Picture of Improved Ikea Benno CD shelf
Three IKEA Benno CD/DVD shelves side by side.
Question: What's wrong ? Answer: all intermediate vertical panels come twice.

Find it ugly, or space-wasting, or both ? Here is how to fix the issue.
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Step 1: Buy the shelves

Picture of Buy the shelves
In our case, we will mount three Benno shelves... So we will have to buy three packs!

In the end, two side panel will remain unused. (We'll certainly find some cool Instructable to use them.)

Step 2: In the intermediate panels, drill the holes through

Picture of In the intermediate panels, drill the holes through
Each side panel has one of its both sides with non-traversing holes and a groove.

Firmly tighten two of the 6 panels together, by means of paper adhesive tape, with holes turned to the outside. Carefully align them before.

Drill the holes completely through the panels pair. Use a plastic piece to protect the panel. Use drills of matching diameter.

Detach the panels. Now each hole goes through.

Two other panels will remain unmodified, and the two last will be unused.

Step 3: The central back panel must be narrowed

Picture of The central back panel must be narrowed
The back panels are designed to fit into the side panels' grooves, and are hence wider than the inner width of the shelves.

The two side panels around the central shelf will have no groove on their side towards the central space. Hence, the central back panel needs to be narrowed. It must have the exact width of the shelves.

1. Protect the cut line with adhesive paper tape; use a shelf to mark the width on the tape

2. Cut the back panel

3. Sand it

Step 4: Mount the left shelf

Picture of Mount the left shelf
Mount the left shelf as per IKEA instruction.

The upper side panel will have apparent traversing holes.

Step 5: Mount the central and the right shelves

Picture of Mount the central and the right shelves
  1. The central shelf is then mounted quite like the previous one, but on the left shelf.

    The special screws take more than the half of the panels' thickness, so two opposite screws will not fit completely. Hence those of the central panels need to be shortened by 4 mm (using a regular metal saw).

    UPDATE (Jan 19, 2012): as suggested by Balafre, an even better solution is to shorten every screw of the central panels by 2 mm (instead of each other one, by 4 mm).
  2. The right shelf is then mounted in its turn.
  3. The central back panel gets tightened by means of nails.

Step 6: Done !

Picture of Done !
This CD/DVD triple Benno shelf now find its place on the side of a Pax shelf.

As one can see, it was really motivated by a space issue...
tenaj992 years ago
I am not getting how the back panel is attached with nails after it has been trimmed without a photo. What are you nailing it to since it sits in grooves on the other 3 sides that have them?
laxap (author)  tenaj992 years ago
The central space is actually the outside of the left and right shelves, so there are no grooves on that side of the panels.

Here is a cross cut, with xxxxx being the back panels:
 __            __           __           __
|  |          |  |         |  |         |  |
|  |  left    |  | central |  |  right  |  |
|  |  shelf   |  |  space  |  |  shelf  |  |
|  |          |  |         |  |         |  |
|  |          |  |         |  |         |  |
|  |          |  |         |  |         |  |
|__|          |__|         |__|         |__|

I hope it clarifies.
Balafre3 years ago
Thanks for sharing this Idea.
I was looking to buy 3 Benno units and was really happy to see what you've done with them so I applied your recipe.
I did one change to it. Instead of shortening of 4 mm 12 out of the 24 screws used on the traversing panels, I went to shorten all of them by 2 mm. Since the first mm is mainly to guide the screw in the hole, it has no real effect on the sturdiness. So my idea was to keep more length that did the fixed shelves sturdier.
I also used my workbench grinder to shorten them.
I might add a fourth unit in the near future since my shelves are almost full already.
Thanks again and keep 'em coming !
laxap (author)  Balafre3 years ago
That's a good idea, thank you. I updated step5 accordingly.

I did not think of shortening ALL screws in the first place, because at that time, I only had a hand saw. In the mean time I have an angle grinder :-)
gregnash5 years ago
 read my comment in step 5 before drilling!!!!
gregnash5 years ago
 just check at this stage that the bottom of your 3 fixed shelves look like this. ikea have changed the design so this isn't possible for me, the side screws i just took out were 1.5-2 inches long, and so i doubt i'll be able to securely mount the 3 fixed shelves.

riekeant6 years ago
You can easily make a straight cut if you own a table saw.
Bindweeds6 years ago
Since you were mounting this to a Pax shelf (I assume the same color wood) Would you even need the backing? If the CD/DVD triple Benno shelf is actually attached to the Pax then it would support the shelves the same way as the backing. That way you wouldn't have to worry about strait cuts, right?
laxap (author)  Bindweeds6 years ago
Good remark, thanks. But I prefer to have the back panel for two reasons:
  • I could wish to place the triple Benno elsewhere in the future,
  • there would be a 1 cm space behind. Small parts may easily fall and get lost.
mikeasaurus6 years ago
Subtle genius