So, I found an old trunk in a skip and sawed it in half. With the top half, I made a shoe cupboard – I described that in this post.
But I was still stuck with the remaining bottom half. I really didn’t want to chuck it out, it seemed a shame to given its age (100+ years maybe?). So, it sat in the garage for a bit.
The pressure mounted to find a use for the rest of the trunk in the last few weeks. We were considering buying a new house and I didn’t particularly want to cart a part-rotten half-a-trunk to the new place to sit in the garage there. But, I still could not stomach breaking it up and putting the bits in the bin.
So I made a shelf unit out of it, some old palette wood (the mid shelf) and what I think is mahogany from an old chair.
It looks okay, I think? I’d hope better than a chipboard unit with a faux-wood veneer anyway? Or at least it tells more of a story?
Stuff Done to Rotten Half-Trunk
- Glued in the shelf (just palette wood from a ‘nicer’ palette)
- Cleaned the fabric stuff that covers the trunk and PVA glued it back onto the backing wood where it was coming adrift
- Cut out the woodworm/ rotten bits and grafted in the (relatively speaking) new wood. I like this aesthetic, its shouts “I’m old” “I’m new” “We’re doing the same thing though”. Yes. That’s right. I am (shouting) an imaginary conversation between two bits of wood.
- Created a front perimeter with the mahogany – stuck that in with glue and some bronze rose head nails I had.
- Made some feet with some mahogany offcuts
- Reinforced the top and bottom of the shelves. These had previously the trunk side walls and so were pretty flexible and (unreinforced) would bow with any out-of-plane weight on them.
- Restored (ie painted over) the cover fabric with black paint, sanded the timber ‘straps’ and polished up the rivets
- Sanded the timber ‘straps
- Polished up the rivets and edge metal work with aDremel
- Varnished the whole lot