Introduction: Ikea DJ Console

Picture of Ikea DJ Console


Some of the Ikea furniture pieces have changed names and dimensions and I don't know if you can still make this. But take a look in the comments below - there are some excellent new designs using two 4x4 Kallax shelves with legs and a tabletop.

I've been looking for a DJ console for a while. But most of the the stuff I saw was either a) ugly or b) too expensive for a cheapskate like me.

I had hoped to find something at least close enough at Ikea, since their furniture generally looks pretty good and best of all it's cheap. The Ikea Expedit bookshelf, a favorite of DJs since the shelves are 13 x 13 and hold records or crates perfectly, has always looked like the perfect start, but they aren't deep enough to hold turntables on top.

Staring at them one day, I thought "Maybe there's something else in Ikea I could stack on top?". I found some neat shelf legs in the kitchen section that would work with some sort of counter or table top. Then in the TV furniture section I found the perfect solution. The Lack TV Console is the exact same width as the Expedit bookshelf, and the two looked like they could be put together seamlessly, since the Lack and Expedit lines are made out of the same thick material. And better yet, they don't need any extra hardware. Just make two saw cuts, drill eight holes, a little glue, and you're done. The whole thing will disassemble and almost pack flat.

The final dimensions are:

Top deck: 21.75 deep" x 58.75" wide, 38.5" high of the ground
Middle shelf: 15.5" deep x 55" wide x 6" tall
Record shelving: 8 sections 13.25" square by 15.5" deep

Note that since the Expedit pieces are so thick, it puts the turntables pretty high. That's probably the only catch with the design. You do have the option of making the side pieces under the top shorter though - something to consider if you are short or like your decks low.

If you build this hack, and like your $150 DJ console, you can show your appreciation at my Amazon Wish List.

Step 1: Materials and Tools

Picture of Materials and Tools

You will need the following:

Lack TV Console

Expedit Bookshelf 58 x 31

Whatever tools Ikea calls for to assemble the above.

Electric Drill

Drillbits: 3/16 (5mm) and 5/16 (8mm)

Tablesaw, ideally

Wood glue

Step 2: Build the Bookshelf

Picture of Build the Bookshelf

Follow the directions and build the Expedit bookshelf.

As you can see, I didn't take pictures during assembly so I recreated everything using Sketchup.

Next unpack the Lack table, but don't assemble it yet. To save space, you can move the bottom shelf and the legs somewhere out of the way since they will not be used.

You might be able to pawn the bottom shelf off onto another friend who wants to build one of these. Just attach the bottom shelf to the top of the bookshelf using Ikea countertop stands (can't find the link, sorry). This "top" won't be as nice looking since will show the countersunk holes used to attach the legs, but it ought to work for most cheapskates.

Commenter Teep gave me the idea of laminating the Lack table top and bottom pieces together to make a 4" thick top, which could be then pocketed with some holesaws and a keyhole saw (or a router if you have one) to let you flush-mount your turntables. If you were really tricky, you could laminate a thin strip of clear plastic in between the two pieces and then illuminate it from the inside.

Step 3: Drill the Top Holes

Picture of Drill the Top Holes

Put the bookshelf on its side.

On the top of each side piece, drill two holes, one 1 7/8" (48mm) from the front edge, and one 4 5/8" (128mm) from the back edge, 31/32" (24.5mm) in from the outside edge.

Note:I don't know if Ikea makes any running changes in the design of their furniture, so it is conceivable that some dimensions I give will change. Double check against the mating piece before you drill or cut anything.

The easiest way to mark the spot is to put down a piece of masking tape and mark it with a pencil.

Before you drill the holes, check to see if they line up with the holes drilled in the Lack table side pieces where the quarter-turn fasteners go. The Lack pieces will be too long at this point.

If everything looks good, drill the four holes about 1/2" deep and screw in the metal quarter-turn studs from the Lack parts kit.

Step 4: Cut Down the Lack Side Pieces

Picture of Cut Down the Lack Side Pieces

In this step you need to cut the Lack side pieces down to match the depth of the Expedit bookshelf.

Note that this will leave a raw cut and expose the particle board on the backside of pieces. They will not show if you have the console against a wall. If you plan to put the console freestanding in the middle of a room, then you can probably figure out a way to recycle some of the colored laminate off of the scrap pieces you will be cutting off. Instructables member Hype1 notes in the comments that you can remove the laminate by heating with a hot air gun. If you choose to cover the exposed section, you will need to cut the piece 1mm shorter to make up for the thickness of the laminate.

Note: The two pieces, when installed, are mirror images of each other. The access holes for the quarter-turn fasteners are supposed to face inwards. So before you cut anything, put the two pieces side by side, access holes facing each other, and mark the same ends with a piece of tape so you don't cut the wrong end off.

