Step 5: Using A Computer Drawing Program to Build the Layout
I used Adobe Illustrator for creating my layout but I'm sure other drawing programs could do this, also. I had 1/4" thick stock to work with so I created template shapes to work with. In the drawing program I made boxes that were 1/4" x 1" to copy/paste when drawing my layout so the width of the stock was always taken into consideration.
The paper pattern was used to determine what was my usable space inside the suitcase. I start by creating a box in the drawing program for my usable space.
I copy/paste the stock template shapes to denote what will be my wood stock just inside the box I've just drawn. I stretch long direction to match the length of the side. I do this to all sides to create a box to work inside.
Every time I decide to place a wooden support inside the box I repeat this copy/paste/stretch technique. By keeping with this, I know that I have enough space for the supports and whatever it is I'm trying to hold.
Now is the point to begin making final layout decisions based on the exact size and shape of what you want to carry. In the drawing program, make boxes that are the height and weight dimensions of the items for the case. I used a bit of a color-code system to help myself keep things straight. The purple rectangle represents the shaker, the blue rectangles are the glass bottles for alcohol and mixers.
Create the shelves and supports needed for the layout. I placed a support piece between each bottle as well as a shelves for things to sit on. Leave a bit of space on either side of each object so you can easily place and remove the objects.
With the space at the bottom, I'm going to create a drawer. For the drawer to work properly, it can't be as wide as the rest of the box (it will catch on the frame of the suitcase). Eventually I will add bit of support below the drawer casing but that comes in during final construction.
The opposite (left) side of the suitcase will hold glasses, a jigger, jars for cherries, sugar, and orange slices, a set of coasters, tongs for serving sugar, a drawer for tooth picks, and 2 pockets for straws and stir sticks. That is a lot of stuff but luckily it is all quite small and fits together nicely.
The layout really depends on the objects you find and wish to carry. Here is how I determined how to hold my objects:
To securely hold glasses made of real glass create little cutouts for the bases to sit in. I used one layer of stock as a proper shelf and glued a second layer to the shelf with half-circle channels just large enough to fit the base of each glass. I spaced the glasses evenly across the self with a bit of room on either side. The distance between the shelf supporting the glasses and the shelf above the glasses is just barely wider than the height of the glasses. This will lessen the chance of the glasses from tipping out.
I ran rectangular dowels between each glass as an extra spacer to prevent the glasses from hitting one another and breaking inside the case.
I was lucky in planning my case because the jigger was the same height as the jars for holding sugar/cherries/orange slices so I could place all of those objects on a shelf together. I placed dowels between the jars also.
With the remaining space, I created a layout to efficiently and securely hold the other objects. Make it work.