The IKEA Hack-a-Lack is a screwing-device for those who need to assemble a large number of IKEA Lack coffeetables. It saves time, energy and painful wrists. It's very easy to make and the best part is that it is actually made from a Lack table itself. It works like a very big screwdriver but instead of screws it fits tablelegs. For the exhibition Platform21=Hacking IKEA we had to assemble some 1000 LACK's so you may imagine we needed all the help we can invent.
The principle of the whole thing is best explained through the instruction of IKEA itself.
Step 1: Ingredients
The first thing you need is a Lack tableleg. If you have to assemble a lot of tables just get one extra. It never hurts to have spareparts, and you can actually assemble 4 Hack-a-Lacks from one extra table bringing the costs down to about 2,50 each. The other ingredients are a saw, strong glue (I used polyurethan), a wrench and something to rough up the surface of the tableleg. The IKEA Hack-a-Lack is actually a drillpart so a drill is needed to use it.
Step 2: Sawing the Leg.
Take one Lack table leg and saw it into 5 equal parts. This is easily done as the legs of the LACK are hollow. However the parts are still surprisingly strong.
Step 3: The Center of the IKEA Hack-a-Lack
You end up with 2 parts that have a piece of wood at the end and 3 parts that are completely hollow at both ends. One of the parts with a piece of wood has a hole for the screw. This will be the middle part of your IKEA Hack-a-Lack. Put the screw in with a wrench, and make sure it is straight. In this image the screw is not yet fully screwed in!
Step 4: Roughing It Up and Putting the Glue.
The LACK is made of very slippery material so it is very important to rough up the surface before you glue. Rough up all 4 sides of the middle part, and one side of the other 4 parts. Then put on the glue (strong stuff!) according to the instructions on the bottle. Keep one centimeter free on the top of the middle part. The sideparts are glues 1 centimeter lower then the top of the middle part!
Step 5: Finishing Up & Putting Some Pressure.
Now glue the 4 parts on the middle part, remembering that the 4 sideparts of the IKEA Hack-a-Lack protrude 1 centimeter from the bottom of the middle part. This way you create a hollow space that fits around the table leg exactly. To keep it all together during drying I used stretchy string but I'm sure there's better alternatives.
Step 6: Putting the Legs on the Beast
Insert your IKEA Hack-a-Lack into your drill and carefully screw the legs on the table. I haven't tried electric screwdrivers but I think it should work also. Obviously t's only worth going through all this if you need to assemble more them 25 tables.