Roll Top Bread Bin

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Project by Don Johnson posted 02-08-2018 12:08 PM 2329 views 6 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Whilst I was making the Tambour Top Box – – my wife, Avril, kept asking me what is was for. I replied that someone would want it, and in the event my son loved it so I gave it to him, and I think he now has it on his office desk, perhaps to store items like the key to the executive lavatory. When I was making its tambour, I overestimated the number of strips I would need, and could get three pieces out of each strip instead of two, so I ended up with a load of spare strips. Therefore, when Avril said that if I was keen on tambours, I could make her a bread bin, so I was happy to agree as I already had enough strips to make the longer pieces needed for the tambour.

I looked at designs on the ‘net, but didn’t care for the old-fashioned versions – as shown in picture 4 – but did like the commercial item shown in picture 5. I looked it up on the seller’s page, and got the dimensions as 28 cm high, 29 cm deep, and 39 cm in length, so worked out the design of the sides and tambour slot using those dimensions. When I put the sides together with the other parts, the result was much taller than I expected, and not like the shape in picture 5. I went back to the seller’s page, and looked at the dimensions for a similar box, which showed as being 18 cm high – not 28 cm – so the first one must have had a misprint. Serendipity took over, as Avril declared that she like the taller version, mentioning storing packs of crumpets vertically along with a loaf of bread.

I used Dominoes to join the parts together, but realised that the design, whilst great at hiding end grain for the bottom, back and top, meant that the tambour had to be inserted before glueing everything together. I didn’t like this as it would give no opportunity to make any adjustments to the tambour. I could make the bottom removable by using screws instead of Dominoes, but didn’t like the idea of the heads showing, so spent some time being undecided as to what to do. Then I realised that the obvious solution was – Pocket Holes. In picture 3, the redundant Dominoes from the sides have been removed from the glued-up sides back and top, but those for the back were left in place to retain the base at the back when it was slid in from the front. Just two Pocket Hole Screws to pull in the sides near the front and the bin was complete, but with the tambour still accessible.

The finish for the bin was the paint that I had used to re-finish the doors and drawer fronts of our kitchen units, and in pictures 1 and 2 the bin is shown beside a Spice Rack I made some years ago, which had also recently been similarly painted. To avoid problems, I had painted the pieces for the tambour individually before making the tambour using the technique shown in again.

-- Don, Somerset UK,

2 comments so far

View MyGrowthRings's profile


163 posts in 4912 days

#1 posted 02-08-2018 11:02 PM

Very nice. I made a tambour box many years ago just to say that I had, and my wife uses it almost every day. After seeing how much she liked it I wish I had planned it better and made it larger. Still, it’s fun to challenge yourself to do something new even if you don’t have a plan for the outcome.

-- and

View trainrunner's profile


125 posts in 3136 days

#2 posted 02-11-2018 02:53 AM

I like it. Building a tambour box is still on my woodworking bucket list still haven’t given it a try yet though.

-- Work- helping fill out my workshop but giving me no time to use my toys.

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