Cut off 6", making sure again that you will end up with two mirror image pieces.

It would be best to make the cut with a tablesaw. If you only have a hand saw clamp some guides of scrap wood to the piece to help you make a straight, perpendicular cut

You will also need to add another hole for the dowel pegs. Drill a 5/16" (8mm) hole about 1" (25mm) deep 12" from the uncut end of the side piece

Step 5: Drill the Peg Holes for the Top

Picture of Drill the Peg Holes for the Top

As I mentioned before, I didn't take pictures when I made this. And because this step involves some glue, I can't take it apart to confirm exactly what I did.

If I remember right, the side pieces have holes to take two dowel pegs on the top. I can see one of the holes so I assume the other has the same spacing. I don't remember exactly and Ikea for some dumb reason does not have downloadable PDFs of the instructions! So double check all the numbers before you start drilling!

Figure out how much overhang you want at the back of the console. This is handy for routing power cords. I used 1.5 inches. Add your spacing to 3 1/2" and drill a 5/16 (8mm) hole this distance from the back (cut) edge and spaced 31/32" (34.5mm) in from the outside edge. Drill you second hole at 11" plus your offset spacing and again 31/32" inch from the outside edge.

Drill your second holes to match the peg spacing on the side pieces.

Step 6: Assemble

Picture of Assemble

The easiest way to assemble this is to start out by putting the side pieces onto the bookshelf and locking them down with the quarter-turn fasteners.

Next, put the dowel pegs in the holes in the top of the Lack side pieces. Run a bead of wood glue along the top of the piece and then drop the console top in place. Stack some records on top to provide some weight to get a good bond.

The glue is needed because the console top uses the Lack construction method that is like a hollow door. The only solid material is the thin face laminates. The inside is just cardboard honeycomb. So there really isn't enough material for the dowel pegs to friction fit into. The glue will hold it all together.

If you have to move in the future, just release the quarter-turn fasteners, pull the top and sides assembly off, and then you can disassemble the bookcase back into flatpack.

Step 7: Fill 'er Up

Picture of Fill 'er Up

After the glue has dried, add your equipment and records and you're ready to go!


drwelby (author)LisaB2942016-07-17

Looks great!

ThoomasR made it! (author)2015-11-07

I realize this is a very old thread, but I've signed up to be able to post this message to show my gratitude and for anyone who it can be of any help to.

Thanks for all the inspiration and great guides and pictures!!

2 days and 120 euros later, here's my attempt for an ikea booth.

Next step when my monitors come in is to put them on a stand left & right of the table. Many thanks , Im really happy with it , sturdy enough for scratching/juggling and the whole thing is perfect for my size.I'm 1.88m (I'm used to the metric system :p) and enough room for my drumcomputer and future gear to put next to it.

What I've used :

2 x 4/4 kallax

1 x linnmon table part ( 2oocm*60cm )

1 x lack shelf

8 x capita legs

2 x capita console

1 x dioder ledstrips

The kallax's I've bought second hand so that helped to put the price down alot.

On to the next project !! : ))

kdee1995 (author)ThoomasR2015-12-26

great built !

drwelby (author)ThoomasR2015-11-07

Wow! Super nice set up. I will update the Instructable to tell people to look in the comments for the latest possibilities with the new furniture pieces.

DeanO3 (author)2015-06-24

hi, can someone help me please, I am trying to do this dj
deck stand. but it appears ikea have changed the name of the
"expedit" to "kallax", the measurement on ikea’s website dont
measure up, has any one else encountered this? From the below, it looks as if the
lack wil nolonger fit flush onto of the expedit replacement the kallax? Thanks dean

lack tv stand

Depth: 21 5/8 "

Height: 13 3/4 "

Width: 58 5/8 "

Depth: 55 cm

Height: 35 cm

Width: 149 cm


Width: 30 3/8 "

Depth: 15 3/8 "

Height: 57 7/8 "

Width: 77 cm

Depth: 39 cm

Height: 147 cm

joenice (author)2008-02-03
drwelby (author)joenice2008-02-03

Sweet! Looks perfect. I added your image to the thread so you don't have to host it forever.

