How to build a modular storage cube

Written by b.t. alo
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How to build a modular storage cube
Make your own modular storage cubes. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Modular storage cubes are designed to be used either as a single cube or as stackable cubes in a set. Building a storage cube is quite simple, even for those without a lot of woodworking experience. Once you have built one cube, you can easily make more to create custom storage to help organise closets, add storage in a bathroom or even for use as a bookshelf or decoration display unit.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 4 planks lumber, 1-by-24-by-24 inches
  • Mitre saw
  • Sandpaper
  • Soft cloth
  • Carpenter's glue
  • Band clamp
  • Finishing nails
  • Hammer
  • Paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Plywood veneer ¼-by-24-by-24 inch

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  1. 1

    Mitre (cut at an angle) two opposite sides of each of the square planks of lumber. The angle should be 45 degrees on each side, with the angles facing inward so that when all the angled edges are mated, a cube with 90-degree corners is formed.

  2. 2

    Sand all the pieces of lumber with sandpaper, then dust off with a soft cloth.

  3. 3

    Apply a thin line of glue to all the mitred edges of the planks, then form them into a cube with the mitred edges mating. Use the band clamp to clamp all the pieces together while the glue dries: around 2 to 3 hours, or as stipulated by the instructions on the glue bottle.

  4. 4

    Drive 6 finishing nails, evenly spaced, through each side-end of the cube through the glued joint. Stagger the placement of the nails on either side of the joint to avoid hammering into a nail from the other side of the cube.

  5. 5

    Lightly sand over the nail holes and dust off with a soft cloth. Paint the cube, inside and out, with a paintbrush. Paint with the grain of the wood in steady, even strokes. If you want a backless cube, then your first modular cube is finished; otherwise you need to attach a back to one of the open ends of the cube.

  6. 6

    Turn the cube so that the open end you want to be the back of the cube is facing up. Center the plywood square over the open end, then tack in place with finishing nails every 4 inches around the edge of the plywood veneer into the ends of the cube. Paint the plywood the same colour as the cube.

Tips and warnings

  • If you are not happy to simply stack modular cubes on top of each other, use dowel pegs to help attach the cubes. Drill two ½-inch-deep holes, sized to fit the diameter of a 1-inch-long dowel peg, into two sides of one face of a cube. Drill matching holes on the cube you want to sit on top, then insert the dowel pegs into the holes, and place the second cube on top so that the dowel connects them through the drilled holes.

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