Introduction: Portal Companion Cube

Picture of Portal Companion Cube

Hello, I'm new to this, and new to taking pictures of a build and measurements to show other people, I normally do most of it in my head or on bits of scrap etc etc, then it gets lost in translation, but I wanted to document a build just to see what it was like,and quite honestly writing it all down was the hard part, so apologies before hand for my loose descriptions and bad grammar, anyways here's my take on a portal companion cube, enjoy, please feel free to leave feed back, pros and cons and what I've done wrong or right,or any technics that would have saves me time, thanks for looking! :) From birch ply 18mm (corners) and 9mm ( pretty much everything else)
 Patient wife,
Table saw,
 Bandsaw(with adjustable bed),
A new pencil coz the old one broke,
Set square,
Anything else you feel would be useful,
Screws ( and a driver),
Workplace that let's you have off cuts,
More coffee,
Paint (primer and pink),

Step 1: 1

Picture of 1

After deciding to make a portal cube, I did, I wanted it to be fairly large, but not 1:1 scale as it would be 3 foot squared! So I went with about 14 inch squared, first thing I did was make the main body, that way I could figure out my lines etc,

Step 2: 2

Picture of 2

Working out! After studying many images on the interweb and the games, I had a rough idea on dimensions!

Step 3: Or C

Picture of Or C

Ok so after making the main body and figuring out the sizes I wanted to start on the corners, ( by the way, the main body is 9mm birch ply, 12inch square, and yes, I work on mm and in inches so bare with me!) the corners I knew where gonna be a pain, but I figured if I make a box, glue and draw out all my lines I can do all corners to the correct size and it'll be solid enough to sand and fill as one unit, then split the box to make the corners, like so

Step 4: Or IV

Picture of Or IV

Remember to look at references! ! !

Step 5: Or 1+4

Picture of Or 1+4

Cutting, so after mustering up the courage to start the cuts on the corner boxes, I did just that, I drilled out the centres and used a jigsaw to cut out the middles, REMEMBER TO CHECK YOUR BLADES STRAIGHT!, as I moved around the box, I got carried away and didn't check the blade, towards the end my blade had warped, no biggie to be fair, because the next step would sort it!

Step 6: Fitting

Picture of Fitting

Right so, small box cut up and placed to see what it looks like, pretty happy with the sizes, ( the corners are made from 18mm birch ply, because the main box is 12 inch, and figuring out the spacing, I thought this would be best, also it'll tie in with the centre pieces when I do them from 9mm, again checking my references ! ) where was I? Aw yes, coffee!

Step 7: Having a Muck Up

Picture of Having a Muck Up

Corners of corners!

I guessed about 40 degree corners on the corners looked about right, so I set up my table saw and gingerly cut the degrees on all the corners, sorry there's no action shots, but it's pretty standard cuts, just go steady and always check with previous cuts that they look the same, also set the saw to 3mm with a stop guard and did the middle cut in the main body box

Step 8: Or One Fat Lady

Picture of Or One Fat Lady

More corners, this time the semi circle bit, for this I set up my bandsaw bed at 45 degrees and was just careful! I wanted to use a router but I didn't have a bit that had a cutting face of over an inch

Step 9: Getting There

Picture of Getting There

Step 9, is middle of box sides, a little 2 inch section that follows the same circle profile as the out side big corners,( it's hard to explain, I hope the pictures help! Coz I'm lost trying to explain the parts!) they need routing 45 degrees on the front, and on the back of the longer ones, I also cut out the centre circles for the heart bit to go on, ( 6 inch )

Did a little bit of a mock up too

( I don't recommend routing this way in the picture, if I had a table that would be safer!)

Step 10: Or X

Picture of Or X

Parts so far, pretty much all the bits I need, little bit of routing to do, then a sanding, then decide on bondo and primer or build up then bondo and primer?! Hmmm coffee and a think is needed!

My wife said I should make it useable, make the top open to use it as storage or something, think ill give that a go, seems like a good idea to me, always welcome fresh ideas!

Step 11: II

Picture of II

Final build!

Final build was a case of setting out the bits and drilling the main body, then screwing them into place from the inside,that way it's all nice and tidy, no screw holes to fill etc, took my time to make sure it was all good,

I spilt the top from the bottom and made it so it can be opened as a storage box, with time I'm gonna felt the inside I think

Step 12: Or Nearly Finished!

