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Topic: A Trunk....need help.
Message: Posted by: Rob Johnston (Oct 7, 2004 12:56PM)
Well, I finally obtained a beautiful LARGE wardrobe trunk. It was made by the Indestructo Trunk Co. in India. It is in great shape.

When I first saw it, I saw plenty of oppurtunities for various magicial illusions.

Now, I am just trying to figure out how!

I am going to gut the insides and reupholster the sides....but the question is...what should I use this trunk for? Sub Trunk? Sword Box? Etc.

Anyone have experience with using these real trunks?

Any help is appreciated.
Message: Posted by: The Donster (Oct 7, 2004 02:51PM)
Never seen one of them but what do you truly want. Don,
Message: Posted by: Cliffg37 (Oct 7, 2004 03:05PM)
If you have good tools to make your alterations, any would be easy. A dremmel saw and a steady hand will make nice smooth cuts that can be hinged, or covered or whatever.

First get really clear what effect you want to do.

Now see if the trunk really works (size and shape) then get a set of blueprints, or wing it like I usually do.
Message: Posted by: George Ledo (Oct 7, 2004 10:36PM)
From your post, it sounds like you bought a used trunk which is structurally sound but showing some wear.

My first thought, especially if you want to make it into a sub trunk or similar prop, is to not gut it and rehab it -- clean it if needed, but leave it as is. That way it looks more like a real trunk than like a brand-new prop.

I remember reading (somewhere) a description of Houdini doing the trunk trick later in life. The writer said the trunk looked more like a trunk -- more probable -- than any trunk he had ever seen. It was dented, beaten up, scarred, and... used. It did not look like a prop; it looked like it came right off the baggage room. In the writer's opinion, this made the trick that much more impossible and magical.

If it were me, I'd just leave the trunk alone for a few days and look at it now and then: let IT tell me what to use it for. I know it sounds weird, but a lot of us professional designers actually let the problem itself give us the solution.

Have fun and good luck! Keep us posted.
Message: Posted by: Rob Johnston (Oct 8, 2004 11:33AM)
Well, I kind of HAVE to gut it. It is filled with drawers, hangers, etc. The color is a 1960's blue...and the whole inside smells like an old book (which isn't necessarily bad).

The actual trunk works great (opens, closes, locks, etc.)

I will think more on this and see what I can find. I know a lot of plans deal with building props from scratch, but many do not deal with converting an actual trunk to a "magical" one.

I think I want to do a sub-trunk with this one. Can anyone suggest a decent set of plans?
Message: Posted by: The Donster (Oct 8, 2004 04:39PM)
I have a set of Thayer plans, but do you want a top load or back door on it?
Message: Posted by: Rob Johnston (Oct 13, 2004 01:04PM)

A problem is that it opens DIRECTLY in the middle. Half is the top and half is the bottom.

I wonder if their would be enough room to place a back door in there without comprimising the hinges and such.
Message: Posted by: Cliffg37 (Oct 13, 2004 01:26PM)
I would love for you to type in the dimensions of this thing, as I am having trouble imagining it, however if strength is the issue, there are two ways to go with it. One is take a sheet of 1/4 inch plywood and use a strong glue (epoxy or such) to completely cover one or two of the walls of the trunk. You will lose some space, but strength will no longer be the issue. Of course you will have to cover or paint the plywood to match the rest.

The other is to build your extra door hinged so the hinges do NOT share a wall with the regular ones. I made that mistake once, and the box toppled as soon as both doors were opened.

What I am typping here may be worthles as I said, I can not really tell what you have, but I hope it helps.
Message: Posted by: Rob Johnston (Oct 13, 2004 01:46PM)
Cliff, I will measure it when I get home, and even see if I can get a picture.

It is huge, so I am not worried about losing room.