17 January 2009

Ikea Hack

I'm the type of person who would go 3 years without a necessary piece of furniture solely based on the fact that I could never commit to a piece that will essentially become a permanent fixture in the house. My wife, on the other hand, is not.

So when we moved into the house back in March08 and found ourselves in need of a TV unit, I was perfectly content to use a sturdy box and begin the long search for the perfect, affordable piece. My wife, on the other hand, was not.

Scene shift. So we find ourselves in the middle of IKEA wandering around looking for a solution, a middle-ground if you will. We settled on the BONDE TV Unit, but only if I could change out the hardware and paint the two front drawers a glossy white. Both parties agreed.

And here's one for the "Don't Try This At Home File"

When we bought the TV Unit, I purchased a few packs of the BESTÅ casters. My plan was to install one on each corner and another in the middle for support. The idea was to get the unit off the floor a bit, add a little character and otherwise compliment our Blu Dot Chicago cocktail table.

From the moment I opened the box and saw the bottom of the unit, I had this gut feeling that it wasn't gonna work. It's not like I was expecting the bottom piece to be solid wood or anything, but it wasn't even solid particle board. (!!!) Rather, it was a thin piece of "sturdy" cardboard with that "waffle" cardboard filler.

But the lure of the finished look that existed in my mind was too much -- so I dived in with a drill bit and some Gorilla glue. I let the casters dry upside down for 24 hours and flipped it over to see if it would stand. Surprisingly, it did. But not for long.

I'll spare you the messy details, but it involved my wife and I tying to save a 165 lb. 32" TV from crashing into the ground when the less-than-soundly-attached casters gave way under the weight of the TV as we were rolling the unit. Somehow we managed to save the TV, but the hack was a bust.

Nonetheless, I was determined to make the casters work. So I purchased up some nuts and washers from the local hardware store and a wide, hollow drill bit. I drilled the holes and fastened the nuts/washers to the casters, hoping to get enough surface area to adequately secure the casters to the unit. Had the bottom been at least a strong particleboard, it might have worked, but the thin piece of "sturdy" cardboard just wasn't strong enough and I had to scrap the idea.

Here's the close-up:

Related: Plastolux's TRÄBY Hack


baz_mcm said...

Nicely done. Always enjoy seeing a little ingenuity at play.

Completely relate to the man/wife furniture scenario you depicted.



Rebecca said...

why not attach a piece of 1/8 plywood the full size of the bottom and proceed with your original idea?

troy. said...

Rebecca – Thanks for the comment! In all honesty, I didn't even consider it, mainly b/c after all of that, I was ready to be "finished" with the project.

I guess you're talking about gluing the plywood to the base?

Would also like to hear your thoughts on 1/8 vs. 1/4 ply -- the unit is rather large (23”Dx57”L ) and without actually holding a piece of 1/8, I'm not sure if it would support the unit with the legs attached.