Introduction: Ultimate Ikea DJ Unit

About: MONSTA is a London based DJ and technology nut. This site covers all aspects of his music life including Mixes, Gigs, Ideas, Projects and other Monstarous activies.

When I made the switch to digital DJing, I found the amount of wires and equipment scattered around my decks unbearable, so decided to build my own unit that would house everything out of sight.

Taking inspiration from other Ikea DJ Desks I've seen around here, I decided to use the EXPEDIT bookcase for the base as it provided enough storage space, was a good height and also I already had one! For the tabletop and box I used two of the VIKA AMON tabletops which were the same width as the EXPEDIT and enough depth to fit decks/mixer and speakers on top.

This setup costs about £100 in total, which isn't bad compared to retail versions which will set you back £300+

Step 1: Measuring/Cutting the Pieces

I wanted as much depth as possible so decided to bolt the back of the box to the back end of the table (instead of the top) which would give a extra few cm's. Apart from that you'll want the back and top bits to be from either side of the table so you get the nice laminate edge rather than the corrigated cardboard that fills the wood out. The front piece will be bare either side, but both will be covered when put together.

The dimensions I used are:
Front =  186mm
Top    =  300mm
Back  =  254mm

For the side panels I cut up an old Lack cofee table, but you could use anything for this, Ikea make lots of stuff in the same colours. Both were cut to:
265mm x 186mm

Note on cutting
Most Ikea furniture is some sort of laminated wood, eg chipboard core with a nicer look mahogany laminate covering it. I did a lot of reading on the subject of cutting this type of wood without wrecking it. What I settled with was to use masking tape on either side of the cut, leaving a 1mm gap (doesn't have to be 100% accurate). Then I clamped some 2x2 along the line and scored the wood with a sharp knife, then finally took a brand new saw and used the guide to cut as straight as possible. Using this technique I manage to cut each piece without ripping any of the laminate, I'm sure you could do better with a bench saw, just take your time with it.

Step 2: Putting It All Together

The first thing I did was to place the back up against the tabletop and insert some large screws (pre-drilled and countersunk). This goes straight into the supporting beams inside the wood, so is vital if you want a sturdy unit! I then added a few brackets on the inside where they wouldn't be seen, to give a little extra support.

Next I put the side pieces in place and inserted two of the large screws on each side to make another strong joint, then added the extra brakets towards the front to stop any movement.

The front isn't bolted down like the others, instead I just attached lots of brackets everywhere to keep it in place. You could drill from underneith if you really wanted, but I didn't think it was worth the extra hastle.

Now just place the last bit ontop and you're done (for this section anyway).
I am going to revisit this bit at some point, fill in the front panel and then add some self adhesive rubber around the tops for a better fit. It's not really needed, but I'm slightly on the obsessive side!

Step 3: Drill Those Holes!

I drilled holes into the back to allow speaker/power cables etc to be threaded out. Just get yourself a few plastic "Desk Grommets" from ebay and a hole cutting set for your drill and you should be fine. The hole cutter was slightly to big for my grommets, so I just glued them to the back in the end.

I also added a large rectangular one to the front for the mixer and think I'm going to add a few smaller ones for the turntables on either side as it gets a bit crowded. Cutting a rectangular hole is easy if you have a dremel and a disc cutter, but I wouldn't fancy doing it by hand...

Step 4: Put It All Together

Finally I attached the top to the EXPEDIT by adding some brackets on the overhang at the back, then took off the front panel and drilled two of the large screw through the table into the base. Once the front is placed back on you can't see the screws and it seems to have enough stability for a couple of decks and mixer etc, but I wouldn't move it about by lifting the table!

Step 5: Finished!!!

Now the only thing left to do is set everything up and get all your friends around for a massive party!
If you're worried about the box distorting the sound from your speakers etc, it hasn't been causing me any issues so far, but if it does you could always throw some foam or carpet in there!