Media Storage DSC00097

Published on November 29th, 2007 | by Jules Yap


malm media unit with flip down doors

linus from sweden modifies a malm drawer unit for his media paraphernalia.

linus says, “this is a modification i did to a malm about a year ago. basically the idea was to be able to hide my receiver and DVD-player as i really didn’t want to see them. i can still use the remote control since i have an infrared extender with one end in the former drawer and the other outside.
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once i had unpacked it and figured out how it was supposed to be assembled i started modifying it. shelves were made from spare shelves from an ikea wardrobe. by using them as raw material i could save the finishing on the outer side so that the shelves would also look like oak. cutting them was done using an electric jigsaw. my entire apartment was filled with sawdust as ikea particle board shelves more or less fall apart when sawing through them.

the shelves were fitted in the ‘housing’ using plugs – this way i can actually disassemble the malm and convert it to a standard one, if needed.
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next came the most tricky part: the hinges. the hinges used are the same type that are used for kitchen cupboards when you want to get a flat surface. to get the positions right, i built a dummy from spare parts, just to be see where the holes should be. drilling the 36 mm holes where the hinges folds down into was tricky as they partly covered the track in the front normally used for the bottom of the drawer. i used a hand held drill, it would have been way more steady with a proper rig.

the result was not perfect, the holes are slightly out of place, but by using the built in adjusting screws in the hinges you can’t tell that they are not level.

as expected, the hinges could not take the horizontal load. they are designed for vertical use, so when i or some friend accidentally opened the doors too hard or placed something on top of them you can hear the screw trying to pull out of the particle board (which is not exactly good to screw things to from the beginning). so i had to add the chains to ensure disaster is avoided.

total build time for this project was about 20 hours, with the help of one friend. planning the project and figuring out how to fit the hinges took at least at much time. in the end i’m very happy with the result!”

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The Author

Jules Yap

"I am Jules, the engine behind IKEAHackers and the one who keeps this site up and running. My mission is to capture all the wonderful, inspiring, clever hacks and ideas for our much loved IKEA items".

4 Responses to malm media unit with flip down doors

  1. Linus says:

    Hi, the Malm doesn’t have a back side – this way I have plenty of space for cables and a smaller problem with the heat than otherwize. But still, your right, it gets quite hot in there.

    About sliding shelves that shouldn’t be a problem, the shelves have no supporting structural function, so just using sliders instead should be no problem…

    Btw, now I’ve realized I would have wanted a different layout on the inside of the Malm, you see the big bloody center speaker on top of the Malm? If I would have made three shelves instead of two, and also not made the full width, I could have had a space for that speaker to the inside of the flip-fronts (if you see what I mean). Don’t know how bad this would have been for sound quality though.

  2. Mymac4ever says:

    shares: I don’t think that should be a problem. I’m not sure if you can use the drawersliders that come with the Malm but Ikea has others that work perfectly for use with a sliding shelf instead of a drawer.

  3. shares says:

    Pretty cool! I like how it is a dresser in disguise, especially if it’s kept in a bedroom. I wonder how hard it would be to add a sliding shelf so that you can pull out the electronics once the drawer front is open.

  4. Mymac4ever says:

    This is a great hack, I’ve been thinking of doing something similar for my stereo for a long time but haven’t really figured out how. I may see a problem with it though – heat. If you use it while the doors are closed it probably gets pretty hot inside the cabinet and amps, atlest my own should have a lot of space around them.

    Have you thought of any way to vent out this heat, like holes in the back or holes in the shelves or even in the sides?

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