I'm much the same mind frame as Brian -- I know what I want, and
there's no point in taking up woodworking if I can't build it. I also
enjoy trying new things -- I'm actually a little dissapointed that the
lee valley tambours are likely a viable solution to building my own...
As it turns out, in my case, I only have about 12" on either side of
where the unit will be installed -- it's under a staircase, so sliding
doors won't work, unless I make the door slide downwards, which would
be plain ugly (and defeat the purpose). Swinging doors would not look
good either, and would obstruct the built in on the other side -- so
pocket door is my only real option if I want a door at all.
So regarding a few of the issues: Flex: The bottom couple of rungs
will be made thicker to accomidate a handle. This thicker wood would
not flex, and should hold the rest of the rungs in line, so the
tambour should not fall out of its grove. I can also make the grove
1/2" deep on either side which will also help.
As far as heat goes, the wall backs onto a staircase going to my
basement. I was planning on building a vented metal door at the back
of the unit. This would allow me access to wiring, and prevent the
unit from overheating. I'm also getting LCD, not plasma, so that
should also help.
I'm still not sure if I'm putting a door on it at all (I'm still in
the design stage). I'm pretty good with mechanics though -- I built a
prototype of the following:
The following shows a preliminary design of the mechanics of the
table. The actual design was actually much simpler, as it only took
one gearing mechanism.
It works great -- I can stash the table under the couch in less than
4s, and pull it out in less than 6. The table also has multiple
heights -- one for eating, one for working, and one for a regular
coffee table (it also looks really good to boot). So, with that said,
I'm not scared of 'complicated mechanics'
Anyways, thanks for all the comments and suggestions. I now have
enough info to discuss with the wife (AKA 'master of decor') which
option I'll take.
BTW, one thing I didn't mention, as far as mechanics go -- I'm also
contemplating having the door open automatically when I press a button
on my remote...