OaKallax Display Unit

After turning my old Expedit units into full-time bookshelves, I ended up with a bunch of spare red inserts which needed a new home. I also had a lack of storage in my study, and nowhere to put my larger models. With the Kallax saving weight over the outgoing Expedit, it seemed a good candidate for a shelving unit with a gap to display larger items. I could get away with using a slender hardwood frame to keep them aloft. Meet OaKallax!

Front On_S


  • 2x 1×4 Kallax
  • 8x 18x18x2400mm hardwood lengths (i used Tasmanian Oak)
  • 28x 6mm dowels
  • 32x 25mm Countersink Timber screws
  • PVA Glue
  • Araldite/Epoxy Glue (optional for improved strength)
  • A hand saw, at least four clamps, and a power drill

The frame is designed to be efficient and easy to build square and true, very strong, and with no visible screw heads or dowel joints. Each length of timber needs to only be cut once, and every piece is used. The double rabet joints used are self assembling from straight cuts, hide the end grain, and there’s no joinery skill required!

Inner Frame_S

The inner frame is glued with Araldite and screwed with 3x 30mm wood screws (countersunk with a large drill bit) per connecting surface, then the outer frame is dowelled and glued with PVA (I used 5x 8mm dowels per long run, with 2x for the short ends). The resulting laminated structure is dead smooth, and very strong. Thanks to the glue used, the connection between the shelves and the uprights is stronger than the Kallax shelf itself!

Outer Frame_S

Because I’ve just attached the frame to the end plates, it still flat packs! This was very handy for getting the unit upstairs to the study.

End Plate_S

After a light sanding to finish the timber, it’s as easy to screw together as two Kallax units!


The top shelf is strong enough to hold books in the outer cubes. As a precaution, i only keep lighter materials in the inboard cupboards.


While the bottom section holds my speaker system and drawer units.

Lights On_S

Once finished, i added a Striberg light strip to the back of the upper shelf, to provide a warm downlight. Without the lighting, the unit could be used as a room divider as the back is as smoothly finished (these drawer inserts have coloured back panels).

For a bonus, here’s how the idea started (I got a little carried away with replicating the room):


And a crazy variation i want to try some time in the future (the lighting wire is routed through the timber frame!):

Kallax Variant_S

If you have any questions about the build, I’m happy to answer! Find more info, and more builds on my blog!