Introduction: Ikea Hack - Billy Bookcase With Integrated Amplifier

About: Working as a wood/metal shop teacher for kids 9-12 years old. Restoring a old house and a Saab 95 V4 1975. Currently bad at making new ibles but will hopefully find time soon...


This is a Billy bookcase that have many lifes, i got it for free from my work many years ago.
(please note - english is not my native language but i hope you dont find too many missspellnings.)

I think started as a Billy like this:

First in 2004 i made it slimmer to fit the short end of a Nexus wardrobe. Later on i made a little shelf that continued to the front. Im sorry that i have no other picture than this. (The lady on the pic is my mother paying a visit).{EFDE520E-A639-4EAB-A294-CC1C0D844416}&StrBildStl=550&BildUid={BD35AFA4-41B3-4EF6-A073-485F09312EBA}

I started thinking about why electronics has to look the way the do. In my opinion they usually never integrate with their sorrounding in a estetic or practical way. I could go so far to say that i think that they actually are really ugly but since i'am a nice boy i don't. I could go on a long rant about my feelings toward the blue LEDs that are everywere with their cold ugly light but i think you can guess. ;)

As usual, use your common sense! If you don't have any - lend some from a friend. This 'ible includes high voltage and power tools. Be careful.
I'we read som electronics and wooden design in colleage so i have a fair idea about how to do.

Since i didnt have any place to put the shelf in a standing position i first decided to lay it down. The ends got feet made by MDF board and a third support was added in the middle to take the weight of the books.

Step 1: First - Electronics

Since i'am not wery good at making amplifiers i decided to by a kit from Kjell & co. It's 2 x 30 w*,242500000,247500000

It was powerful enough, the right size och quite cheap. I think the pictures speak for themselfs, it's quite easy to assambly.
The power goes throu a filter and a relay. I used a normal internet cable for the audio from my media server. The cable has eight treads that send right and left cannel and a +12v signal if the computer plays anything. If the sound turns of the amplifyer turns of after a while. A feature i think should be on all electronic equipment.

* And now i know that some people thinks you have to have thousands of watts to get good sound. Maybe in a concerthall but i live i a small flat with neighbours all around and usually dont play very loud.

Step 2: Second - Woodwork

The woodwork is quite simple. I got some leftover oak plywood from a earlier project, my popbox inspired loudspeakers:{394811A4-CCEA-43C4-A71C-5BEF0409811F}{84E85800-673A-4E59-854F-101E07B8ACB5}

The volume knob was made with the same oak that was used for the loudspeakers frame with a wedge of some dark wood i found in the shop.

All the shelfs were made of MDF board, a hard dense board easy to saw and use. Please note that the shelfs have to be secured with screw since the not are designed to take weight in this direction. Make sure that the backpiece is securley fastened or else the bokkcase will bend. I nailed along all the shelfts on the back side.

Since the bookcase was rather battered i painted it all in plain white. Some filler and two layers of paint later it quite ok.
A small tip on painting - I never cleaned the brush just put it in the fridge between the paintings.

This is not a exact how-to but more of a inspiration how to think about furniture and electronics. I'm curious about how long time it will take before electronics will be beautiful furniture like pre 1960.

Furniture are to be hacked and electronics to be concealed .