour Door

About: My name is Johnny and I am a woodworker in NYC. Check out my Instagram to see what I'm currently working on @jtwoodworks and you can visit my YouTube channel to see videos on these Instructables and other proj…

A 2x4 is fairly inexpensive and you get a good amount of material from it. My name is Johnny Tromboukis and I’d like to show you how I made this whiskey cabinet with an epoxy tambour door from two 2x4's.

This was my very first attempt at making a tambour door so why not add some kumiko and epoxy to the mix? Tambour is much easier than I originally thought and I'll definitely be doing more of it in the future.

This whiskey cabinet is made entirely from 2x4 construction lumber and epoxy. It was a design challenge to make an elegant piece of furniture from very simple and readily available materials. It can hold two bottles in the upper section and two glasses in the lower.

Exterior dimensions - 27.25" x 10.5" x 6"

Upper cabinet interior dimensions - 9.5" x 4" x 13.25"

Lower cabinet interior dimensions - 9.5" x 4" x 4.75"

Tools used in this project

Kumiko crosscut sled (plans) -

Sawstop table saw -

Chisels -

Japanese handsaw -

Bandsaw -

Router -

Drill press -

Random orbit sander -

TotalBoat epoxy -

Black diamond pigments -

Materials and coupon codes

TotalBoat epoxy (code for 15%. off: JTWOODWRKS)-

Starbond (code for 10% off: JTWOODWORKS10) -

Step 1: Cut and Glue Panels

I started with the cabinet carcass and I want this piece to have straight grain throughout so I cut and glued the 2x4 in a specific way. Most 2x4’s that I’ve seen are flat saw. Meaning the rings are almost parallel with the width of the board. That leaves a cathedral pattern on its face and straight grain on its edges. Cutting strips and rotating them 90 degrees not only give the panels straight grain but the grain also completely hides the glue seams.

I glued all the panels this way (two sides, top, bottom, and back for both the top and bottom sections of the cabinet). Once those dry, I can clean them up with the planer and mill them to their final thickness.

Many of the measurements I figured out on the spot. Things like how tall and deep should the cabinet be. I made this to fit a couple bottles but you can use these techniques to make your own cabinet to fit anything you'd like.

Step 2: Side Pieces

I start with the side panels. I cut a rabbet on one end for the bottom panel to sit into. On the other end I cut a radius on the bandsaw and sanded to the line on the disk sander. I did this to all the side pieces.

I took my time to get the curve nice and even since I'll reference off of this in the next step.

I cut the groove for the back panel in the side pieces by clamping a block to my table saw fence so I don’t cut too far and took several passes to sneak up on the proper fit. I removed the left over material with a chisel.

Step 3: Side Pieces - Cut the Tracks

Next I need to cut the track in these pieces. This is fairly simple with a router table. You want to mark the center of the bit on the fence of the router table. I moved the fences so they met in line with the center of the router bit (marked by arrow). Then while cutting, you want to make sure your work piece is always in contact with the fence at that point. I did a practice run before committing to these pieces and it works great as long as you take it slow.

Step 4: Glue Up and Finish

With that done I drill some holes for the dowel joinery on the top piece. I’m using bamboo skewers here and after cutting them to size and a quick sanding of all the parts, I can glue the cabinet together. This went together really nicely and the joinery pulled everything square.

It’s really important that the cabinet is square or else the door will bind and won’t function properly. Taking time to cut joinery really paid off because it pulled all the pieces square and right where they needed to be.

To finish the cabinet, I used General Finishes Black Poly. It’s black tinted polyurethane and it's like applying stain and finish at the same time. It saves time and this has become one of my favorite finishes.

Step 5: Kumiko Panel for Door

At this point I was eager to work on the tambour door since this is the first time I’m trying it. Starting with the kumiko pattern, I cut some strips from the 2x4 and cut half laps in them. Using my kumiko crosscut sled made quick work of it and I have plans for this sled linked here if you’re interested.

I cut two long pieces and a bunch of shorter ones that will link the two together and make the pattern.

