Tambour Top Box

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Project by TheDane posted 1172 days ago 3609 views 13 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This project appeared in the April 2011 Issue of Woodworkers Journal, and was designed by Sandor Nagyszalanczy.

This box is ideal as a valet for keys, change, money clip etc. One of the coolest things about it is that the tambour opens and closes when you open/close the drawer.

This little box (it’s only 12” long, 5 1/4” high, and 7 1/2” deep) was quite a challenge to build … mostly because it required operations I had never performed before on such a small scale. I used hard maple with tung oil finish.

That being said, I saved the templates and jig I made for building the tambour, so there is a pretty good chance copies of this box will appear under some Christmas trees in about 6 months!

Here’s a link to a video that details building of the tambour and routing the track it runs on:

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

15 comments so far

View CL810's profile


1951 posts in 1612 days

#1 posted 1172 days ago

Great work Gerry! I’m planning to build a valet, charging station soon and I really like this design. Thanks for the post!

-- "It's amazing how much can go wrong when you think you know what you're doing."

View Gary's profile


7082 posts in 2057 days

#2 posted 1172 days ago

I’m glad you built it. I saw it and had it on my list for future builds. Glad someone did it first. Great Job!!

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View Roger's profile


14311 posts in 1428 days

#3 posted 1172 days ago

yes, very nice build. I seen that myself and thought, I may tackle one o these in the future….. well, Santa might.
I like the Maple. Very clean and nice.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe.

View CanalboatJim's profile


196 posts in 2129 days

#4 posted 1172 days ago

Great project Gerry. I admired this box when I read the article, but it seemed a little daunting. Now that I know that a human can actually build it, I might give it a try.

-- Jim Westbrooks

View plantek's profile


300 posts in 1423 days

#5 posted 1172 days ago

Great job!
I have that issue of WWJ. As soon as I saw it I put it on the “To-do” list.
I hope to get to it sooner then later. Seeing yours is encouraging.
Thanks for posting.

-- If you want it and it's within reason... It's on it's way!

View devann's profile


1735 posts in 1316 days

#6 posted 1172 days ago

that’s a pretty cool project to post. And a fine looking job you did building it too. I like it,thanks.

-- Darrell, making more sawdust than I know what to do with

View degoose's profile


6992 posts in 1979 days

#7 posted 1172 days ago

I have down loaded the template design but that was as far as I got… maybe now I will give it a go…

-- Drink twice... and don't bother to cut... @ For lovers of all things timber...

View Oldwest's profile


74 posts in 1428 days

#8 posted 1172 days ago

Nice Job. I have the plans and plan on making a few for christmas gifts also.

-- Anyone who isn’t totally confused just doesn’t understand the situation.

View MoTaD's profile


18 posts in 1308 days

#9 posted 1172 days ago

SICK….... keep up the gd work

View woodman1962's profile


150 posts in 1312 days

#10 posted 1172 days ago

great looking box looks real nice


View orionoriginals's profile


37 posts in 1182 days

#11 posted 1171 days ago

Show-off! Beautifully done – need it a little bigger though to make a great bread box! I’m jealous.

-- Jamie

View fernandoindia's profile


1072 posts in 1567 days

#12 posted 1171 days ago

Nicely done Gerry!!!.

I warn you: you´re gonna be asked for those tambour boxes pretty much sooner than Xmas !! :). Everybody loves them.

I made my first one a couple of months ago.

Since then, I am on the third one now. And the friends and family order list for this keeps growing.

I encourage Jim and other to try one.

Just be sure to follow Degoose instructions for cutting (drink twice, don´t bother to cut 20 times)

-- Back home. Fernando

View TheDane's profile


3715 posts in 2287 days

#13 posted 1171 days ago

Fernando—I DO subscribe to Degooses’ instructions … that’s why the most reliable tool in my shop is the refrigerator!

Nice job on the box!


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

View JL7's profile


7103 posts in 1589 days

#14 posted 1171 days ago

These are very cool – and your’s is very nicely done. I first saw Fernando’s, then I got the magazine – I defineatley need to build a couple of these…..

Thanks for the post.


-- Jeff - I have not failed. I've just found 10,002 ways that won't work.

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13337 posts in 2297 days

#15 posted 1143 days ago

Thats a beautiful box.

-- CJIII Future cabinetmaker

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