ZENCUBE: SPACE/NOT SPACE. Backyard Meditative Cube

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Introduction: ZENCUBE: SPACE/NOT SPACE. Backyard Meditative Cube

I did a cool art project in college in 1976.

The concept was to create a kinetic space in an open box, with no moving parts.

It fell apart around 1985.

I thought, "I need to do that again". So here we are. Finally. In another century.

It looks a bit complicated, but it really isn't.

Let's get started.

Step 1: This Video Is an EXCELLENT OVERVIEW of Not Only How to Make It, But How It Rotates and Transforms..

Subsequent pages give you the Step-By-Step.....

Step 2: TOOLS AND MATERIALS

Starting at the top, then L to R:

  • 7 or 8 3' long x 3/4" square cross section dowels for a 16" box. (6 or 7 1/2" dowels for a 12" box).
  • Fine tooth saw.
  • Orbital sander. Not shown. It's at my sister's.
  • Wood glue.
  • Corner clamp.
  • Pneumatic brad nailer and 1-1/2" brads.
  • Some duct tape. Always.
  • 1 small stainless eye screw and 1 cup hook.
  • Fishing leader line with the little swivel thing.
  • ....and however you want to finish it. I used leftover white paint.

Step 3: VIDEO

Here's a good how-it’s-put-together overview in video format.

Step 4: BUILD THE BASIC CUBE

Using the 3/4" square dowels and the corner clamp, create a 16" square open box. I used a pneumatic brad nailer and exterior wood glue to hold everything together.

You might want to consider painting everything before you start nailing things.....I didn't, and it got a bit cramped in there.

Step 5: FILLING THE CUBE: THE BIG PIECES

  • Start by inserting a sub-frame dowel about 1/3 the way across the side of the frame (about 4" to 6").
  • Do another on the opposite side, placed 90 degrees to the first one.
  • Then place a connector dowel between the above sub-frame dowels. There is only one place where the connector dowel will create a 90 degree angle with both sub-frame dowels.
  • If you're apprehensive about this, slap on some duct tape to hold the pieces in place. Spin it a bit. If you like it, glue and nail it.
  • Repeat the above on the other two pair of sides, but don't copy what you did on the first one. If you're a control freak, have a favorite beverage first and have someone else use the brad nailer.
  • With every step of gluing and nailing, spin it around and go with what you think looks good. It will. Trust me.

Step 6: FILLING THE CUBE: THE LITTLE PIECES

  • Following the rule that there is only one place where a 90 degree angle happens, place three short dowels (sub-connectors) to link between pairs of connector dowels- and yup, there is only one place where 90 degree angles will happen.
  • Got it? Yeah, it's hard to explain, but it's sorta cool once you get it.

Step 7: FINISHING THE CUBE

  • Your choice. Stain? Poly? Paint? Up to you. I used white latex because that's what I found in the basement.
  • The number of dowels in the box and my big hands make painting as the last step a bit problematic. Next time, I think I'll paint the dowels before assembly. Or maybe I'll try a paint sprayer.....

Step 8: HANGING

  • Screw in a small eye screw at the top of one corner of the cube and place a cup hook at whatever you're hanging it from.
  • Link the screws with the leader line.
  • It will catch the breeze and gently spin around creating constantly changing rectangular forms at various depths within the box.

ZENCUBE. SPACE / NOT SPACE.

1 Person Made This Project!

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9 Comments

0
shalnachywyt
shalnachywyt

1 year ago

My first thought was, "Oh goody! Somebody created a large-sized hypercube!" Then I realized it wasn't. :( Anyhow, you've inspired me to actually create a large-sized hypercube!

0
charlessenf-gm
charlessenf-gm

Reply 1 year ago

What's a Hypercube? A wooden Henway?

0
markjweaver
markjweaver

Reply 1 year ago

Excellent!

0
EngineerGus
EngineerGus

1 year ago

Wow - this is a great project; when I first saw the thumbnail I thought it was steel, but the use of square dowels makes it much more accessible! It looks really nice!

0
markjweaver
markjweaver

Reply 1 year ago

Thanks. I do nothing that isn't easy. Haha

0
Buzzard Tom
Buzzard Tom

1 year ago

Looks great. I want to make one.

0
markjweaver
markjweaver

Reply 1 year ago

It truly is easy, and there's no need to follow the 1/3 rules, just keep spinning it around and see where the next connector should go.

0
metro1
metro1

1 year ago

Great job! Frederick Kiesler would be proud of you. reminds me of his early work 'City of Space' 1925

0
markjweaver
markjweaver

Reply 1 year ago

Yeah. Cool stuff. interestingly another title I was considering was 3-D Mondrian in White.