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Having seen a bunch of examples of these that other people on the internet had made (that although awesome, were waaaaaay too expensive) I had a crack at my own take on the idea.

I made some prototypes a couple of years ago, but the colours didn't pop as much as I'd hoped, and I've got more tools now.

Here's how I made mine....

Stuff I used:

  • Table saw
  • Steel rule
  • Squares
  • Knife
  • Router + dovetail bit
  • Dovetail Jig
  • Wood glue
  • Paint
  • 12mm MDF - 8ft x 4ft sheet
  • 3mm MDF - 6ft x 2ft sheet
  • PPE - dust mask / googles / ear defenders

 
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Step 1: Design

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When you think about it, each Tetris block can be broken down into four equal squares.

I decided each square would be 160mm2, and be 150mm deep (good for CD's).

*UPDATE* After making a few more sets of these for other people the ideal unit size is 224mm, as this fits DVD's n' stuff */UPDATE*

I took to AutoCAD and drew up some plans.

I chose to use 12mm MDF, and they'd be backed with 3mm MDF. The joints would be dovetailed as they're nice and strong, and not that hard when you've got a router and a dovetail jig. (you can get away with rabbit joints though)

Once I was happy I wrote all the measurements down as a "shed reference sheet" and took to my little workshop.

Step 2: Cut MDF to size

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I gathered up all the bits of 12mm MDF I had left over from other projects and cut it into 150mm strips with a table saw. I reckon you'd have enough to make a full set of 7 blocks from an 8ft x 4ft sheet.

I marked out the lengths allowing for a bit off each end, and ticked them off my reference sheet as I worked. It's a good idea to have a few extra lengths handy as the occasional cock up is pretty inevitable.

*UPDATE* If you haven't got a table saw don't do this with a jigsaw...Use a hand saw, a square, and a tonne of patience. You really do have to be spot on, and there's too much flex in a jigsaw blade */UPDATE*

They then got cut to length on the table saw using a template piece for each length to ensure they came out the same.

Take your time with this. If your pieces aren't spot on it'll have a knock on effect on the angles later.

Then with a couple of passes through the table saw I cut rebates for the back panel into each piece. Alternatively use a router with a rebating bit.

USE THE BLADE GUARD ON YOUR TABLE SAW!!! I only took mine off briefly to cut the rebate for the back panel.

Step 3: Cut joints

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I then labeled up which pieces were next to each other...it can get pretty confusing so it's good idea to mark, cut, and glue one block at a time.

Then I set up the dovetail jig, testing and tweaking it with some offcuts until the joints are coming out just right. I chose to use 6mm dovetails.

*UPDATE* dovetails are a bit over the top, you can get away with just rebating each edge 6mm and doing a rabbit joint with some pins, glue, and plenty of clamps. */UPDATE*

Then a long day of cutting joints! Make sure you're fully covered in your PPE, as this stage is very dusty...and MDF dust is nasty stuff.

Step 4: Glue em together

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I used "Resintite" wood glue. Just use plenty of clamps and keep checking everything's square.

For the more complicated shapes you'll want to do the gluing in a few phases. Maybe make a jig to help you along too.

You'll have a little bit of play in the joints before you put the back panels on, but it can't hurt to get em as accurate as possible now.

I scraped the glue on the inside joints off now, as sanding it off later would have been a nightmare.

Step 5: Back panels & filler

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Simply cut the back panels to fit each piece.

I measured the channels on each block and copied it onto some 3mm MDF using squares and suchlike. Get it as square and accurate as possible as the back panels will hold it in shape.

3mm MDF isn't the toughest material in the world so with a bit of persistence I got through it with a knife & a straight edge.

Then I glued them in place, wiping the glue off the inside

Once that was dry I rubbed in a good amount of filler, and it all got a good sanding (use a dust mask).

Step 6: Paint

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Before painting I gave each surface a wipe with damp cloth to get the dust off.

Then I gave each block a couple of coats of primer, sanding with 240grit after each coat.

I went for the "Tetris worlds" colour scheme...as all the other versions have a magenta (pink!) block. I thought I'd give spray paint a chance as I found it hard to get a smooth finish with brushes on my first set.

Spray paint was virgin territory for me, so I checked out this instructable.

Basically....spray at about 6inches & perpendicular to the surface, wear a good quality mask, and it's better to do lots of thin coats instead of fewer thick coats.

Step 7: Finished!

And there we go!

The long piece came out more green than cyan, but other than that I'm really pleased with them, and added to my old set they're well on their way to making it to the ceiling!

Its nice :)

thermallyme1 month ago

Wonderful

KimberlyC12 months ago
Can I order this? I wished I have the skills in making something like this.
jaimee3780653 months ago

Do you know what exact brands and colors of spray paint you used?

cdevildevil5 months ago

Putting a square block right on top of that hole at the top would really drive people crazy. I think I might do it :D

tomas75a5 months ago

What are dovetails?? Never heard about that. Cool project though! I like it:)

JohnnieT5 months ago
Really nice!!
kjsrocks5 months ago

Be sure to screw them together and screw them into the wall.