Picture of Or Nearly Finished!

Paint! ( well primer, first coat, gonna chill the rest of the night, tomorrow ill sand and primer again)

Sand and primer again!

Step 13: Paint

Picture of Paint

2 primers and sanding later, I started on the lighter grey, gonna let that dry, whilst it drys ill start drawing out the heart for the circles

Set out the hearts and looked again at the game cube, not all the hearts face the same way so messed about with that for a bit, ( I got one of the spacing wrong so gonna repaint it tomorrow) but yeah, that's about it really.

Step 14: Or the End.......

Picture of Or the End.......

So that's my first instructable, please be gentle! There's a few things I would do different when I make another, and painting isn't my strong point I need to get better at that, also I would like to weather my cube, but that's for another time, Thank you for looking, hope this helps if your wanting to make one, if not, sorry, you'll never get that 5 minutes back now! Just think what you could have done instead:- Made a cuppa,
Gone for a poo,
Messed with your phone settings,
Held your breath,twice!,
Eaten a muffin,
Played a bit'o'portal,
Played with the dog,
Upset the cat,
Washed a window,
Had 40 winks,
Etc etc i could go on, but I won't, thanks again and keep making!! :) x


mgrochowski (author)2017-02-28

This is late, but about how heavy is this? Would it be feasible to put a couple of straps on it to have like a 'backpack' of sorts?

FrancisT1 (author)2015-12-04

I love the idea, and was thinking of making a 5 inch/15 cm cubed version but giving it hinges and using it for storage. Do you think this would be possible?

mgrochowski (author)FrancisT12017-02-28

A year late, but I would have the hinges be inside two of the corner pieces (you know, those hidden hinges like in cabinets), and having the two corner pieces opposite to them be in two pieces: The piece that is on the lid, and the one that is on the two sides of the box.

matson23 (author)FrancisT12015-12-04

Yeah I think so, you'll probably have to change the top opening some how, as a hinge won't work they way mine opens, but apart from that should be good!

Mister_Akuma made it! (author)2016-03-01


I just wanted to thank you a lot for this ! I used your instruction to make my own companion cube as an urn for presents at my wedding, and it was really great. Your dimensions were perfect (a little sanding to make sure i can open/close it easily), and the trick to get the corners using a full cube was pure genius, thanks a lot for posting this !

matson23 (author)Mister_Akuma2016-03-01

Thank you so much for the positive feedback, and your cube looks fantastic! I think it turned out better than mine! Also congratulations on your wedding, may you both have a long and happy life together ?

Gruntbug (author)2015-11-02

So great. Awesome job!

Sirs1 (author)2015-05-23


jackson24 (author)2014-06-04

What are the measurements ?

deadpooltacos (author)2014-05-25

I could do this a lot less tools, but I have a lot of wood so this should be easy!!!!!!thank you for the idea! man, imagine knowing an astronaut who's going to the moon, and asking him/her to put it on the moon

Reko222 (author)2014-02-21

I just wanted to ask a quick question; What was the smaller boxes measurements? I get that it is 18mm thick, but what's the actual messurements of the box?

matson23 (author)Reko2222014-02-21

Hiya, if I recall it was 12 inch square then cut up to form the corners, by the time it was cut down and the corners cut 45 degrees they ended up just over 5 1/2 inches, hope that helps! :)

matson23 (author)matson232014-02-21

(5 1/2 inches for each corner that should have read!

Reko222 (author)matson232014-03-04

It does, thank you so much!

Nexus of Crisis (author)2014-02-10

Cubed... not squared.

I am building one of these as soon as I get my hands on a decent table saw. I think I may go 1:1 though, just so I can say I did.

ElegantAndrogyne (author)2014-01-27

Looking really nice, but don't try throwing this one into the incinerator ;)

Vampyra65 (author)2013-12-27

I'm trying to figure out how to cut this out to make a cool pet bed. I like your design.

Duct-Tape-Master (author)2013-11-17

This is BOSS

DJJules (author)2013-07-24

Nice project. Love the write up!

srilyk (author)2013-06-23

Now you just need to add the weights (for the 'weighted' companion cube, yuk yuk yuk) ;)

didibemi (author)2013-06-20

I would easily pay for one of those.

