Birch & Steel TV Console [IKEA Hacked]




Introduction: Birch & Steel TV Console [IKEA Hacked]

About: Architect, Urban Designer, all-round tinkerer of odds and ends. Small solutions for big city living. Dreaming of lands faraway where garages are big enough to build a workshop in, or lakes are there for taki...

Here's a modular TV console-bench, which I made out of IKEA components, inspired by the trendy wooden-top tables with steel frames that are in all the expensive design shops these days.

As our TV wall is really long, I designed this as 3 separate benches that can be moved around as needed. The middle bench supports the TV, sound-bar and all our media equipment, and the other 2 can become 2-person benches for extra seating.

This Hack uses all IKEA parts, and is super easy to assemble as long as you have access to a table saw at home, or at a workshop.

Step 1: A Sad BEFORE Pic

'nuff said.

Step 2: Materials

3 x IKEA VITTSJO TV console (100x40cm x 33cm ht)

- I like the look and this steel frame, but on it's own it is too small and too insubstantial. The particle board laminate shelf also looked hideous. These were assembled as per instructions, but swopping the positions of the glass top and the laminate shelf.

BIRCH BLOCK BOARD for the Console tops

- I used 1 x IKEA NUMERAR counter top (246x60cm x3.8cm thick) because it was the cheapest solid wood available in town, by far. I got this cut down into 6 pieces, each 50x40cm.

- I used a friend’s tablesaw, and a router to round off the edges. After cutting the 3 pieces I had very little waste left over.

Step 3: Assemble

This part is the easy part!

Position the laminate shelf in the centre of the birch top, with an even margin of birch panels all around. Screw through the laminate shelf to the birch panels. Need 4 screws per panel, and all the hardware is completely hidden.

Just flip this birch top+laminate shelf assembly over, and place it back on top of the VITTSJO frame. The laminate shelf should fit back in perfectly, ‘locking’ the birch top in place. It also creates a lovely ‘floating gap’ detail between the VITTSJO frame and the birch top.

Stain or varnish as desired. I like this as-is, but I might want to stain it a Teak colour to match my other furniture in the future.

Step 4: Cable Management

Wiring up the console: I managed to hide all the cables in a cable management box (KVISSLE, also from IKEA), and with a couple of lengths of black cable management tubing. It turned out surprisingly well, after about an hour of cable wrangling. Look, no cables!

Step 5: Enjoy!

Grab a beer and enjoy some TV!

Since this is a 3-module console, and only the centre module is ‘wired up’, I am able to move the 2 side modules around as desired as extra bench seating when I have more people over. The frame has a slight sway to it, but with the birch top to distribute the load evenly, it definitely is strong enough to hold 2 people per bench.


- ucn, Singapore



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    9 Discussions

    Nice clean modern touch, looks very wow! :)

    Curious as to how you did the Calvin wall art, did you change it to a vector drawing and then print?

    5 replies

    Thanks, petercd! I just scanned in the comic strip at high resolution from one of our favourite Calvin books, then resized it and adjusted the contrast, etc in Photoshop. Printed it out to wrap around some cheap but sturdy frames I found.

    Okay, so quite doable, I thought maybe you went the hi-tech graphics or vinyl plotter route.

    Yup, easy as long as the original graphics are high resolution enough. Any artifacts from the re-sizing can be smoothed out using a noise filter and converting everything to 100% black or white to get crisp sharp outlines. Using a web image, or scanning a halftone colour graphic from a magazine, for instance, would not work so well.

    Interesting, thanks for the explanation, sounds like an instructable in there. :)

    Totally enjoyed!
    That's an awesome IKEA furniture assembly hack, you've done there :)

    Thanks, this particular C&H strip was just begging to be placed next to the TV. :)