My desk is usually cluttered as most desks are, books, notebooks and all kinds of small stuff starts piling up and everything becomes a mess, especially when you need whatever is on the bottom of the pile.
I don't have room for a bookcase near my desk, but a pretty large desk with enough room to fit a small desktop bookcase to keep some of my often used books in. A drawer for small knickknacks and a pen holder would be nice.
I could buy or make a wooden one, but that's no fun. So instead I made one out of LEGO!
It's quite strong, the parts are exact and with a LEGO contest ongoing, there's no reason not to.
This bookcase or something similar will take about a day to build.
Please enjoy this instructable and I hope I can encourage you to make your own LEGO furniture!
Step 1: Dimensions
So how big does a desktop book-case need to be? Well, it depends on the size of your books, but I have no books with pages bigger than A4 paper, which is 210mm deep and 297mm high. For all you imperials that is 8.3in by 11.7in.
With a little margin this makes the inside of the bookcase bookcase 307mm high and 208mm deep.
This comes down to 32 lego bricks high and 26 bricks deep at 9.6mm/brick in height and 8mm/knob in width.
I'd like the bookcase to fit 10 to15 books. So I stacked a random assortment of books and it came up around 325mm for the width of the bookcase. I ended up making the bookcase 336mm or 42 brick-knobs wide.
So as shown in the added picture, the first step is to lay out the size of your new piece of furniture.
In this case I used a single large 256 x 256mm plate with a 192 x 256mm plate next to it. A single plate would be stronger, but just wasn't going to fit, nor was it needed.
With the size of the bookcase determined, it's time to start building.
Step 2: Mr. Gorbachev, Tear Down This Wall!
To make a fully enclosed case would require A LOT of bricks, so instead I opted to use 4 struts along the sides of the bookcase and 2 extra struts in the back. To keep the struts tied together and books from sliding in-between struts I added some horizontal bars whenever I changed colour(eg. ran out of bricks of the colour I was working with). In practice this turns out to be around 10 bricks high.
The side-wall pillars were made with 2x4 bricks to protect against the bending load from any books leaning against it.
The back wall will hardly be loaded and can be made out of small 2x2 bricks. The horizontal bars in the wall will be loaded with tensile stress from the walls pulling on it when they are loaded with books, but there is no way this will cause a lego-piece or its connection to fail.
I added a trio of pen-holders to one side of the bottom as well, to, you know, keep pens in.
After completing the red and blue parts of the build I noticed several of the white bricks I had were discoloured from UV exposure, similar to an old computer case. This isn't strange as some of these bricks were owned by my grandmother and played with by my father back a long time ago. I decided to put these at the bottom so they would be a mostly out of view. Not to tear down any walls, I tore off the floor of the lego structure and built the white part upside down. A nice balcony full of ice-cream eating people was also added on one side.
The next step is to put a roof on this structure.
Step 3: The Roof
After the walls are done it's time to add a roof.
The roof will be loaded through bending from whatever is on top of it. A flat roof isn't ideal for this, but also the only way of putting anything on-top of the roof. Your best bet for this is to use large plates to keep the number of joints to a minimum and keep any loads near the walls. The bottom of these plates is connected with any left-over bricks as they can't be seen anyway.
I left some holes where the drawer would be to keep my dwindling supply of bricks in check. If you're going to add any lowered features such as water to whatever is on top of the roof this is also the time to do it, as the next step is to start decorating.
Step 4: Drawer and Roof Decorations
I had a reasonable amount of yellow bricks left, so I decided to make the drawer out of this. I also had some pirates and an Indian(?), so I figured I'd have the pirates invade a yellow-brick lego temple. An elevated temple is nice to fit the drawer into.
At first I figured I'd put car wheels below a plate riding in a track to make a lego drawer, but the bottom of a ground-plate is pretty smooth and will slide by itself. The sides of the drawer can be used to keep it constrained sideways.
In this case I used a 192 x 256mm plate as a base for the drawer and made a box around it 5 bricks or 48mm high.
The temple features a slightly curved staircase, this is possible with regular lego bricks by just connecting a single knob of the lego and twisting it. If the hinge isn't at the corner of a piece you can put a thin 1 knob lego plate below the joint. This also helps for putting puppets, cars, boats, ect. at an angle to make a scene a bit more lively.
The spear sticking out of one of the pirates is just pressed between the pirates shoulders, head and a nearby brick.
The pirate itself is sitting on a single knob plate and turned into the brick, as explained in the previous paragraph.
Friction is keeping the pirate and spear in place, which works as long as it is in a place where it will not be touched often.
After this step the book-case is pretty much done. In the next step I move it into place, do some minor adjustments and populate it with books.
Step 5: Finishing Up
After carefully lifting the whole thing and moving it across the room to my desk I noticed the back arch of the temple scene was higher than my shelf would allow, so I swapped it with the front arch and all was well in Legoland.
Afterwards I populated the bookcase and drawer and all that remained was adding a little flair.
I put a plateau of mean looking cyborgs on top of one of the pen holders to add some extra flair and because I realized I don't have that many pens. Two pen holders remain, one for colour pencils and one for more frequently used pens and pencils.
Some puppets now line the bottom of the pen holder. To fill up some of the space at the bottom a motorcycle and car was added. I also found a few more things, such as a parrot, scorpion and some flowers to add to the temple scene.
With this final step everything is done, I hope you enjoyed it and look forward to seeing what else everyone can come up with.