loading

Ready to build a mind-warping, light-abstracting, infinitely deep array of color-changing lights as practical furniture? Then read ahead and get ready for some fun! Pictures are heavily used throughout this guide, hoping you find them helpful and enjoyable :-)

After seeing the movie Interstellar and the incredible tesseract scene near the end, I wanted to create something involving light, mirrors, and have a daily use in my home. There are a few two-plate infinity mirror guides already on Instructables, but I wanted something more complex and striking -- enter six-plates!

The design is fairly straightforward, and can be constructed out of any materials, most commonly wood or metal. I opted for metal because I wanted it to match the silver tint of the mirrors and I had spare aluminum plates on-hand. Darkly stained or painted wood could also make a striking impression.

Hoping you enjoy this Instructable. If you do make use of this work, have any questions, or make improvements on my designs, please let me know -- it is always a joy to see what others create. Enjoy!

Step 1: Tools, Materials, and Parts

Oh boy! A straightforward project with a lot of ways to get the job done. Many of these tools can be substituted for alternative methods. Nothing needs to be expensive except for the tempered glass plate for the top.

You likely already have access to many of these tools -- there are many sad and unused tools on many idle workbenches, ask your friends and family if you can borrow tool X or tool Y, they are often glad to see it put to use!

Tools

Jigsaw - Used to cut the metal plates, also works on wood.

Jigsaw T-Shanks (blades) - $10, 5x - You'll need metal rated bits to cut metal or hardwood. Wood-rated bits for wood. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000UMLQ9W

Aluminum Cutting Fluid - $10 - Makes the jigsaw blades last much longer. You can also substitute 3-part oil. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B003X3ZKXI

Power Drill - Makes holes. Needed for connecting the plates together via bolts in this guide. If you are using a wood-build, I highly recommend going for Pocket Holes with a Kreg Jig.

Drill Bit Set - Makes different sizes of holes.

Tape Measurer - $4 - Measures distances.

Level or Ruler $1-20 - Measures more distances.

Cloth Rags - For cleanup.

Acetone (1 Gallon) - For cleanup of grime and metal-flakes from plates and for washing hands.

Hot Glue Gun and Sticks (High Temp) - $16 - Get high temp with the large-sized glue sticks, plan to use a lot. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00004YMWF

Plastic Scoring Tool - Used to cut acrylic or polycarbonate mirrors to size. - https://www.amazon.com//dp/B003UHUZ5U

Acrylic Squeegee - $5 - For cleaning the glass plate, and applying the mirror film evenly.

Plastic Card - $0 - Use a credit card or equivalent. Used to remove air-bubbles from the mirror film.

Spray Bottle - Use water plus a few drops of dish-soap. No need for a special mirror-film application solution.

Clamps - Recommend C-Clamps or Bar Clamps - $8/ea. You'll need at least 4.

(Optional) Angle Grinder w/ Wire Brush - For polishing the aluminum plate with swirl patterns to cover up scratches. Also smooths the edges of cut metal. You could use a simple file wrapped in a cloth for smoothing edges if desired, it will just take a lot of sweat and time.

(Optional) Mitre Saw with Grinding Disc - For cutting through the corner aluminum. Can easily be done with a Jigsaw, just makes some cuts easier.

Building Materials

(2x) 1/8" Acrylic Mirror - 4' x 2' - $60/ea - One mirror is on the bottom, the other will be cut into strips for the sides. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01GGB0D2Q

1/2" Glass Plate (Tempered) - 4' x 2' - $135 - The most expensive part of the build. Needs to hold up computer monitors and take a small amount of weight, coffee-table thickness of 1/2" highly recommended. Open the box before signing for a shipment. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00G3P4VBU

####Option 1 - Metal Build

Aluminum Plates - $60 - 1/8" or 1/4" thickness recommended. I went to the metal scrapyard and picked up a 4'x6'x1/8" plate.

Bolts (Unless you have a TIG Welder) - $5, 50x - I used entirely 3/4" length, 1/4" 20# Bolts.

Nuts (Unless you have a TIG Welder) - $5, 100x - 1/4" #20 nuts.

(2x) 1/8" (Thickness) 1/2" x 1/2" x 4' Angle (90 degree) Aluminum - $4/ea at the hardwood store, these provide the supports for the glass plate. If you are making a wood build, you can use a router bit instead on your edges to inset the glass.
(2x) 1/16" (Thickness) 3.5" x 2" x 8'Angle Aluminum - $10 at the scrapyard. Would probably be $50/ea in the store. Holds the entire frame together, also acts as rounded corners.

