In a city that is forever rebuilding, raw materials and their potential pile up through the streets. I spent a lot of time digging through the construction-site dumpsters of New Orleans, finding, among other things, many shattered mirrors and an endless supply beautiful old wood. I thought it'd be interesting to turn these ragged scraps into a sculpture emphasizing order, and then return it to the neighborhood.
I cut the 1x6 boards into strips of equal width, then cut these strips into 60 segments of identical length with the saw blade tilted at a 36° angle. I glued these pieces together with a band clamp and then, using a Dremel, routed out a groove on the backside of each pentagon for the mirror to rest in.
I cut the mirrors using a cheap glass cutter. It takes a bit of getting used to but here are some tips: Keep the cutter in oil (any kind, I used vegetable). Give the mirror some cushioning--I put a piece of plywood on some sawhorses, covered the plywood with some thick felt, then put the mirror on top of that. Draw all of the cuts onto the mirror, then, using a straight edge, lightly trace over the line with the oiled glass cutter. Trace over the line again, this time applying just enough pressure to etch the mirror. Line up the etched line with the edge of the plywood base and place another piece of wood on top the the mirror, along the etched line. Only the piece of mirror you want to remove should be hanging off the plywood. Apply some pressure to the top board to hold the whole thing in place and make the break. I inlaid the mirrors into the routed grooves and caulked the gap on the backside to hold them in place.
To hold the whole structure together, I cut three-hole segments of metal pipe holder tape. I screwed these segments perpendicular to the inside of each edge of the pentagons and connected each adjacent edge. The segments were bendable enough to allow some flexibility for reaching around inside the structure. I placed an eye bolt through one of the corners and held it in place with some big washers. To close up the dodecahedron, I attached a hook and eye latch on the inside--and did a lot of wiggle work to latch it into place.
Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.