Step 6: Build Frame and Back Panel for Door

I’m using ¼” plywood for the back panel of the door and I start by gluing the handle on first. I left and ⅜” overhang with the plywood and that’ll ride in the track cut in the previous step. I then glue on some extra strips that’ll frame the door and keep the epoxy from spilling out. Maintaining that ⅜” spacing along both sides. After trimming the kumiko panel to its final size, I can get to mixing the epoxy.

Step 7: Mix and Pour the Epoxy

I’m using Total Boat for this and I wanted the final color to be mainly black with a hint of purple. I don’t have any black pigments so I combined dark brown, green, and purple. The final color is exactly what I was going for. If you want to pick up some epoxy or anything else from the Total Boat website like paint and finish, use the code below for 15% off. code:JTWOODWRKS

Step 8: Cut the Door

I didn't do a great job of filling all the pockets evenly so after the epoxy cured, some pockets were a little lower than others. I sanded with 120 grit to get everything even making sure to move around so I don’t melt the epoxy with friction. Then moved to 220 grit and lightly wet sanded by hand with 2,000 grit to remove any marks. I want a matte look so I didn’t go higher than that.

Next I have to cut this panel into strips and with every cut, I’m removing material that’s the thickness of the blade. This would distort the pattern so to minimize this, I cut the panel on the bandsaw. I used a resaw blade and a fence to help cut straight.

Step 9: Glue on the Canvas

After making sure all the strips were in the correct order, I flipped them over to glue on the canvas that holds them together. Since the handle is thicker than the other pieces, I’ll have to glue it later. I secured these pieces within a frame and added tape to the edges that will ride in the track. I don’t want to glue the canvas in that area.

I’m using a canvas that I picked up from the art supply store. This has white gesso applied on its face which is a primer for the canvas and I want this to face up so I can glue the raw canvas to the pieces. A simple canvas drop cloth would work great here too.

I’m pressing it down to remove wrinkles and working it into the corners. A slit on the two back corners allows the canvas to sit properly and not fold over itself. The other end is where the handle will be so instead of cutting the canvas here, I replaced the wood frame piece with one that’s shorter. Looking back, I should have done this all the way around. I think it would have been easier.

Step 10: Don't Let the Panel Glue Up Dry in the Frame

Letting it dry for about 30 minutes, I carefully removed it from the frame and made sure none of the pieces were stuck together. I did this a couple times until the glue fully dried. If any of the pieces stick together, it would be difficult to unstick them without damaging the rest of the door. Then I can cut off the excess canvas and glue on the handle piece.

Step 11: Cord Wrap Handle

For the handle itself, I wrapped string around an extra strip. To avoid having knots show, so I start. by. making a loop that's longer than the section I want to wrap. As I'm wrapping I want to avoid gaps and keep the wrap tight.

When you get the end, thread the excess through the loop. While keeping it taught, pull the string on the opposite end pulling the loop under the wrap.

After drilling a hole on either end, I cut it to size and use bamboo skewers to attach it to the door. With that done, I can slide the door into the track.

Step 12: Attach the Top and Bottom Cabinets Together

To attach the cabinets to each other and to the wall, I made these strips with threaded inserts an holes for the floating shelf hardware to slip into. I. shouls have done this before I put the finish on but I glued these pieces to bottom of the top cabinet. The rubber bands hold everything in alignment.

I want these cabinets to come apart if I ever need to remove the doors. So I'm using binding bolts which a head and I'm going through the bottom cabinet into the threaded inserts. The last thing to do is slide it onto the floating shelf hardware and tighten the set strew on either side so it stays in place.

Step 13: Final Thoughts

This project was a bit of a design challenge for me as I never made a tambour door before. Let me know what you think of this whiskey cabinet in the comments and if you watched and enjoyed the video, give it a thumbs up and consider subscribing to my Youtube channel see more epoxy and kumiko projects.

You can watch the video here on how I built this tambour cabinet.

You can also find me on Youtube

Instagram to see what I'm currently working on

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