BartholomewH (author)drwelby2015-06-11


omalutz77 (author)drwelby2010-09-10

hey guys. can´t find the 3 consoles from the top. could you post a working link please? thanks in advance

audiomind (author)drwelby2008-08-21

That looks a bit different than the one described above. Looks to be able to hold more tables. How did you create your setup?

drwelby (author)audiomind2008-08-21

He used three of the smaller Lack TV consoles, like the ones you linked above.

ukuleleman (author)joenice2010-08-21

nice Lionel

whatsisface (author)joenice2010-07-07

This is a total shot in the dark, but are you THE Joe Nice?

drwelby (author)whatsisface2010-07-07

Yes, he certainly is!

whatsisface (author)drwelby2010-07-11

Amazing! A living legend on Instructables, who'd have thought? :)

BartholomewH (author)2015-04-09

Now this is a real IKEA flat pack hacked!
Makes me think of becoming a DJ :D

Lessik (author)2013-03-30

Thank you drwelby!!!
Absolutely fantasic idea from ikea. %) This is my try.

drwelby (author)Lessik2013-03-30

Looks great!

kanaberra (author)2012-03-09

Hello and thanks for sharing your genius ;)

Very well explained and easy to follow.

Now I have mine... but stil wip


JMarci (author)kanaberra2012-05-16

Sorry just saw the link to more pics (Newbie). thanks

JMarci (author)kanaberra2012-05-16

Hi, I like how you used the bottom panel of the tv stand also. Do you have a head on front view of your finished project? Would you be able to add them? Anyone know if its possible to have bottom panel slide out to place a 76 key keyboard?

drwelby (author)2011-05-25

As I was trying to fit in a laptop on a stand, I realized this also could be a good standing desk, with the height fine-tuned with Capita legs.

olllie (author)2011-05-06

First of all I'd like to say thanks to drwelby for posting the instructions. I've had my console built for about a year now and it's been the perfect solution.

However I recently noticed mine has started bowing in the middle holding the weight of 2 Technics. It not a big problem and i've adjusted the legs of the turntables to keep them level, but I was just wondering if anyone else has had this problem and found a good way to provide support in the middle?

drwelby (author)olllie2011-05-06

Mine does the same, but the Lack console should have come with some little spacer things designed to support the table top in the middle if you have a heavy TV on it.

Otherwise, maybe it's a good idea that when people build this they take the parts they cut off of the Lack upright pieces and use them for support in the middle.

sekklow (author)2011-05-02

Just wondered what speakers you have in the photo? I'm after some small speakers that can be angled towards me, like those...

drwelby (author)sekklow2011-05-02

Bowers & Wilkins Solid series monitors and subwoofer. They're almost 20 years old, though.

nqahhaar (author)2011-04-11

Ok so I think im going to try and build this setup. Of course I don't have a Ikea where I am so im gonna order the parts online. Im a little confused on the overall dimensions. So the height is 38.5" from the floor to the top of the table? Im 6'7" so I'd like to get it around 43" or 44". Any ideas?

drwelby (author)nqahhaar2011-04-11

Ikea has some cabinet legs you could put under it called CAPITA. They come in 4, 6, and 8 inch heights.

kcordell (author)2011-03-24

Bought the items to try this setup. After setting up the Expedit, I've noticed that the top board for the Lack already puts the decks at the perfect height for me. I'm 5'8". I may pick up another 2x2 bookshelf of the same design from Ikea and then cut the bottom side of the lack to just expand the size of the overall top area. If you're short like I am, the height of the setup using the two side pieces for the Lack just puts the decks too high. I'm sure I can figure out something to do with them. Any ideas?

drwelby (author)kcordell2011-03-25

Just noticed this:

drwelby (author)kcordell2011-03-25

Maybe sell the Lack and swap it for one of those Ikea table tops, the ones you buy separate from the legs, and glue or double-sided sticky-tape it to the top of the Expedit?

In that case, maybe instead of using the 2x4 Expedit, use 2 2x2 Expedits and space them out. Maybe even hang a shelf between them?

thecokebadger (author)2008-11-09

I came across this hack randomly last week and was determine to complete it. Here is the final product:

I Also took pictures of the building process. Feel free to use any of this pics for help. I did not use the exact same measurements for the top piece as the instructions say, but they were just guidelines. I did leave a 1 1/2" hangover on the back.

There is definitely room for 3 turntables on top if you have the turntables facing sideways, scratch DJ style. I will add my 3rd turntable later, which I didn't have room for on my previous ghetto makeshift DJ table.

I love the way it looks and it's functionality, but the tables sit a little too high for my liking and I stand 5'11". Need to wear shoes or stand on a phone book for it to be a comfortable height for continuous use.

Overall, I am happy with the way it turned out, and for $150 and less then 2 hours of my time, It was worth it! Thanks drwelby for the inspiration.

gents, when cutting the hollow, laminated ikea table tops and such, i'm supposing your using a table saw, but what about the blade.....what type of saw blade would give the cleanest, smoothest cut?

