Picture of IKEA Epedit Plywood Hack

We've got two IKEA Expedit units a couple of years ago. Nice and cheap stuff but not as good for storing books as we initially thought. So we cam up with a plywood boxes that will combine all of this:

  • Look good
  • Store books
  • Store small less often used stuff on the back (like Christmas toys, backup light bulbs etc)
  • Be easy to operate
  • Be doable with hand tools.

So here we go: we built three of these boxes and one for storing wine bottles. Books and wine go bloody well together especially in a winter evening.

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Step 1: Materials and Tools

We have no laser cutter or CNC so everything is done by hand:

  • Sheet of 8mm / 0.3" thick plywood
  • Some trash cardboard for the prototype (if you use our drawings you don't need it)
  • Hand saw
  • Chisel
  • Rubber hammer
  • Sandpaper
  • Slamps
  • Glue
  • Ruler and angle
  • Beer bottles! (optional)

Step 2: Prototype

Picture of Prototype

When doing stuff like this we always start with a cardboard prototype. You can never be really sure how the thing will look only based on paper drawings.

So we found some discarded cardboard in the shed and used it to make a real size prototype of the box.

In case you like our model you can save this step and use our drawings (PDF)

Step 3: Cutting parts

Picture of Cutting parts

Have the drawings on paper and cut the parts carefully. I used a coping saw for the mortises and then a chisel. You can use the regular saw for this but it's going to make rough cuts.

However if you have a jigsaw it cuts the plywood better. Just use a blade with small teeth - the ones for cutting metal are good.

We decided for only 1-2 mortises / tenons on a side, otherwise things are harder to fit. But if you use a laser cutter you may be able to do it with more.

Step 4: All the parts ready

Picture of All the parts ready

Here are all the parts for one of the boxes.

Ireek RN7 months ago

Love the Expedit functionality and versatility. And you've done something more than putting in overused fabric boxes! Awesome!

Nice! I'm going to have to build a few of these.