Monday, August 13, 2012

Steamer Trunk Bookcase

So, one day I'm out junkin' and I come across this gi-normous steamer's a little junky but a decent price.   Let's face it...I don't need it, don't know what I'll do with it, don't have room for it, and it's so heavy I have no idea how I'm even going to get it out of the back of my truck.  But because I'm a true junker, it came home with me anyway.  

It's a steamer trunk so it has these tiny wheels on the back of one end of the bottom so you can tilt and roll it but I can't imagine anyone lugging this thing around full of clothes!  
I get it home an slide it out of the back of my truck into a lawnmower carport next to my workshop where it sat for the next year or so getting even junkier than when I bought it.  I seriously just didn't know what to do with it.  It was just big and in my way.  It was too big to get into my workshop from where it sat so I decided to just remove the hinge pins and move it one-half at a time.  

That's when it finally hit me.  I knew it wasn't a good coffee table project because it had this arched top that actually lifted like a lid where the hanging clothes went.  This arched top meant it looked better standing on end like it would be when you were using it as a wardrobe instead of lying down like a chest.  The other side had a series of drawers that ran on metal glides (in the same hideous moldy gold fabric shown on the right).  Trunks this old tend to smell really musty and so I'd never want to actually store anything it.  I removed the drawers and decided to use them for a future project.  The metal glides would make perfect shelf supports; so I had my project, a trunk bookcase.

The outside was pretty beat up from all the wear and tear but we'll just call that "patina".   I know it just needs a coat of Fiddes Supreme Wax in Rugger Brown.  It's my favorite quick fix for trunks.  Think of it as a good shoe shine.  I just did a little cleaning and sanding first to make the patina pretty.

Top Waxed...Gorgeous!
Then, I just vacuumed the inside really well and cut four shelves from some scrap plywood.  After a good sanding and waxing they were ready to just slide in on the metal rails.  I didn't like the unfinished edge of the shelf so I added nailhead trim to finish it off.

And there you have it; a nice sturdy bookcase that actually has it's own hidden wheels for easy mobility.  

The drawers will have to wait for their own project.  I removed the gold fabric but liked the linen fabric inside.  After a good cleaning, I've just been letting them air out.  

I did go ahead and whitewash the drawers.  It really looks much better this way with the linen interior.

Fabric Removed and Whitewashed
You'll have to stay tuned to see where they end up....

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