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Cool or weird: turn a suitcase into a shelf?

 
 
Reply Fri 18 Mar, 2011 05:49 pm
So after a MONTH my bathroom remodel is just nearly complete. It is terrific! But it needs a shelf.

I like to re-purpose things so I started digging around looking for a shelf when I came across this old violin case that I used as a studio prop. It's a hardshell case, covered in brown leather, just the right amount of wear. It measure 2.5' x 10" x 4" and it fits just perfectly in the space I need a shelf. I was thinking with some cool corbels that it might work.

But I can already see Mr. B rolling his eyes at me. This is the same bathroom where I made the sink out of an old sewing machine stand (which even he admits turned out awesome).

I worried that he's going to think I've lost my mind so I thought I would ask here first to see if maybe I am just being crazy.

Do you think it could work or do you think it would look silly?

Thanks!
 
dyslexia
 
  3  
Reply Fri 18 Mar, 2011 05:51 pm
@boomerang,
well, you are more than a bit crazy, and yeah that could turn out really neat, or not.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  2  
Reply Fri 18 Mar, 2011 05:52 pm
@boomerang,
Sure, I can see it!

Only question is, there is usually a lot of humidity in bathrooms. Do you think it could stand up to that?

(What are corbels?)
0 Replies
 
dadpad
 
  2  
Reply Fri 18 Mar, 2011 05:53 pm
AWSOME idea!
I LOVE IT!

getting it waterproof might be a problem but not unattainable.
High Seas
 
  2  
Reply Fri 18 Mar, 2011 05:54 pm
@boomerang,
Leather doesn't do well in high humidity - you'll end up with a smelly mess. Worse, it won't be level, and your perfume bottles will topple over. Get a regular solid wood or metal shelf, then we can all come and visit bringing gifts of crystal bath salts and perfume bottles and candles and other breakable stuff!
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  2  
Reply Fri 18 Mar, 2011 05:59 pm
@boomerang,
I think it could work, I think it would look great. Slap a coat of Aquaseal on top of the leather and it'll last a long, long time.

I love re-purposing stuff; I used to make tables out of old doors all the time, with the knobs turned into leaf levers.

Great idea, very original!

Cheers
Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
dadpad
 
  2  
Reply Fri 18 Mar, 2011 06:02 pm
@dadpad,
Could you get an old trumpet or euphonium (or similar) as a showerhead?
Ok thats a bit wacky...

When you mount your shelf could the mounts be in the shape of trebleclef /baseclef?
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Mar, 2011 06:20 pm
Neat or not is usually what happens with my ideas, dys. I run about 50/50.

A corbel is a decorative bracket that holds up a shelf. Kind of a triangle shaped thing that screws into the wall so that you can put a shelf on top.

The leather has survived several years in my garage in a wet climate so I think it can take it since there is more moisture out there than there is in the house. Sealing it would be a good idea.

The case is flat so things would sit on it fine. I tried to find a photo of one like it (I can't find my stinking camera in this mess) but didn't have any luck.

It looks like this but with leather all over instead of just on the ends:



(Bonus: inside the case I found a "Kolitsch shoulderest desinged by Prof. Vlado Kolitsch, World Renowned Pedagogue" (that cracked me up).)
Rockhead
 
  2  
Reply Fri 18 Mar, 2011 06:27 pm
@boomerang,
you might do better to oil it than to seal it...
0 Replies
 
dadpad
 
  2  
Reply Fri 18 Mar, 2011 06:48 pm
Square/rectangle shape is probably easier to deal with. I was imagining a violin shape.
does it stlil have the top/lid.
what is the base structure? I assume the leather is glued to something? Is it plywood? stiff cardboard?
how will the lid be incorporated? as a working part ie open lid take out bottle of bath salts close lid?
or proped open continuously?

leather expands and contracts with heat/hunidity. I was thinking a couple of coats of clear polyurethane but not so sure now. outdoor polyurethane for decking timber might work. The hard finish would make for easier cleaning and longer life.

Maybe saddle oil is the way to go. you would probably have to oil it up every so often maybe twice a year? Neatsfoot oil or just a plain mineral oil. dont use orgainc oils as they tend to grow mould.

