The Truss bench/table

Experiments with lightweight structures found us looking at old bicycle frames for inspiration. A bicycle shop lies back in our Dutch family history, so it was kind of a natural line of inquisition which found us plodding around the workshop cutting and welding together pieces of tubing in unusual arrangements.

We learned a lot about structure and materials along the road. Steel tubing tends to behave boldly when it's heated through welding and requires patience to achieve a strong clean result with any constancy.

What evolved from this experimenting was the truss series of tables. The first pieces being produced


for our client Jaye Edwards of Edwards & Co. They were large 3x1.5m benches which needed to be broken down to fit through limited access spaces. The designs have since evolved into standard table heights and to varying lengths and widths.

Rather than being an off-the-shelf product, the emphasis is on a flexible design which is adapted to suit unique spatial and taste requirements. Sizes, heights and finishes may be customised and framing is designed in sections to allow for access through restrictive entries and corridors.

Its been great to see some of these finding their way into private residences, whilst publicly, you can see some Truss tables at Next Door Cronulla, and throughout the Edwards and Co spaces in Melbourne, Sydney.




The Techne X Tuckbox Wine and Cheese Trolley

Techne x Tuckbox Wine Trolley

Techne Architects hosted an in-house design competition with staff being invited to design a drinks trolley. The plan was to pick one design, have it made and put to good use at the closing hours of each week.

There were two designs chosen in the end and we created the one designed by Tim Angus (pictured above) (not Tim, just the trolley...). This one ended up being commissioned by Waratah Hills Vineyard and now resides in their restaurant with the surreal backdrop of rows and rows of vines. 

Tim's design aspirations were to deliver a beautiful and sustainable product. The expression of structural efficiency and beautiful natural materials were fundamental. The copper frame was conceived as a slim elegant skeleton within which the bleached Douglas Fir boxes would sit. 

Tuckbox ensured that the finished product remained absolutely true to the initial design intent drawings supplied by Techne. No compromise was made in the detailing, materials nor finishes. 

No ‘off the shelf’ elements exist in the piece - we crafted all components from scratch. 


We overcame structural and weight distribution challenges through the unique engineering of the 20mm thick solid front wheels. Machined with discreet internal bearinged hubs, they provide key balance and solidarity to the trolley during operation.

Timber elements are crafted from a large singular reclaimed Douglas Fir beam. Scars from its previous life are retained amongst its flowing figured grain patterns. Precision routing of the top serving plane allowed the stone elements to subtly dropped into place.

The frame was fabricated in a series of parts from solid bar, then welded, ground smooth and highly polished before being copper plated. The final finish involved hand polishing and a protective clear coat. 

There was no prototyping in the fabrication, it was a single and considered process from beginning to end, with the technical challenges being solved along the way.

About Dan

Daniel de Groot Tuckbox

Dan de Groot graduated from Queensland University of Technology in 1998 with a post-graduate degree in Industrial Design. He honed his skills in a leading UK architectural firm, designing furniture, signage, graphics and branding, for retail and hospitality clients.

When Dan and his wife Prue moved home to Melbourne in 2008, he took a break from the design office, choosing to pick up the tools, get his hands dirty again and experiment with the forms and pieces he'd had playing around in his mind for some time.  He convinced a friend to join him: he had built cars and motorcycles with his brother Anthony, and couldn't imagine anyone better to go on this journey with.

Daniel and Anthony have a workshop space in Campbellfield that hums with the sounds of vintage machinery, prototypes, experimentation and the odd friendly greeting from Anthony's hound, Rex. 

Dan's wife Prue helps the brothers in the prototyping decision-making, feedback and directions. When not wrangling their two children, she can be found working in a communications role in a global design practice.

Melbourne Design Awards

We picked up Silver at the Melbourne Design Awards in October! Founder of the awards, Mark Bergin, had some great words of encouragement about the local manufacturing scene and how we're all able to support it.

Now in its 5th year, The Melbourne Design Awards is the founding program in the design awards, and now includes 7 cities including New York, London, San Francisco and Hong Kong.

Dan was the only one allowed to leave the workshop to go to the awards,  and his hands are still covered in paint in this shot. About an hour later he was back in the workshop champagne for him! Not yet, anyway ;)

We are honored to have received the award, and thank the judges for their comments and the Melbourne Design Awards for the support!