New Project: Attempted Antique Trunk to Beer Cooler Conversion.

Let it be known that I used to be actively handy/crafty/makey.

Those days seem so long ago now…

This potentially rad-as-hell project will, hopefully, get me back in the swing of things.

I am lucky enough to live in a “rustic” loft in notorious downtown Flint Michigan.

I’ve been in this apartment for several years and I still occasionally find instances where the limits of one-room-living rear their annoying head.

One such instance involves entertaining, ice, and cold beverage storage.

You might be able to ramble over to the hall closet and grab the ol’ igloo cooler, sit it on the kitchen floor and call it good.

Well, fuck you.

I don’t have a spot for a neon colored plastic uni-tasker inside my 4 walls.

I need something that can be left out in the open when not in use and NOT look like I’m perpetually unpacking from a cook out.

Enter, the antique trunk to beer cooler conversion.

Now, I am pulling this project straight out of my ass, so it may fail miserably.

I am also chronicling it in “real time” so I’m not allowing myself mulligans between posts. You’re going to see the R&D as it happens (or doesn’t, I may completely lose interest).

The quick and dirty concept here is:
Refurb the trunk as needed to make it structurally sound.
Work in a drain spout.
Add a layer of foamboard insulation.
Cover that with fiberglass.
Style the whole thing as needed.
Test it out and hope the whole process wasn’t a damn waste of time.

On to part one, assessing the trunk.

I bought this trunk at a local goodwill, probably somewhere around this time last year.
As I only paid 8.99 for it, I was okay letting it sit a while.

As you can see, it is not without its issues.
Namely the blown-out lock and the gaping hole where it used to rest.

That no doubt happened in an attempt to make sure the trunk was empty.

(remind me sometime to explain just how easy it is to “pick” trunk locks… There’s no need for damage like this.)

Since I’m dealing with structure and basic outer appearance at the moment I need to see if the lock assembly is salvageable.

It is, but not amazingly so.

Since I’m not concerned with locking my cooler, the answer here is to make it look like it works, and work around it.

I started by removing the mangled back plate, then went to work on releasing the hinged part.
For the hinged/swinging piece I needed to bend the edges out so I could hammer out the hinge pin.

20130503-015458.jpg Pieces disassembled.

I decided that I wanted to mount these pieces back in their original places, but as static pieces that just appear to function.

Here you see the parts (after being hammered mostly back into proper shape) mounted temporarily back in place to show the new visual function and ensure a good fit.

I plan to replace those obvious screws with something a little cleaner looking after I get to the next step.

So far all I’ve done here is work out the basic function and general appearance of the lock area… So, not much yet, but such is life.

As I’m not really much farther along than this at the moment, here is where we will stop.

I’ll pick back up in a few days with gutting the insides, reinforcing, and a better plan of action.

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The oft-times random, and weirdly awesome musings of an easily distracted thirty-something.
It'll all make sense once I start posting more frequently....
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