Shutters for the Oppli

Thomas hacked some rolling doors for his Oppli media unit. I can’t find the link to the Oppli on Ikea’s site, so it may not longer be in production.

He says, “My intention was noise reduction. The Playstation 3 and my HTPC are a little bit loud for some music or film.

18 17

I thought it could be a good idea to mount some doors to my OPPLI. Ready made products were too expensive, so I did it myself.”


Click here to view Thomas’ step by step pictures with instructions. But they are in German. I did ask for a translation but Thomas could not provide us with it. Anyone?

Thanks Chloe and Tim who sent me translations, as well as the many translation and suggestions in the comments. So I now give you the English version of Thomas’ hack. Please refer to images on Thomas’ site.

I keep my TV and Hi Fi components in an Oppli from Ikea.  Recently I added a PS3 and HTPC as well. These aren’t the cheapest devices around and I find them intrusive while watching quiet films or listening to CD’s, so I wanted to put doors on the appropriate parts of the cabinet.

To my mind the most elegant solution is rolling shutters.  There are some companies that make these to order, but they don’t come cheap (and rightly so), so my handyman skills are required. After a quick check on the internet it didn’t seem an impossible task.  The basic steps, in principle, are as follows:

1. For the shutter:  connect pieces of an appropriate material together from behind, by gluing them to a piece of fabric for example.
2. Add a handle.
3. Mill an L-shaped groove into the piece of furniture, as a track for the shutter to run in.
4. Install the shutter.

Doesn’t sound too complicated, does it?  The Devil’s in the details, but don’t let that put you off just yet!


The sections measure approximately 44.6 cm x 26 cm (WxH).  The shutter needs to be a little bit longer, because the curved track means it won’t sit flush against the top of the cabinet.

The shutter mat needs to be approximately 46cm wide and at least 30 cm high.  From one piece of moulding I can make about 10 cm worth of mat, so I need at least 6 pieces. Because things don’t always go smoothly for the handyman I get 8.  At €1.99 each that’s not too painful.

Shopping List:

1. Lengths of moulding, called “wallpaper moulding”.  2400mm x 20mm x 5mm.  It also comes in other widths and thicknesses.
2. Glue/adhesive.  I used Ponal X-Pert (construction adhesive) with a caulking gun, because it’s ideal for bonding wood to wood, plastic, and metal.
3. Handles.


1. First I cut the pieces of moulding to the required length (46 cm) with a saw.  To get them as close to the same length as possible I tied them in a bundle and cut them together.

2. This is what it looks like with the mouldings laid out next to each other.

3. I found a piece of fabric to glue to the back of the mouldings at home.  It’s lightweight, not stretch but very flexible.  Feels a bit like felt, but it isn’t.

4. I lined up the moulding on an old table top, exactly square and with the left edge aligned, and very carefully fixed the edges so nothing could slip.  Then I put a strip of glue on each individual piece, laid the fabric over the top and pressed it on gently.

5. I used my border pieces to clamp the edges.  In the middle I just smoothed the fabric by hand.  Ideally you’d use a board to provide even compression over the entire surface.

6. The side panel of the Oppli, where I am going to put a groove using a router.  To avoid getting the 4 sides confused I marked the edge where the groove will go with an arrow pointing up.

7. Upon reading the manual for my router again I noticed that it can be used with a template, as the device has a guard which can be run along the edge of the template keeping it at the exact distance required.  This has the definite advantage of being able to make every groove (and particularly the curves) exactly the same.  The router bit is 6.4 mm in diameter, which should be a good fit for the 5 mm mouldings.

8. I made a template from an old piece of a cupboard wall.

9. I used a slide rule to position the template at exactly the same distance from each edge.  Apart from the aesthetic effect, this is important so that the shutter doesn’t warp.

10. All elements fixed into place, so that nothing slips during the routing.

11. This is what the finished track looks like.  As far as the depth of the groove goes, you need to leave a couple of millimetres on each side so that the shutter can move freely.  I had to deepen it after the first try, because the shutter was held too stiffly.

12. First test, in the kitchen.  I am satisfied.  My concern that the radius of the curve may be too small and the individual mouldings would warp was unfounded.  Everything seems to run smoothly.

Approximately 4 – 5 hours, with cigarette breaks

Approx. €12 for the mouldings
Approx. €8 for the adhesive
Approx €16 for the handles