Instructables

Expedit Monster Book Shelf

The hallway in our new flat is quite long (5m), perfect for a long book shelf. Getting a full size shelf like Billy or Ivar would be expensive and would have given us a shelf which is deeper than what we needed for books. A friend was selling of her large Expedit shelf in white but it is 38 cm deep and only 185 cm wide. After a joke of my wife, we settled on splitting the shelf into two halves along the long axis to get a 370 cm wide and 19 cm deep shelf - just perfect for all the books and stuff in our flat.

We took the used Expedit apart and basically cut each piece on a circular saw at my dads and bought a big bag of pegs (you'll need twice as much for the two halves) to fix all the 30 vertical boards.

As in our particular case, the full 370 cm width would block the entry door, so we needed to make is shorter. But removing a single column would make it asymmetric where as removing two columns would make it to short. After a while, we achieved symmetry with the 9 columns by removing one from box halves but putting one back in between them.

See the pictures... :)

 
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Step 1: Final Installation

Picture of Final Installation
After posting this instructable, we've been asked by an anonymous reader, whether the shelf is stable to hold all the books and other stuff. Sure, it is. As all boards are kind of "solid", cutting them in half did not change its stability. As with most shelves, you should fix them to the wall at the top corners (as IKEA tells you). We did at 3 points and it really holds. I just tried climbing on it without problems.. :)

cmaglioz2 years ago
Hi- I see that no one has been on here in a while, but I am considering building this shelf from my expedit and have a question. With the hollow pieces, did you add a supporting board or fill to the inside of the hollow wood? I am worried about it being able to support weight and not bow or warp without a new board on the inside to make it non-hollow.

Thanks!
mringwal (author)  cmaglioz2 years ago
We didn't do anything to the hollow pieces. Also, these are only at the side. All inner boards are more "solid" wood and most weight is carried by them. Ours is full of books and it's still as stable as 5 years before.
Thanks!
morphine6 years ago
This is a fabulous idea, and I really appreciate you posting it with pics. Inspired me to find a cheap Expedit on Craigslist and build out one of my own for my hallway. I would like to mention to people considering this that the 'thicker' outside boards are not solid (appear to have cardboard inside) and my circular saw chewed up the finish a little bit on the edges. I plan to daub a little white paint to hide the nips, but it is a concern if you're super-picky about stuff like that. Maybe I need a better saw. :D Again, thanks for the idea.
Or a better saw blade. I'm not an expert, but a nice carbide cabinetry blade should help the cut finish. Also putting the blue type of masking tape (weaker adhesive so it doesn't pull off paint) on before cutting.
Very good suggestion, that would probably do it! I'm a newb so live and learn... it still regularly gets comments on how great it looks. I'm thinking of painting a thin backerboard with a nice bright colour and affixing it to the back to give it extra pop in my (boring) hallway.
No need to go to the trouble of adding a backer board.  Just paint directly onto the wall behind the unit.  Easy to change when your mood (or color scheme) changes.
Rad
shooby6 years ago
Nice project. It's great when it starts off with a crazy idea, then everyone stops and says "wait a sec, we could do that!". Unfortunately I don't think I could do this, as I have a lot of large books. 19cm is about 7 1/2 ", and standard large book size is 8 1/2 x 11".
mringwal (author)  shooby6 years ago
Thanks. Hm. So far, we also have some 'large' books, and they just stand out a bit. You could maybe leave some space behind the shelf to get that extra inch?
shooby mringwal6 years ago
You're using the metric system, so I'll assume that you live outside the US, where the standard paper size is A4, which is narrower than the standard 8.5x11" we use here. Are your books 8.5/11" or A4?

19cm = 7.48"
shooby shooby6 years ago
I guess by a bit, you mean approx 1" or 2.5 cm. Considering the scale of the whole shelving system, this is acceptable I'd say. It would bug me on a smaller system though.
mringwal (author)  shooby6 years ago
Yepp. Most books don"t stand out, most of the are normal to medium paper backs. Our A4 paper size is not commonly used for books, at least in my perception. But we also don't have books in letter format either. Most of my bigger (non pocket books) are computer books which fit well in 19 cm. :)
Your shelving unit looks awesome. I once had a wall of bookshelves & loved it. Had to leave it behind for a move, and have needed it ever since. IT just looks so fresh and organized, if you are a book lover!! Great idea to put it in a long hallway!
mringwal (author)  Quilter Penguin6 years ago
Thanks... So what about a new Expedit Monster Shelf? :)
nilufersyed6 years ago
Hi luved dis piece..seems simple, linear and easy but hey wots and expedit. In my part of the world, Dont hav a clue as to wot kind of a furniture is called expedit...and also how did u put together all those boards without any nuts/screws/tack...how ? Do tell me. Eager to get on with this.
mringwal (author)  nilufersyed6 years ago
The ExpeditExpedit is made by IKEA. The inner boards are fixed with wooden pegs and there are screws to fix the horizontal boards.
sherrera6 years ago
I have thought about making an Expedit STYLE extension to mine, I have had one for years. Now that the IKEA will be done in south Florida soon, I will just go buy another one and do exactly this, thanks for the posting. SH
mringwal (author)  sherrera6 years ago
you mean, you want to join two of them together? then, you would only have to drill new holes for the horizontal boards (6 boards x 2 pegs) in the existing shelf and you're done.
Well I will see if I can fit 2 in the same space but I may have to shorten them as well. Either way nice little project because it is very costly to build a big library built in and this particualr unit is pretty sturdy, I have moved with mine 5-6 times an it still looks about the same and has ALL it's space fully covered in heavy books. I will post a picture if I get it done.
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