####Option 2 - Wood Build

Plywood - $40, or Hardwood ($100-200) - Recommend 1/2" or 3/4" plywood, probably about $40 worth of material.. If you are going with hardwood, I recommend using maple, walnut, cherry, or mahogany, prices vary, probably $100+ for the good stuff from your local hardwood supplier.

Screws - $5, 100x - $6, length depends on your wood thickness. If you've never tried Torx screws, I highly recommend them (much harder to strip the heads or slip).

Router Bit - $10 for a set at Harbor Freight, used to edge into your frame to inset the glass. Cut doesn't need to be deep, 1/4" or 1/2" depth is perfect.

Parts

LED 5050 RGB Strip - $9 - Very pretty lights. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B006LW2NJM

LED Controller and Remote - $7 - Remote control to select the colors, and a controller chip to change the patterns / colors. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0188JN9HA

Power Supply - $8 - 12vDC Out, https://www.amazon.com/dp/B019Q3U72M/

Privacy Mirror Film - $28 - 3' x 15' - Provides a one-way mirror for the glass plate on top. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000H5XTKG

<p>I have seen end tables and coffee table infinity mirrors but this is the first desk I believe I seen.</p><p>I voted for you.</p><p>Good job :)</p>
<p>A nice project and beautiful results! But there is absolutely NO WAY that I can work as fast as those two guys do in the video! Where is the Instructable that they used to learn how to do that?</p>
Haha, thanks for your kind words. The expedited working is easy, you just need to find or build your own time dilation device -- it's the same thing Santa Clause uses on Christmas Eve to deliver presents under a time crunch, works quite nicely for speeding up time-consuming work.
<p>Loved your Instructable. You know the two-mirror effect where you see the same image from up close out to infinity, reflected countless times? Do you know of any notable examples, or any instructables on it? I once saw one that used an upright surface, a neon tube figure, and a plastic cover. It was absolutely stunning. Have you ever done anything like that, or know where I can find an example? I know neon is hard to do, and you have to find someone to fill it. Wo8uld an led source do? Thanks.</p>
I think you're mentioning putting a shape inside of the infinity &quot;chamber&quot; that repeats infinitely, so you can see a pattern or object infinitely -- not just the ring of light. I've seen a photo of a neon/argon tube before, if I remember correctly it was purple and sharply angled.<br><br>Neon is very difficult to work with, generally only professional sign-making companies would work with custom neon glass patterns.<br><br>Many infinity mirror builders use an elevated shape (raised wood usually, in the shape of a word or logo), and wrap the elevated shape in LEDs. Gets a similar effect.
<p>Nicely done! Perfect excuse for a new desk!</p><p>Are you sure you needed the full 1/2&quot; glass for the top? I've built a number of tables/desks with 1/4&quot; tops about that size and have yet to break any of them. </p>
<p>Hi Mission SRX, that's surprising to hear. I've never used a 1/4 tempered plate, but it just &quot;feels&quot; too thin / fragile. I once lightly dropped (2 inches) a non-tempered 1/4&quot; plate and it chipped pretty bad.</p><p>Are you using 1/4&quot; tempered glass? Or 1/4&quot; Polycarbonate / Plastic?</p>
<p>I've used both tempered and non-tempered 1/4&quot; for mine; the local shop I use had to special order the tempered and pushed me towards regular plate glass instead when I was working to a deadline. Their issue wasn't so much a difference in strength but if broken, the plate would split clean while the tempered would shatter into bits. </p><p>I could see the problem with the edges chipping but if your cutting service rounds over the edges or if you wrap it in a frame, that should alleviate the risk.</p>
Beautiful build and description.
<p>amazing, voted!</p>
Thanks for the thanks, your kind words have already given my day a better start. Hoping you have a life giving week!

About This Instructable

11,207views

133favorites

License:

Bio: I have a passion for tweaking things. Whether it be modding video game consoles, creating custom laser displays, or any creations with lights I love ... More »
More by QuackMasterDan:Tesseract Infinity Desk Power LED Light-Bar Ambient Lighting Aluminum Plate Desk with LED Illumination 
Add instructable to: