Wednesday, November 24, 2010

IKEA shelf-evators

Materials: Capita legs, Ekby Viktor shelves, Ekby Joxa bracket rail

Description: I recently took a job teaching online in which I work from home, meaning I needed to convert part of my living/dining room into a home office. My biggest problems were accommodating my extensive library of academic books, and finding space for easily-accessed office supplies.

The 28-inch wide (non-IKEA) bookshelves near my dining table, which is now my primary workspace, were only two shelves high. After filling them with books and stacking another row on top, I realized there was still plenty of room above the top row of books if only I had free-standing shelves (or, as I came to think of them, "shelf-evators) to go over the top. I didn't want to screw anything into my walls; I wanted something to rest on top of the bookshelves. I asked the employees at IKEA who said they didn't have anything suitable, but had sometimes used Capita legs and single wall shelves to make something similar for a display.

Ekby Viktor shelves were the obvious choice, since their dimensions were very close to the dimensions of my existing shelves, and they were cheap, only $5.99 each. The problem was that Capita legs are a maximum of 8 inches tall, whereas many of my books were 10 or 11 inches tall. I decided to find something in the as-is bins that I could use to increase the height of the legs before adding the shelves on top.

I found the perfect thing - two Ekby Joxa rails, essentially strips of 1x1 already painted black, marked at $2.50 each. Add two packs of 8-inch Capita legs at $14 each, and some Gorilla wood glue from the hardware store, and I had my hack ready to go.

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