Sofa Surround Lack Hack

Materials: Lack shelves & end tables

Description: Wanted the Lack look, but needed shelves to hold mostly books – too heavy for the flimsy Lack wall connector.

First picture below shows 4 feet Lack shelves cut in half. For some reason IKEA doesn’t make a 2 feet long Lack… Note the paper reinforcement is pushed in on one to make room for the ledger at one end. It pushes in easily with just finger pressure.

Second picture shows 1×2 ledgers screwed to the wall to hold the outboard end of the shelves. I would have liked to hit a stud, but had to use plastic wall anchors instead.

Picture three shows the shelves starting to go up. Inboard end is supported by black-painted 5/8″ x 7 1/4″ MDF (courtesy Home Despot). Two 1 5/8″ drywall screws into each shelf end – be careful not to overtighten – you’re only screwing into about 3/8″ MDF at the end of each shelf. The bottom “shelf” is a Lack end table sans legs.

Picture 4 shows one side of the unit complete. I did use the IKEA supports on the long top shelves – shelves still had to be cut to length, and mounting the hardware to line everything up took VERY careful measuring.

I think it still has the Lack look, and so far hasn’t collapsed under the load. 🙂 I do have to warn visitors not to sit on the end tables! One interesting tidbit – the space between the two long top shelves was tight at installation, but has since opened up about 1/8″. Obviously Lack shrinks! For a perfect fit you’d probably need to let the shelves acclimate for a week or so.

~ Jim Potter, Ottawa, Canada