Restore an old steam trunk
The idea is to convert it into a stylish coffee table and storage space and I could really use your suggestions on how to strengthen it's construction and embellish it's exterior. With your help I'll go forward with the plans and publish my progress here.
The timeline is also important since the trunk occupies considerable space in our little apartment, so ideally I would like to finish all the woodwork within the next couple of weeks (until beginning of May 2012). The exterior and small touches could wait.
HOW I FOUND THE TRUNK
I found the trunk next to our dumpster 2 days ago and I just couldn't believe it - Who would throw away such a beautiful thing? - Was I such a good boy that Garbage Santa gave me this gift for Passover/Easter?
I hauled it to our flat - my wife asking me what did the cat drag in this time.. (she just loves it that pack our home/car with stuff I find) she couldn't believe her eyes when she saw it.
Since we live in a flat with almost no storage space it's very difficult to put together all the needed materials for this project, plus, I insist on doing it with recycled wood (what I find lying around) so to minimize costs.
@ The trunk should be sturdy (kids might climb on it at some point, ~20kg on the lid).
@ It will probably hold a big pile of magazines (10 - 40 kg on the bottom), pillows/blankets.
@ I want to add 4 or 6 casters to the bottom so it'll be more mobile.
@ I think there should be additional internal support where the leather handles are so when they're pulled I won't be standing with one side of the trunk in my hand.
- Wood - I currently have a solid pine wood dresser in my car, ready to be disassembled for it's beams (?)
- OSB - there is some around where I work, 10mm thick.
I'll try to find any more materials you'll suggest.
- Drill (and screws)
- Glue gun
- Staple gun
- Carpenter's glue
- Oxalic acid
- Will need to finally buy a Gigsaw....
Trunk internal measurements:
Length - 980mm
Height - Box - 485mm, Lid - 105mm
Depth - 559mm
The trunk's side thickness is about 7-8mm made of ply wood covered with black leather.
I has seen better days, but it's in relatively good condition.
We were thinking of gluing the black surfaces with some sort of bright colored wallpaper (leaving the black leather lining with pins visible) so it would give it some sort of lightness - less bulky.
I was also thinking of maybe gluing some sort of fabric with a cool vintage design, but it seems like a lot of work making it look good, stretched with no wrinkles, excess glue... plus it'll probably gather a lot more dust than a wallpaper (I'm allergic).
There are two issues that concern me:
1. A fear that this current design isn't strong enough for a clumsy family.
2. I want to attach the corner supports and lid OSB without needing to drill the exterior (too much). I thought of using a lot of glue, but I'm not sure it's the best way to go.
What do you think?
I'm also attaching this design in Google SketchUp.