Tambour Top Box

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Project by TheDane posted 06-05-2011 01:11 AM 6339 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


3715 posts in 2857 days

#1 posted 06-05-2011 01:33 AM

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

-- "The only limits to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today." - FDR

View Gary's profile


9262 posts in 3302 days

#2 posted 06-05-2011 01:42 AM

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


20891 posts in 2673 days

#3 posted 06-05-2011 01:43 AM

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. Keep your dust collector fed.

View CanalboatJim's profile


200 posts in 3374 days

#4 posted 06-05-2011 01:59 AM

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


312 posts in 2668 days

#5 posted 06-05-2011 03:09 AM

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


2246 posts in 2562 days

#6 posted 06-05-2011 06:15 AM

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


7227 posts in 3224 days

#7 posted 06-05-2011 07:45 AM

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

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View Oldwest's profile


86 posts in 2673 days

#8 posted 06-05-2011 10:34 AM

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


19 posts in 2553 days

#9 posted 06-05-2011 12:26 PM

SICK….... keep up the gd work

-- Hadi, Roudaki, Hadi Roudaki

View woodman1962's profile


150 posts in 2558 days

#10 posted 06-05-2011 01:28 PM

great looking box looks real nice


View orionoriginals's profile


37 posts in 2427 days

#11 posted 06-05-2011 09:12 PM

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

-- Jamie

View fernandoindia's profile


1081 posts in 2813 days

#12 posted 06-06-2011 01:11 AM

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


5348 posts in 3532 days

#13 posted 06-06-2011 02:11 AM

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


8629 posts in 2834 days

#14 posted 06-06-2011 02:22 AM

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 .... Minnesota, USA

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13347 posts in 3542 days

#15 posted 07-03-2011 09:53 PM

Thats a beautiful box.

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