Photo courtesy Flickr
I crashed in a skate household recently and spent a few minutes with mine host discussing the footed practice rail that sat in the entry. He said a welder friend had put the thing together from ordinary steel stock for about a sixth of the price of a ready-made unit.
Some years ago I noticed bright yellow rails in a catalogue and spent long minutes daydreaming about how to use them indoors. They look like freestanding foot rails designed for a bar in a mid-Sixties wall-of-glass high rise. I ventured to the skater that I had thought the catalogue rails would make a good base for a sleeping platform. Lash a set of display industry powder-coated steel wall grids to them (industrial-grade hook and loop tape cushioned with washers would work), top with thick memory foam self-inflating air mattresses from The Great Big Hiking Co-op, and you’ve got a multi-purpose rig that knocks down, is easy to ship, and recycles. The grid/mattress array could be finessed to work as a standing screen. A pre-fab memory foam mattress topper will cover the mattress boundaries and can be rolled up during the day to serve as a bolster. Use hook and loop tape for temporary securement. If the mattresses and topper are covered with interesting textile sleeves, they'll look like "real" furniture, if that matters.
Skate countered that that was a good idea, but he prefers the look of weathered raw steel with a bright ground edge. That’s exquisite. Though the concept adds rust to the equation, it’s not an insurmountable limitation.
We spent a few additional moments discussing the virtues of skating’s fun box. A straightforward rectangular model not only can be skated, it makes a good back rest, worktop, or sleeping platform. One might also be adapted to serve as a bookcase or room divider.
Give the kids what they want. There’s no telling what they’ll give back.
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