New Ways to Construct Cube Shelves New Ways to Construct Cube Shelves

What You'll Need
1/4-inch Plexiglas sheets
Straight edge
Craft knife
Epoxy adhesive
Single edge razor blade
Propane torch (optional)
1/8-inch sheet metal (sized to make cube as desired)
Metal brake
Metal snips
Hand drill and 1/8-inch bit
1/16 inch by 1/2-inch bolts and nuts
Rivet gun and rivets (optional)

Cube shelves are essentially just open-ended boxes that can be either stacked on the floor or hung on the wall. The cubes are used to store small, light items if hung on the wall. Able to hold heavier items, such as books, if stacked on the floor, cube shelves are traditionally made of painted plywood. There are other materials that can be used to fabricate the shelves that will make your cubes more original looking. Using Plexiglas for your new cube shelves is certainly the easier of the 2 options; sheet metal cubes could make a truly unique and much sturdier shelving system.

 

Step 1 - Cut Plexiglas Cubes

Decide the size of cube desired. Each of the cube shelves will need 4 squares the same size. Lay Plexiglas on clean, flat surface. Mark it for required width. Clamp a straight edge to the Plexiglas and with the craft knife score repeatedly until you can snap the Plexiglas piece off. Repeat process to produce 4 pieces of the same size (each piece will be a square).

Step 2 - Epoxy Plexiglas

Make a ‘jig’ with 2-inch by 4-inch lumber to hold the Plexiglas pieces as the epoxy cures. The jig need only be 2 pieces of scrap lumber nailed to form a 90-degree angle. Clamp the horizontal piece of Plexiglas to the jig. Run a bead of epoxy along the edge of the vertical piece of Plexiglas and place such that the edge is flush with the piece of Plexiglas already clamped to the jig. Clamp the vertical piece of Plexiglas to the vertical 2-inch by 4-inch jig leg. Allow epoxy to cure for 24 hours. Repeat for 3 remaining box joints. After all epoxy has cured for 24 hours, use a single edged razor blade to trim excess epoxy from cube. As an option, you can lightly braise the edges of the box with the propane torch to smooth the cut edges. Repeat process to fabricate as many cube shelves as desired.

Step 3 - Sheet Metal Cubes

Purchase sheet metal cut to size desired. To determine necessary size, decide the size of cube you want, which will be the width. The length required will be 4 times the width (to form 4 sides of box) plus 2 inches. Drill holes along both edges before bending metal to receive bolts/rivets. Mark the sheet metal starting at one end, and mark the length of each side (there will be a 2-inch length left over). With a metal brake (hand bender) bend your sheet metal at all lines marked, the 2-inch piece will serve as rivet/bolt strip. Rivet/bolt the cube together through the holes drilled prior to bending. Alternatively, do not allow for a 2-inch rivet/bolt strip, and weld the final seam to hold the cube shelves together.

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