What about the inside. Velvet lining would be true to the concept but difficult to clean and maintain.

boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Mar, 2011 06:54 pm
@dadpad,
It's only 4" deep so I would just leave it closed and pile stuff on top of it.

I don't know what it's made out of. It is pretty solidly put together and I don't want to rip it apart to find out what the base material is. It's lined with blue velvet and has some groovy little compartments. I'd like to keep it intact but I'm not at all concerned with it eventually falling apart. It isn't a serious antique or anything.
dadpad
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Mar, 2011 07:04 pm
Some ideas for shelf brackets

http://www.icoste.com/gimg/images/p/483/104506146-icoste.jpg
0 Replies
 
dadpad
 
  2  
Reply Fri 18 Mar, 2011 07:13 pm
The base material of the case needs to be solid enough to take and hold a selftapping screw to hold it to the brackets.
You could use a round head bolt and nut with a wide(ish) washer to stop the bolt pulling through the violin case. The head would go inside the case. Counter sink the hole if the case is thick enough. That might entail removing some of the velvet lining if you dont want the bolt head to show.
Maybe, if you can match the material just glue a piece over the bolt head.
0 Replies
 
Irishk
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Mar, 2011 08:34 pm
I vote cool! If you wanted to drill holes in it, you could hang it using dowels (like those 'floating' shelves)...

http://nerdapproved.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/guitar-shelf-580x404.jpg
0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  2  
Reply Fri 18 Mar, 2011 08:59 pm
@boomerang,
That sounds kind of cool. Makes me wish I still had my old violin and case.

I think Dadpad and IrishK are on the right tracks for you.

I did a little browsing and came up with some other things people have done with guitars and cases. Probably not something you'd want to do, but they're cool too.

These folks use their guitar case as a bookcase:

http://salvagedgrace.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/guitar-case2.jpg?w=550&h=412

http://www.recyclart.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/guitar-case1.jpg

and these folks did a guitar-shaped piece of art for their wall that I like a lot:

http://hex.ro/wp/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/violin-with-plant.jpg

0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Mar, 2011 09:37 pm
@boomerang,
It'd be way cool for it to appear to be hanging there with no supports, Boomer. You could put threaded dowels, bolts really, thru the case. If you're not going to have it open, then you could reinforce inside the case with plywood to hold the bolts/washers/nuts.

These bolts would be positioned on your stud spacings, centered on the studs of course. Then drill slightly oversized holes through the plaster/drywall into the studs and epoxy the bolts into those holes with a quick set epoxy.

Voila, the floating violin case shelf.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Fri 18 Mar, 2011 09:43 pm
I toyed with the idea of your making this vertical and open, with glass/whatever shelves within the case, which is not what you had in mind, but that would take some interesting holders - thinking an ell with a tab, sort of like curtain rod holders - and more, it would take some messing up of the case itself to do the shelves.
CalamityJane
 
  3  
Reply Fri 18 Mar, 2011 09:44 pm
You even could use an old suitcase to make shelves...

http://www.readymade.com/file_uploads/9698/final_rm24_page_66_image_0001__large.jpg
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Mar, 2011 09:48 pm
@ossobuco,
Quote:
I toyed with the idea of your making this vertical and open, with glass/whatever shelves within the case, which is not what you had in mind, but that would take some interesting holders - thinking an ell with a tab - and more, it would take some messing up of the case itself to do the shelves.


That could be really cool too, Osso. The shelves could be supported with the knobs [don't know what they're called] that tighten the strings on a violin. I think, carefully done with strong fast glues, the velvet wouldn't be damaged at all.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Mar, 2011 09:52 pm
@CalamityJane,
True; I used an art work by a sculptor (usually forged bronze) back in northern california that showed with us. It was a simple wood construction, the least expensive piece in her show and I could afford that given our discount (we took 30% of art sales) so I grabbed it. Hung it vertically and put old treasures on it, like my mother in law's evening in Paris bottle, and so on. Of course, as art, it is stronger without the stuff on it, but it amuses me and the piece just rests on nails.
0 Replies
 
 

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