Introduction: Ikea DJ Console

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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