Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Expedit improved

Not all IKEA bookshelves are built to carry books. Some should only have vaguely decorative items from IKEA's marketplace placed on them.

In February, I realized that the tall and skinny Expedit could be laid on it's side to provide an inexpensive solution to the built-ins I wanted for the living room. But I've watched my Expedit shelves sag, and I was sure one day it would finally collapse in on itself.

To be fair to IKEA, they do indicate a maximum weight per shelf of 29 pounds. How does that work out for the horizontal use? As I was building them, I kept telling myself it was an experiment!

But the sagging became quite visible:




The casters sold next to Expedit aren't a good choice either. The long panels that form the shelf and top are made of paper honeycomb encased in laminate. So two of these screws are really just holding on to laminate. Only the short upright pieces have solid areas in good locations.


Oh, did I mention the bookshelves are on wheels? It seemed smart to be able to move them around with the books in place, as this house is continually under some new project.

My plan involved securing a sheet of birch plywood as a base for each cabinet, which would give me more substance to screw the casters into, support the books and distribute their weight, and allow an additional two casters to be attached in the center, where Expedit is basically hollow.


I unloaded the books carefully so I wouldn't have to organize them again!


The casters came off.


Laying the birch sheet down, and planning for the casters.


Securing the sheet to Expedit, down on the two ends where there are solid areas.


Clean up! What is my deal that I need to do these projects inside the house, on the carpet, with no protective anything laid out to keep things clean? Risky behavior!



The plywood supports the end panels much better than before, and somehow, the whole thing seems more upright and rigid.


A tiny gain in height, the original one is to the left.

Align Center
On to #2!

Kitchen detail

The birch plywood / white cabinet reflects what I designed for the kitchen on the other side of the room, using IKEA cabinets and custom plywood detailing with exposed edges.

1 comment:

  1. Looks great. Where did you find the casters?