Nov 27, 2011

Ikea Hack: Expedit cutting table

Let's continue to feed my Expedit addiction.

Up until now, my cutting table is a basic Sullivan folding hobby table.  It's perfectly functional, with a large surface (3ft by 5ft), which is very convenient for spreading your fabric and pattern pieces for cutting.  Way better than the floor, let me tell you.

The drawback of this little table is that there is no storage under the table top.  (Space is not an issue for me, so I usually keep the table fully open all the time).  I'd rather much have a slightly smaller surface, but with plenty of storage underneath.  So that's exactly what I made!

I now have a 3ft by 4ft cutting surface, with PLENTY of storage for fabrics, patterns, and sewing paraphernalia underneath it!

Here's how I made it:

  • Five 2-inch casters, 2 of which with brakes/locks.  Furniture feet are fine for stationary option
  • 5/8" plywood, cut to 31" x 46.5" and 36" x 48" (the lumber store cut 2 of 36x48, then I just cut one into 31x46.5 at home with a circular saw)
  • Three 2x2 Expedits
  • Wood stain and/or paint and/or lacquer for finishing the plywood 
  • Screws for attaching the casters to the plywood
  • Wood joiners for attaching the Expedits to each other
  • Small L-brackets for attaching the top to the Expedits
  • Optional: Super strong glue (Liquid Nails or construction adhesive) for attaching the Expedits to the plywood
  • Optional: 5 squares of scrap plywood for additional height at the each caster (I use roughly 4" x 4")
  1. Prep the plywood first, according to instructions because the drying time can be long.   I used stain + lacquer and it took 2-3 days total with drying time.  And I only did the parts that will be visible when assembled.
  2. Assemble the Expedits according to instructions.
  3. Attach the casters to the 31x46.5 plywood.  I used 5 casters: one at each corner and one in the middle.  My plywood bows a little, but the weight of the bookcases flattens it.  (OPTIONAL:  Glue/screw/nail the plywood squares at the caster locations.  This will raise the table by the thickness of the plywood (mine is 5/8").).  Now you have the base.
  4. Place the Expedits on to the base.  Two back-to-back, and one at the end.  Try to make everything fit as nicely as possible.  Mine didn't fit perfectly square (I blame it on Ikea engineering), but close enough that it doesn't bother me.  (OPTIONAL:  Glue down the Expedits to the base so they don't shift.  I skipped this part, because I thought they were heavy enough to resist shifting and I want to be able to disassemble the unit to get it of the room.  Just in case.  Otherwise, the only way out would be through the window, and that thing is heavy.)
  5. Use wood joiners to attach the Expedits to each other.  I used 6 total although more won't hurt.
  6. Attach the top plywood to the Expedits using L-brackets.  I used 6... 3 each at the long side.
And now... please excuse me while I start using my new cutting table and stuff the cubbies with reckless abandon

Nov 20, 2011

Ikea Hack: Expedit inserts for the closet

I'm an Expedit addict. There are 10 Expedit bookcases/shelves (in various conditions) in our house, not counting the desks and inserts.  I have inadvertently turned the house into an Ikea showroom, to my husband's dismay.

The Expedit by itself isn't much to talk about.  It's smartly designed and the clean lines cater toward the minimalists and classicists (which I am both, to some extent), but the fun is when you hack them.  Oh, pardon me.  The fun is when you hack all ikea products!

I digress.

For the master closet re-do, I was in need of some shelves for shoes and folded clothes (knits and jeans and whatnot).  Expedit is perfect, expect the big-ass square cubbies don't make the most of the vertical space.  If Ikea carried half-shelf inserts, that would solve the problem.  Except that they don't.  So it sucks.

Then I stumbled into this post on Ikea Hackers that shows how to assemble this insert into two half-shelf inserts, and it no longer sucks.

I happily purchased 4 inserts to make 8 half-shelves.  What I ended up are 4 nice, well-fitting half-shelves, and 4 stupid half-shelves with a freaking gap in the middle!

D'oh!  Life sucks again.

Then I thought, why not just cover it with something so the gap is not visible, you dummy!  (Yes, a lot of my problems are solved by having conversations with myself).  I cut some cork shelf liner for the top and front, and voila!

Gaps no longer visible, and closet magically filled with clothes and shoes!  Life no longer sucks!

Nov 13, 2011

Ikea Hack: Two-toned Rast dresser

Stained with Minwax Specialty Walnut stain, two coats of Polycrylic, and knobs from
It's in the master closet which I recently re-did (more on that later)