You wouldnt want it to fall over

Cotixtof5 months ago

Great! If all possible, where can I get the autocad files? Chris

Cairdy Crafts5 months ago

A very well documented, commented and photoed Instructable! The geek in me loves the way the Tetris pieces stack together, and the CDs storage part looks so good! I'd love to give something like this a go sometime, but until then, great job introducing, recording and explaining the steps!

starforest5 months ago

Wouldn't the shelves be some what unstable because they're just stacked on top of each other? If one shelf at the top had more weight on it then the ones at the bottom wouldn't it fall off?

Thats fabulous

dan30081 year ago

I want now :D... Just droped you an email requesting a quote. I dont really have the needed tools to do it myself lol

Breathtaking...!!

Its exceptional

mousepaper1 year ago

Its exceptional

mousepaper1 year ago

Its exceptional

Thats fabulous

Thats exceptional

fastbobble1 year ago

Thats astounding

gorgeddamp1 year ago


Superb

Its spectacular

illrings1 year ago


Marvelous...!!

airbugger1 year ago

Its phenomenal



Incredible.

headlymph1 year ago

nice

tealrink1 year ago

NICE


Its breathtaking :)

harechubby1 year ago

good

clapfilk1 year ago

wonderful

Cold...!!

great

Thats exceptional...



Thats calme

gazumpglue1 year ago

Awesome project! Looks like I will be making a set. One question, I didn't see any dovetails, did you mean rabbet's?

wish i had the room to get a set!
Excellent design, love it so much.
BunnyRoger1 year ago
So cool!! Wish I was a bit more of a handyman or carpenter to do this for my kids' room.
This is amazing, Love this Instructable!!
MAApleton1 year ago
Oh wow, I absolutely love this!!!! It looks so incredible.
Don't lower your standards! You've done a really good job there.
p3jawors2 years ago
Are the different blocks connected at all or are they just stacked onto each other?
HicksCustomFurniture (author)  p3jawors2 years ago
Stacked, so they can be rearrange for different spaces...or if you're feeling playful!
Super cool and awesome!
error422 years ago
Saving this for when my son is older...awesome!
Giedow2 years ago
just awesome!
Awesome project! Looks like I will be making a set. One question, I didn't see any dovetails, did you mean rabbet's?
Check out step 3 bro.
bobble2932 years ago
Don't lower your standards! You've done a really good job there. I'd bet on your dovetails against most other construction methods for strength!
sajeffe2 years ago
Voted this project up. Love it. Beautiful work.
agis682 years ago
love it too!!!
MJAussie3602 years ago
Love it!!
Beauty idea! Too bad you'll have to spoil them by actually putting things in the spaces.
vhcl2 years ago
The quality of your work is superb!!

Thanks for sharing!!
lhelton12 years ago
I wish I was more shop-tool savvy like my dad!! I would have two sets of these in a heartbeat!! (or hundreds. lol)
Awesome!
Billrose2 years ago
This is a great idea I have been looking for something like this and then you posted this and I went YES!
aje1272 years ago
Very cool!
james.m.k2 years ago
Nice!

But for realism, you could have left a hole or two! (Well, realism for ME anyway! ^_^)
The Rambler2 years ago
Awesome. Nice touch storing your NES games and your Donkey Congas on your Tetris shelves.
WoundedEgo2 years ago
I appreciate your pointing out the importance of ear protection. Nice Instructible.
sassycat2 years ago
I love this!
doodlecraft2 years ago
Love this! My favorite piece has always been that purple one! :)
Just careful not to complete any lines. You might lose a few of them.
I want to build this, but I could never make the final section because then the whole bookcase would collapse. But I'd get the high score.
jjarmon2 years ago
Where could I find the plans you did in CAD?
HicksCustomFurniture (author)  jjarmon2 years ago
Drop me an email at hickscustomfurniture@hotmail.co.uk and I'll send through the file.
clapperz2 years ago
brilliant work. Paint looks perfect. Which primer did you use?
HicksCustomFurniture (author)  clapperz2 years ago
http://www.screwfix.com/p/no-nonsense-quick-drying-primer-undercoat-white-750ml/27789
sanguish2 years ago
Why use dovetails on a wood like MDF? I don't think you're gaining any strength like you do with grained wood. You may be loosing it.

it seems that a smooth edge and good clamping (and pin nailing) or a dado cut would be a better solution. Certainly easier.

Now, if you made one out of a mix of Maple, Cherry, Walnut, Paduak, Mahogany, and some other colorful woods, dovetails would be the bomb.
HicksCustomFurniture (author)  sanguish2 years ago
Really?! I figured more gluing area = better joint. I barely ever use MDF, 'orrible stuff.

Using a variety of nice hardwoods would have been nice....bit expensive though!
Well, MDF doesn't have grain, so you really don't gain any strength. It's just as liable to break along the bottom of the dovetails as if you used a dado (in fact more so since you don't have the solid long surface area on the side and bottom)

With the glue, dados and the backs, you'd have had plenty of strength, and a lot less work. :-)

So many dovetails. Lovely job on them, but it must have taken a good deal of setup. Even with a good jig.
HicksCustomFurniture (author)  sanguish2 years ago
cool, I'll do it the easy way if I make another set then! haha
Gorgus2 years ago
Great idea and perfect execution. Good job!
Great instructable! I think I'll make these over the weekend. : )

GM
These are the nicest ones I've ever seen - the paint really makes them perfect. :D