Do you find yourself trying to balance multiple network devices amongst your shelves in your apartment or home? Are you an audiophile who has a fair amount of gear but no good place to mount it? There's nothing that adequately stacks your gear and allows you to maximize the space that you have, right? Well fret no more! I have a solution that may work as well for you as it did for me. Allow me to introduce my IKEA Kvissle Letter Tray Mini Rackable Shelf System. The entire cost of this very handy DIY is just under $25 (not including drill bits and tools). If properly configuring and placing your gear has been bothering you for quite some time, then read on friends!
NOTE: I tried to build a second version today using what I learned from the first attempt. However, I quickly realized that my drill was not built to handle the bit I needed. Therefore, instead of delaying this instructable any further, I'd rather get it out to you guys using the photos I have from the first and second attempts combined and fill in the gaps with content. Where appropriate, I will note where issues arose so that you can avoid the pitfalls I ran into. As soon as I get a proper drill and bit, I'll finish the second version and upload the missing photos.
Items You Will Need
- IKEA Kvissle Letter Tray: I've tried using others including the Dokument series (which by the way, offers a lot of air flow if your devices run hot) and something from Target which didn't offer any airflow, but the Kvissle has been the best one going for me. One of the best things about the Kvissle is that it fits nicely in a 12" x 12" space, which seems to be a very common theme amongst IKEA products.
- Assorted Grommets: Depending upon the size of the holes that you require, you might want to get a set of assorted grommets. This way you can cover your bases for whatever your needs may be. For those of you who are not intimately familiar with the layout of a Lowe's or HomeDepot, these grommets tend to be scattered throughout the store. Typically they are found either in the plumbing or the electrical department. If you can find these online, you're probably better off buying them there.
- AT LEAST a 3/4-inch Drill Bit: I say "at least" because this is one of those pitfalls I mentioned above. I started with this exact drill bit for the 3/4-inch grommet not taking into account the thickness of the rim of the grommet itself. Make sure to get a drill bit slightly larger than the inner diameter. For example, if you're planning on using the 3/4-inch grommet, you'll need a 1-inch drill bit AND most likely a 1/2-inch drill.
- #2 Pencil: Yep. Remember all those times in high school (for those of you who are not still in high school) when you needed to have these in bulk? Welcome back, friends.
Step 1: Assemble the Kvissle
Put the Kvissle together but do not bend the locking tabs. You want to have this together so that you can draw placement and measurements but you also want to take it apart so that you can drill.
Step 2: One by One, Place the Drawers in and Draw Lines to Indicate Their Width
I used a pencil for this as the graphite can easily be erased or washed off.
Step 3: Dismantle the Kvissle and Draw a Vertical Divide
Once you have your lines drawn, now you'll have a much better idea of where you can place your grommets.
Step 4: Place Your Grommets and Draw Drill Points
Depending upon the size of the grommets you wish to use, you'll want to place your grommets ahead of time to see where you want to place them. In the photo, you'll see that I planned on using 3/4-inch grommets. However, due to the drill issue, I will have to wait until I get the proper bit to use these grommets. Using the 3/4-inch drill bit limited me to using a smaller grommet which is fine... unless you have three or four cables going through each hole.
Step 5: Drill, Baby, Drill!
Ok first of all, I'm am really sorry for the bad political reference; I simply couldn't help myself (though honestly, my use of the phrase is probably better then his). As a tip, I strongly recommend drilling a "guide hole" with a smaller bit. This will ensure your larger bit doesn't slip around as you start to drill with it. I also recommend NOT using a spade bit here. The first version I made was built using a spade bit (actually the photo above was from that attempt) and as you can see the holes are rather gnarly. The one I attempted today came out much better using the bit I linked in the first step.
Once your holes are drilled, go ahead place the grommets into the holes and re-assemble the Kvissle. The whole point of the grommets is to protect your fingers and your cabling (because nothing says DIY more than a shelving unit with blood dripping down the back).
Step 6: Spousal Pro Tip - Clean Up After Yourself When You're Done Drilling
Trust me, Hell hath no fury like a spouse/boyfriend/girlfriend/fiance/partner who just stepped barefoot on a sharp piece of metal that you forgot to clean up. Do both of us a favor (because I don't want to get blamed for it) and just sweep up before you forget.
Step 7: That's It! Hook Up Your Gear and Enjoy!
As you can see from the photos above, there's a ton of ways to configure your new mini rackable shelf system. Really it's just up to your imagination!