Monday, January 21, 2008

The Expedit hack

I "hacked" the IKEA Expedit we bought yesterday by putting 4 metal legs underneath. It makes the cabinet look a lot better. Also because we need the space we can now put stuff underneath, like our shoes for example.

For this we need the following: 1 drill, 1 drillbit half the thickness of the screws we're using, 4 tablelegs with 4 screws each, a ruler and a pen.

Start by marking at 1,5cm from the edge.

Place the top of the leg on the wood and align it with the mark you made.

Use the pen to mark where to drill the holes for the screws.

We drill these holes to give the screw some room. You will notice this helps a lot. Be careful not to drill all the way through the wood!

Screw on the legs. CAUTION: Because the panels are hollow, don't screw in the screw towards the middle too tight.

There we go, we have a hacked IKEA Expedit that looks a LOT better now!

17 comments:

Eddy said...

ha! Hilarious. Nice job here. I was thinking of installing casters and using the shelf in an upright position. Do you recommend any size, site, or store for the casters?

Vincent said...

Ehm, we live in different countries so naming a store is difficult. I am actually Dutch, only immigrated to Oz 2 months ago and had to look up what casters are. I think you're talking about the wheels, right?

There are a couple of things I can say about your idea:
1) Use big casters as the cabinet can get rather heavy. This greatly influences the "look" though. I once bought ones that were too small and it sucked. Won't be able to wheel it anywhere then.
2) Using the cabinet upright makes it less stable than in the horizontal position. Make sure it won't come down. Otherwise maybe put some L-shaped corners on it at the back?
3) Most of the thick outside plates is hollow. Make sure to at least screw the wheels into solid wood on 2 points echt wheel. The thickness of the wood on the hollow bit is about 5mm so you can screw into that but don't tighten it too much.

It's a nice idea you have. I like wheels a lot too but my gf doesn't ;-)

Good luck!

Louise said...

Thank you so much for the clear instructions on how to put on the legs. I live in a small apartment and need additional storage in the kitchen. Because the kitchen is part of the living room, I did not want the wire shelving unit. Your hack is perfect.

You did a great job and I can hardly wait to go to IKEA tomorrow to pick up the Expedit. Now if I could just figure out how to put together the Lekman cubes I brought today
:)

Jean said...

Thank you so much for doing this and having clear instructions =)

Morgan said...

Looks great! When you say the panels are hollow, do you mean the thick end pieces? We are about to hack our 5x5 Expedit down a to a 3x5, and I'm a little worried about what I'll find when I start cutting. Thanks!

Vincent said...

@ Jean: My pleasure.

@ Morgan: You better not cut the thick outside parts. Those are the ones that are hollow.

Kelster said...

Looks awesome! Which legs did you use?

Vincent said...

@ Kelster: I bought the legs at a DIY shop here n Australia called Bunnings. I think the pictures speak for themselves...

Stacyan said...

Your Bookcase looks great! I am doing the same thing as and I saw these Capita legs at IKEA. I think they are too thin. What's the diameter of the legs you used on your expedit?

Vincent said...

Hi Stacyan, I used legs with a 4cm diameter.

Timo said...

Hi Vincent, I have the exact Expedit unit you have here. However, I'd like to attach castor wheels instead of legs. I know the inside of the long panel is hollow with a 1.5 cm trim of wood. Your project looks like the screws are drilled through the panel area that is hollow. If so, what are the screws holding on to? Thanks!

Vincent said...

@ Timo: You are correct, there isn't much to hold on to there. There is just enough to get some extra grip. Just don't tighten the screw too much so you'll ruin the thread. Of course with the wheels it might get a bit rowdy at times so I'm not sure how that will work. But if you can fix the wheel thoroughly on 2-3 points it will be fine I reckon. All the best mate!

Anonymous said...

Vincent. you are very hot!!;)

Anonymous said...

Hey I'm wondering if the screws hold the legs stable, it's particle board yes? you've gotta drill the pilot holes, but no anchors needed?

Vincent said...

@ Anonymous: Thanks! ;-P

@ Anonymous: They do. The board is hollow so I only used three screws per leg, the outside ones. No anchors needed. Eventually I ended up making a leg to put in the middle underneath against "hanging" of the cupboard if you know what I mean? I put a shorter leg on a block of wood and just shoved that underneath. I had the ends of the block cut off on a 45 degree angle so you couldn't actually see the block. Good luck!

Kerrie said...

These instructions are very helpful, but I was wondering how the unit has held up over the years? Does it require legs in the middle to prevent bowing over time?

Vincent said...

Hi Kerry,

Indeed, in the end I did have to put a little leg in the middle. You can just see it in the first picture of this blog post:

http://vincentcreative.blogspot.nl/2008/09/finishing-drawers.html

I used a piece of beam of about 5x5cm thick that I cut in a (pointy) trapezoid shape so that the beam isn't really visible. This supported the middle of the Expedit perfectly. Of course you need to match the wood with a smaller leg.

Good luck!