Published on April 22nd, 2012 | by Jules Yap


There’s more to Benno than meets the eye

Materials: Ikea “Benno” racks & “Dioder” LEDs

Description: I fixed six-and-a-half DVD-racks together in such a way that two of them – screwed to one another as a unit, can be moved to reveal the hidden contents. By pulling the added handle it turns outward, by a pin and hole pivoting construction : holes in floor and in added topping plate, pins in corner below and above both jointed racks.

As you are looking at the ugly backside of the pivoting racks I glued nostalgic black&white cardboard pictures of some Paris quarter to it. In the extending topping plate I made 3 holes to insert the LEDs, illuminating the contents of the racks.

Not visible on the topping plate are two more LEDs, illuminating the plants on top of the racks. It took me a couple of hours to get it right, but it works perfectly. If closed, you can’t see that there’s more to the Benno than you would expect.

Look at the photos I made to see what I mean. To make room for my large right stereo speaker I sawed 1 Benno into two halves. One half I fixed with it’s backside to the side of another rack. The other half I use as a cupboard for things like socks.

Updated: 25 April 2012

There were some questions about how I constructed the six Benno racks in such a way that two of them act as a door, by swaying open and to by means of a pin and hole pivoting system.

I took some more pictures and made some drawings in order to make clear how it works. Basically it is a very simple way of making a heavy object pivot. Maybe you have heard of Agamemnon’s castle in Mykene, on the Pelopponesos peninsula (Greece): this (still) has an entrance called “the lion’s gate” which in the very past contained a heavy wooden door that pivoted by means of a pin and hole system.

Hinges would not be able to carry the weight of this door. By the way, I used felt pieces under the swaying racks to make them move effortlessly on the floor. Which happens to be an Ikea “laminaat” floor that is by now almost 20 years old (and still going strong !)

Thank you all for being interested in my hack.

~ han jonkers, Netherlands

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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".

14 Responses to There’s more to Benno than meets the eye

  1. Anonymous says:

    I think I see now how these pins and holes function. Where do you get this type of hardware?


  2. Anonymous says:

    Great idea! I’m thinking the hole in the floor with the pin is the same technique as a swinging door would be in an older home. I have such a door in my home and instead of hinges on the door, there are pins at the top and bottom that are inserted in the floor and top of the door frame.

    • han jonkers says:

      That’s right. It is a very effective way of making heavy objects sway. Mainly doors, but also bookcases and the like. The idea is very old. The ancient Greek e.g. used this pivoting system as long ago as the Trojan war, more than 3000 years ago.

  3. jo says:

    since he’s showing us some fellini, maybe he has some “back to the future” hidden. a masterpiece, but in a different level ;-)

    • han jonkers says:

      Hi Jo ! Thank you for your compliment. As I happen to be a movie-freak I collected lots of movies in the course of time. As well as all sorts of documentaries. That’s why I need a lot of space to store them. And that’s how I got this idea. I love to look at a large array of books and disc-cases. It beats looking at wallpaper. Many more DVD-discs I’ve got stocked in drawers. And you have not seen my collection of books and CD’s yet !

  4. Martijn says:

    Hidden DVD’s … I wonder what they’re about ;)

    • han jonkers says:

      haha…, they (movies as well as documentaries, half of them copies I made on my DVD-R player) are about many subjects, but none are about what I think you think they’re about ! They’re hidden, but not locked up.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Looks great! But…I agree with the above posts: more details are needed of the mechanism used to move these Bennos. Sorry, I can’t picture pins and holes and how they function.


    • han jonkers says:

      I mailed more pictures and drawings to Jules. I hope he will allow these on the site as an extension to my Benno-hack. Probably you’ll then see how it works. You can also contact me on [email protected] when you are interested. I’am Dutch, by the way, but I have no problem reading and writing English.

  6. Anonymous says:

    more details and pictures please..

    • han jonkers says:

      I emailed some more pictures and drawings to Jules, so I hope these will also be admitted on the site, as an extension to my Benno-hack, in order to explain how it works

    • Jules says:

      Your extra pictures and explanation are up. Thanks for the update.

  7. Anonymous says:

    i’d like to see some pictures of the pins and holes if you have them

    • han jonkers says:

      took some more pictures and made drawings. this pin & hole construction is a very simple way to let doors or -in this case – racks sway open and to. moreover: it is invisible, contrary to hinges. I could have used a long piano hinge but I prefer this solution. screwing the pins into the top and bottom of the sideboard at the exact spot demands some accuracy, as does making two small holes to fit in the pins (one in the floor and one in the topping plate). the racks 1,2,3 and 4 should of course be well tightened to a wall or some other fixed object, the topping plate has to be screwed onto the tops of these four racks, to make the construction even more sturdy en secure. you wouldn’t want to see the whole thing topple over.
      hope you can see what I mean.

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