Hackers Help officedesk

Published on June 28th, 2014 | by Ash


Hackers Help: How to Create a Long Office Desk with Filing Cabinets



I would like to build a 10ft long desk using 2 Ikea table tops. The ends of the table would be attached to adjustable legs, and the middle of the table would have 2 filing cabinets underneath.

Possible items: Erik Cabinet, Galant Table Legs, LINNMON table to, Malm Cabinet

Before doing this project, I had two specific questions on the build:

1) How would I secure the table top to the filing cabinet? If the cabinet is wood, should I screw from the underside of the cabinet going upwards, leaving the top smooth. If the cabinet is metal, should I use glue?

2) How should I secure both table tops together? Should I glue the sides together? Is there a better method?

I’ve attached a picture of the hack I found on Ikeahackers.net that I wish to emulate.


White Glass Dry Eraser Board for $28
APA Park, Model Railway in an APA Box

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".

11 Responses to Hackers Help: How to Create a Long Office Desk with Filing Cabinets

  1. Sidney Griffin says:

    If the filing cabinet were either wood or metal, I would pre-drill and screw up through the filing cabinet into the bottom of the table top. Our office workstations are made this way. It helps to have someone pushing down or sitting on the table top to make sure the top seats tightly on top of the filing cabinet. Do a test fit first to check the table top height. Our workstations are a tiny bit too tall for good ergonomics, but adjustable chairs help to compensate.

    For attaching two table tops together, I can think of a few options, but do they need to be attached? Can the two desks just float next to each other? If they need to be attached, here’s what I can think of:
    1. Use pocket screws on the underside of the table top before attaching to the cabinets.
    2. Screw the filing cabinets together from the inside.
    3. Use woodworking biscuits or dowels drilled into the facing edges of the table top and glue them together.
    4. If the table top will have an overhang, screw a metal strap to the underside of the overhang and to the back of the table top.

  2. Wehaf says:

    Correction: we have the ALEX cabinets.

  3. Wehaf says:

    I have a similar setup to what you want – three LINNMON file cabinets, and two glass VIKA tabletops (no longer on the website, but similar to GLASHOLM). The whole thing is just shy of 10 feet long and works really well as a two-person workspace. We laid small clear rubber bumper feet on top of the cabinets, and just laid the glass tabletops right on top. The rubber feet keep everything sturdily in place, even when I lean back in my chair and rest my feet on my desk. We didn’t attach the tabletops to each other – they are just laid side by side.

  4. Cheryl Huckel says:

    I made a similar setup and I just put the non slip foam matting on top of the filing cabinets to stop the table tops moving. I didn’t join the table tops together either as they don’t move. It makes it easier to shift it as well.

  5. debra says:

    Hi Ash. I have built several desks using ADILS legs, which are right now ridiculously cheap on sale. If they are the right height for you, you can save a lot of money. ;-) They attach the same way as the GALANT legs. Use big screws.

    You do not need to anchor the table top to the MALM or ERIC cabinets, and I recommend against it. It is MUCH better if you can easily disassemble and move the desk around. You also do not need to attach the two tops together. If you start gluing and screwing everything together you end up with one huge piece you can’t move.

    The weight of the top will make the table stable enough, especially if it’s against the wall. Even for a sewing machine or art projects–gravity makes everything want to go “down.” My cats are always jumping on my desk when I’m working, and nothing moves!

    I stuck two small felt “bumper feet” on the wall-side edge of the table top so it doesn’t scratch the paint (and also, many walls aren’t perfectly flat).

    If you need a little more height for the top (if your cabinets are shorter than the legs you choose) just add a couple of blocks of wood on the top of the cabinet.

    This really does work just by weight. I love my setup and I bet you will too, good luck!

  6. dianejwright says:

    Try using countertop instead (found in the kitchen dept). Then you can either add short legs above the filing cabinets or secure them directly with screws.

  7. Lala says:

    Instead of using two table tops, have you considered using an IKEA countertop? They come in 10ft sections so you wouldn’t have a seam in the middle. That is what I used for my office, but at 8ft and using IKEA kitchen cabinets as the base. The countertop is heavy enough that it didn’t need to be fastened to the cabinets. 5 years later we’ve had no problems with the top shifting.

  8. Susanne says:

    I suggest Kitchen countertops, length half of the Table if you buy them at Ikea. Connected with the kitchen countertop connectors. The cabinets screwed like you suggested in you question from underneath.
    If you use a top material, that cannot be screwed, try to find a very good construction adhesive.- I hope the term is the right translation. But you must have in mind then, that you will not be able to separate the top from the cabinet again.

  9. taylorsaysso says:

    I would avoid gluing IKEA components together. You may need glue for a couple of other pieces, however.

    To start with, the pieces you spec’d have several height mismatches: The GALANT legs have a minimum height of 23-5/8″; MALM is 21-5/8″; and ERIK is 22-1/2″. So you are going to need to shim over the top of the MALM and ERIK pieces for a level surface. Whatever you decide to use to shim the pieces can be affixed with a strong household adhesive, like Liquid Nails Projects adhesive, and then secured with screws or nails; pre-drill all your holes to avoid cracking your table surface. Before mounting your spacer/shims, place “T nuts” in them so you can thread bolts through the base furniture (ERIK and MALM) to the shims to secure them together. THis way you minimize you can keep the table surface smooth an blemish free, and preserve the ability to disassemble the table for moving or future modification.

  10. Twiz says:

    My suggestion would be to cut a piece of the Variera drawer mat to fit under the table top and on top of the cabinet. It’s rubber and will grip both sides and keep them from sliding, especially if there is some additional weight on the top of the desk. No damage to the top or cabinet and no special skills required. You could even use some under the cabinets to protect a hard floor surface.

    Try living with that for a few days and if it’s sliding around I would suggest securing the top to the cabinet on the back with a flat corner brace and the cabinets to each other using a couple of small mending plates.

  11. ThatNolanKid ThatNolanKid says:

    This is all very simple if it’s wood. First make sure that the cabinet will be flush in height with the underside of the table top. Use L brackets to secure the cabinets to the underside of the table top to the back of the cabinet (screw under table first then push cabinet into place and finish off. THEN, connect desks with a straight bracket, or push together both desks together.

    If it’s metal, I’d still use the L brackets but drill the holes and use a screw or bolt going from the top down to the underside. Try to be as flush as possible so it doesn’t scratch the top of the cabinet.

    They should be sturdy with the one side legged and the other side held with the support of the cabinet.

    The cabinet used in the picture is the Micke, btw. It’s very good too; I own one.

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