Horef (author)didibemi2013-06-20

me too!

ptninjamonkey (author)Horef2013-06-21

same! looks like too much work 4 me :( im a bit lazy

chuckyd (author)2013-06-20

I know nothing about those portals, but that cube looks pretty good.

I would have done the following:

Make all the appliques out of hardwood.. This avoid having to deal with the grain situation with plywood.

Attach all the appliques from the inside, and use glue, as well. Placing the screws on thie inside will avoid having to plug the screw recessed on the finished face.

Use a different type of paint, such as polyurethane. The poly paint is durable and hard, and finishes very well. The water based poly does not sand well, so avoid that one. Once cured, the poly is non-toxic.

Still, what you did looks great.

pcgirl (author)2013-06-20

Excellent! Even I could follow this! *runs off to buy wood*

syates3 (author)2013-06-20

This was a triumph. I'm making a note here: HUGE SUCCESS.

matson23 (author)2013-06-20

Haha tinpusher, yeah it was a moment of clarity, spent a while thinking how to do each corner individually, then it hit me! Box it! Split it! I impressed myself with that idea too! Lol

tinpusher (author)2013-06-20

Absolutely brilliant! Genius idea to make a smaller cube and, cut out the centers and then whack off the corners. Did you come up with that idea? If you answered that question in the description of the project, I apologize. I was too lazy to read it and just looked at the pictures. :)

Javin007 (author)2013-06-19

Absolutely brilliant. Best companion cube 'ible I've seen ever, AND the only one that's given it a purpose. Absolutely spot-on identical to the cube in the game. LOVE it!

Javin007 (author)Javin0072013-06-19

Or should I say, "This was a triumph... Making a note here: huge success. It's hard to overstate my satisfaction."

tinpusher (author)Javin0072013-06-20

hahahahaha. I think you may have just won best comment ever!

braxtron (author)2013-06-20

Great job, probably the best looking fan-made WCC I've seen so far.

Datatap (author)2013-06-20

Very cool! Love portal. Definitely thinking of trying this :3. Might make it into a game storage thing!

rowan63 (author)2013-06-20

Looks like coffee and a Thinkgeek to me! ;)

matson23 (author)2013-06-20

JackDF, the picture was more to show the size of the cube, she likes it but won't be playing with it, way to heavy etc, I've wanted to build in Eva foam as it happens, looks fun to mess with, I'll reserve that material for the start of a stormtrooper lid I think! Cheers for looking!

matson23 (author)2013-06-19

Haha thanks javin007!

JackDF (author)2013-06-19

I think if your going to have your kid play with it, you should also make one out of EVA foam and hot glue. it would be super durable and fun to play with (for your kid and you!). just an idea. really liked the instuctable, very well made!

ManCaveTutorials (author)2013-06-18

This is really cool gopd job

adriana1616 (author)2013-06-18

I guess you can store somethings inside... But also I have no idea what this is, though it looks great

matson23 (author)2013-06-18

Ps thanks to everyone for your positive comments!

matson23 (author)2013-06-18

Helmuthound there just standard paints the dark grey is a primer, and the light grey is a gloss, just sand then paint, sand again then paint, no sealer with it being gloss, thanks for looking!

HelmutHound (author)2013-06-17

Wow! Very nice! What brand(s) of paint(s) did you use for your primer and paint?
It has a beautiful finish! Did you use any sealers afterwards?

sblereau (author)2013-06-17

I so want one as an end table or coffee table. That was the coolest thing I've seen!!

juswood (author)2013-06-17

Awesome I want : | how much.... (-;

sajadb2002 (author)2013-06-17

nice job ...

kcjshb (author)2013-06-17 have some skills Buddy. It looks like the little one in the picture will enjoy that for many years. Sadly, its rare to find anything truly handmade anymore. Now i'm off to Google to find out what the heck a "portal companion cube" is lol

matson23 (author)2013-06-17

Do it jaycruz! It's a fun project!

matson23 (author)2013-06-17

Thanks titankeepr

nwhi123 (author)2013-06-17

Brilliant the painting on it looks great

jaycruz (author)2013-06-17

This is super fun! I would love to take a crack at it, you've got some very intricate steps. Good on ya!

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Bio: im a fixer,hacker,maker and shaker
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