(Not) Built-in Ikea Cabinets

Lvgrm Bookcase

Materials: Kallax Shelves, Malm Drawer Units and Linnmon counter tops

Living in a condominium I occasionally indulge my furniture building interest. But where could I hide my miter and table saw? I also wanted to stop paying for storage space that was mainly housing old books and vinyl records.

The living room has essentially wasted space behind the sofa on the wall opposite the fireplace. I devised in Sketchup a plan that would give me 6 and half feet of hidden floor space, many drawers and lots of bookshelves. All of this had to be modular and constructed to allow easy disassembly while achieving a built-in look.

Living Room Shelves 1_2 Corner 2_2_1_2_2 White Corrrect Shelves 16 Drawers Malm

The Kallax line with its square cubbyholes doesn’t look built-in. By not installing the central uprights at each shelf, the horizontal shelf width is doubled which improves the look. This clearly has structural implications, so the next step in improving the design, adding a face frame, also beefed up the load bearing capacity of the shelves. Rear supports were glued at the rear of each shelf.

To make the face frame structural yet removable, each shelf has a 1 and a quarter inch high 3/4″ member biscuit joined/glued to the front length of the shelf. These horizontal members have pocket screws at each end which are then screwed (but not glued) to the vertical members of the face frame. Disassembly will only require undoing the pocket screws and unstacking the component parts.

Table saw

For the hidden floor space with its 6.5 foot unsupported span, I devised a shallow torsion box frame with a beefy plywood central beam (plies run vertically) that undergirds the Linnmon counter. A removable false front of mounted Malm drawer fronts is slid free to reveal the concealed power tools.

~ Ed Dunham

Jules Yap