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Hacking Ikea: A hollow desk becomes me

ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
edited March 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
I picked up a Vika table top and some legs to use as a desk. Problem is, the desk is much too deep for the space I have for it. It's dimensions are
Length: 59 "
Width: 29 1/2 "

I want to put it on a table saw and cut it into two pieces, one 20'' deep and one 9.5'' deep (ignore wood lost due to cutting, eh?). Then I would use some little furniture legs I bought to make a narrower desk with two levels. Then I would nail in some backing to cover the raw edges and make it look nice and finished.
My biggest worry is that this Vika table is hollow, or as I've seen it described elsewhere, honeycombed. The corners where the legs attach are solid but the rest of it is filled with cardboard. Knowing this, my plan is to glue some scrap one bys in there for the legs to attach to, as well as to nail the backing to. Does anyone see any problems with this plan?

I'm also considering just returning the damned hollow thing and getting something solid. Furniture should be solid...

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Posts

  • WillethWilleth Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Return it, it's more hassle than it's worth for a cardboard table. If you're going to that much effort and you already have some table legs, just go somewhere that'll sell you wood and buy a piece that fits your area.

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  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Just wish I could match the Ikea color. It's a nice dark brown/black grain.
    I expect you are right though.

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  • SzechuanosaurusSzechuanosaurus Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited March 2009
    Ikea do a range of wood stains that match a lot of their furniture colours, so if you got some unstained pine maybe you could make it match up with the appropriate stain.

    Szechuanosaurus on
  • i n c u b u si n c u b u s Registered User
    edited March 2009
    As the above post says, IKEA does have a bunch of woodstains that you could work with but in my experience working there not many people were satisfied with the result. It would always look close enough by memory when looking at the sample in store but more often then not it would be a little off once they brought it home. I'd suggest bringing in a sample or taking photos so you can match the stain as closely as possible and if that doesn't work consult with an employee about just buying the piece of furniture from them and then buying a stain from some else. I say this because only a few models can actually be stained.

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  • MushroomStickMushroomStick Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    They're typing about having him stain a piece of wood instead of buying furniture from Ikea.

    MushroomStick on
  • SzechuanosaurusSzechuanosaurus Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited March 2009
    Photos aren't likely to be colour accurate so I guess it'd have to be an actual sample.

    I suppose you could roll your own woodstain. I don't really know how that works but could you just mix a shade of wood stain by eye to match the other furniture in the same way that you'd mix paint?

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  • MushroomStickMushroomStick Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    My understanding of this is that there is no furniture to match. The Op just likes the color. Am I wrong?

    MushroomStick on
  • SzechuanosaurusSzechuanosaurus Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited March 2009
    Oh yeah, in which case just build the thing with unstained wood and get a nice dark woodstain. Or get some mahogany or rosewood or something to build with.

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  • EggyToastEggyToast Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    I have chopped up a VIKA table so we could fit it in our car to take to the dump. Hollow is right -- there's some cardboard in it to give it strength but most of the table is hollow. Without the finished edge, it would bow from lack of support.

    My wife did just what you're thinking about, though -- kept the legs, bought a narrow piece of hardwood and turned it into a table/desk. The VIKA table she had was too big, but the other options weren't long enough.

    So we went to Home Depot, got a pre-joined board (16" I think) that was the right length, and then she sanded it, applied a stain to darken it up, and then put a poly coat on the top to finish it. It looks a lot better than the IKEA table.

    I have a small version of the "dark" stain you mention, and it is nice -- it's dark w/o being a solid black. There are a couple options if you wanted to get close to that look. You won't be able to match it because IKEA veneers are simply printed out, so they can get consistent looks that would require a lot more work on a finished piece of wood. You could go for a distressed black look, although it involves a bit of elbow grease to pull it off. Def. more unique, though.

    I would also suggest against the ikea stains. They're typically thick, and don't go on very evenly. Stains and finishes from an actual hardware/woodcraft store would serve you better, if you're putting the effort in.

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  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Thats a good idea, I'll check out Home Depot to see what inspires me. Since I won't be able to match the coloring (as said before its printed), maybe I'll just go for something totally different in that department.
    My fiance wants us to use an 11'' deep shelf, but while it fits the space it just seems too narrow to be useful. Thanks guys, I will now be able to not waste money cutting something up and instead will return it.

    Improvolone on
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  • vonPoonBurGervonPoonBurGer Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    If you're willing to spend the time to hack an existing desk in half, then you've easily got enough time to stain raw wood. In which case, either buy an unfinished desk that meets your needs or build one from scratch.

    My current computer desk is actually one I bought from Ikea that came with the wood unfinished. I stained the wood a dark blue (the desk frame is silver metal tubing, my computer case is silver brushed aluminum with a side window, there are blue LED fans inside the case, my keyboard is black & silver with blue LED backlighting... it's a pretty solid theme). It was pretty easy to do, and I'm not exactly a great handyman. The real key is to do a good job of clearcoating the wood with something like a polyurethane varnish. That's what I did, and the desk surfaces have held up pretty well. I've had it almost 10 years now and it's showing wear in some places, but nothing too terrible.

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  • underdonkunderdonk __BANNED USERS regular
    edited March 2009
    Measure twice... buy... once?

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  • DaenrisDaenris Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Thats a good idea, I'll check out Home Depot to see what inspires me. Since I won't be able to match the coloring (as said before its printed), maybe I'll just go for something totally different in that department.
    My fiance wants us to use an 11'' deep shelf, but while it fits the space it just seems too narrow to be useful. Thanks guys, I will now be able to not waste money cutting something up and instead will return it.

    Well, what are you intending to put on that shelf? I mean, 11" is definitely deep enough for most books, CDs/DVDs, or other things like that. On the other hand if you're intending to put like a printer or something on it, it may be too small.

    Daenris on
  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    It's deep enough to hold what I want a desk to hold, but if I were to actually sit down and try to work there? I dunno... I might have to do it anyway. It's a small house and the only spot we have for a desk is against a wall leading into a doorway.
    Actually, I have two shelves up right now, one of which holds my printer just fine.
    Cheaper option may prevail here.

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  • DaenrisDaenris Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Oh, you meant 11" for the desk part itself? I thought you were talking about a shelf above the desk. Yeah, 11" for a desk sounds pretty small. I'd personally try hard to find another spot or to squeeze as much space as possible there to go for more than 11" if that's what you mean.

    Daenris on
  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    If I had the only say, furniture would be arranged differently. But men whom live with women know that this is not the case.

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  • illigillig Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    btw, ikea sells some really nice butcher block counter tops that can be cut to size, and covered with your choice of stain... i made one into a desk, but i just clear-coated it b/c i love the look of butcherblock

    illig on
  • QuothQuoth the Raven Miami, FL FOR REALRegistered User regular
    edited March 2009
  • SzechuanosaurusSzechuanosaurus Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited March 2009
    It's deep enough to hold what I want a desk to hold, but if I were to actually sit down and try to work there? I dunno... I might have to do it anyway. It's a small house and the only spot we have for a desk is against a wall leading into a doorway.
    Actually, I have two shelves up right now, one of which holds my printer just fine.
    Cheaper option may prevail here.

    Maybe you should look into a fold out desk. Ikea and others do modern bureau-type units that are basically upright free-standing or wall-mounted cupboards which open out into computer and office desks.

    Things like this or this (check the alt pictures for what they look like opened up).

    That way they are taking up less room when not in use.

    Szechuanosaurus on
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