VIKA OLEBY, except better…


I found a bin of VIKA OLEBY legs on clearance on for $2 a piece. The tall ones were desk height, and I didn’t like the lines that much, but the short ones… beautiful! 4 legs, into the giant ikea bag, and home to sit for 3 years.

I took quite awhile to figure out exactly how I was going to use them, and once I decided, it took more time to find a source of 1″ birch ply that would match.

This entire hack was done at my local hackerspace: Pumping Station One.

The joint I used is called a scarf, and is extremely strong. Technically, a scarf should use at least an 1:8 ratio of material thickness to joint length, but the top section of each VIKA OLEBY was only about 4.5 inches long, and 1 inch thick, so my ratio is “only” 1:4.5.

First, I built a tablesaw jig to cut the legs at the correct angle. To cut the joints on the tabletop, I screwed a riser to the opposite end of the table to hold the angle steady, and used a router to cut the other half of the joint. As an experiment, I used hot hide glue to bond the legs to the top. Not the easiest stuff to work with, but very very strong. I finished the table with a shellac sealer, and couple coats of water based polyurethane.

Two interesting notes about VIKA OLEBY :
– All plies of birch have their grain running in the same direction, not alternating as in plywood. That made it noticeably easier to work with.
– The curvature of each leg was slightly different. This is fairly common in bent wood laminations, but perhaps is part of the reason Ikea discontinued this product.

I don’t have pictures of the build process, but here’s the final product.