I used a blade that had fine teeth (for a tablesaw blade) It looked. It had a similar tooth pitch to your average hand saw.

drwelby (author)thecokebadger2009-01-26

Great pictures! Thanks for taking them. I'm hoping someone will make one with the side pieces under the top deck cut down so that the total height is a little lower.

thecokebadger (author)drwelby2009-01-26

If it wasn't for the glue, then I would have cut the side pieces, but overall, I still love it! Feel free to use any of the pictures.

Curtis19 (author)thecokebadger2009-01-26

this looks great. was reccommended for the DNBA forum. going to have a go at this. will post pic at the end of the week

sir smith (author)2009-12-14

I love my Ikea DJ console, but like Dafthanfti I dont have enough room for my amplifier.  I'm thinking about another set up until I can figure out what to do.

MDuran (author)sir smith2010-06-05

how tall is your amp? I bought 2 X 6's for the center console & my amp fits fine.....

MDuran (author)2010-06-05

I built mine for $90.00 USD & I must say it's a brilliant hack. I think this should the standard console for DJs/Selectas @ home. Very simple & fast to build, I wish I would have thought this up myself. Thanks for the savings....

subdivided (author)2010-01-17

This looks awesome!  What a great idea (and cheap!), especially considering how ready-made "DJ" stands are usually wobbly and useless, or overtly expensive. 

This leads me to one concern of this design, especially because the components are particle board (as are most things Ikea):  Is this STURDY enough as a stand-alone unit, not attached to a wall?

I like to host parties in my basement, where the DJ is facing the gathering, so I need something that won't wobble standing on its own, even under enthusiastic knob turning and/or scratching. 

drwelby (author)subdivided2010-01-17

It's sturdy - everything is very thick and rigid. You might want to add a support in the middle of top span to tie it in to the bookshelf, since that's the longest unsupported span in the design.

It will be especially solid once you add some weight by filling it with records. If not you will want to make the base larger so it's less tippy.

dafthanfti (author)2009-09-14

This is so great! Can't think of a better solution - thank you!
I built this and everything was fine until I decided to buy a more powerful amplifier without checking it's height before. Result: the amp fits in the space between the expedit shelf top and the lack top with only 1mm space for air ventilation. That means I can't run this amp, otherwise it's getting terribly hot.
So now I am wondering whether there might be the possibility to extend the lack side pieces' height by approx. 2cm? Maybe by adding an extra piece between top and side pieces?! Another possibility would be to use the side pieces of the smaller expedit shelf: and cut them. Probably the best looking method....

Dr. Welby, can you think of something else?

Thanks in advance!

krunkpony (author)2009-07-26

Even after making a few of what I considered critical mistakes. This project turned out great!

krunkpony (author)2009-07-25

<-- noob! I was foolish and even with your explicit directions to make sure the side pieces mirror. I cut the wrong end off. And everything is loose. I'm not even done yet--but this is not going well.

drwelby (author)krunkpony2009-07-25

You might be able to peel off the surface veneer from the scraps and reapply it to the cut edge. As for the rest, a little wood glue will do wonders. If you got the black finish, a black sharpie pen does wonders for touchups.

artichoke1 (author)2009-04-13

ok so i signed up just to comment on this and give you a word of warning ... the lack side pieces are no longer solid, they are hollow!!! so be warned of the following: #1 i'm not sure that the side pieces offer as good of support anymore. after the cut on step 4 you have one end of each piece with less support. i do not know how this translates into long term stability. i just finished constructing this today. #2 because it is hollow you must be careful about the new hole you drill in step 4. make sure you have an idea of the thickness of the wood so you dont make a through and through hole. whats even more frustrating is that one of the side pieces was much thicker than the other! #3 i think that the expidite is made from softer wood than previously. when i drilled the new hole in step 3 and put in the screws one of them was very loose!! so overall i think this is still a great item but i just wanted to give you guys a heads up as to the changes so you wont get caught off guard like i did. im not sure that this unit is gonna be as stable as it once was but think that it will still work ok. i also wanted to thank the original poster for this awesome idea ... good luck guys

drwelby (author)artichoke12009-04-14

Thanks for the warning. If anyone else can confirm this, let us know, and if you have made any changes to the construction steps that work better with the new Lack pieces post them here and I can update the Instructable.

hype1 (author)drwelby2009-05-26

The side pieces are hollow, but I think they will hold very well. Those turntables aren't that heavy to shred those side pieces, but you shouldn't stack a few hundred records on them I guess. But that's not what this design is meant for of course. If you get worried, you could add an extra piece of wood inside them on the place where you have cut them, this will give the side pieces a lot of extra support.

About This Instructable




Bio: I grew up on Legos and the Whole Earth Catalog. These days: bike builder, map maker, trail sleuth.
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