Hackers Help oxberg-door

Published on July 18th, 2014 | by Lovelygirl


Hackers Help: Can new Billy doors fit old Billy frame?



Just discovered today that Billy’s doors are all discontinued in the UK. We wanted 10 white, glass Olsbos but not available.

A new Billy and new doors are scheduled to be in the UK in August (2014) – BUT !! the new doors will not fit on old Billy shelves. Couldn’t get the Customer Services Assistant to say why, only that the surface is shinier and some bits are more rounded. The new doors – called Oxberg look pretty similar to the old Olsbo and are the same dimensions.

Has anyone hacked them on to the old shelves? If so how? Or have you hacked other glass doors on to Billy?

Many thanks


Pipe Table& Pipe Shelves
Farmhouse Coffee Table

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28 Responses to Hackers Help: Can new Billy doors fit old Billy frame?

  1. Eric says:

    I found myself in the same situation, using newer Oxberg on an older Billy. I am glad I found your post, but I have look everywhere on Ikea there is no warning about the incompatibility… Not that great customer service for once.

  2. Sad In Sydney says:

    Augh, Just bought a white billy and white glass/panel Oxberg doors from IKEA on 9 August, 2016 and ran into this problem. Why exactly are they selling a billy with holes that don’t match the doors, literally a few shelf locations away from each other? On top of that, to add insult to injury, the white Billy which should have been $69 was $75. *AND* it was missing the cams (all 16 of them) used to mount the repositionable shelves. #IKEAFAIL the night before I had guests over, should have known better than to attempt even an easy build at 10pm when I needed my place looking nice the next morning.

    I specifically want the full height Oxberg doors that have the solid panel down the bottom but glass on top, because some books I want to display and some I want to keep safe from the Australian sun.

    What I did: affixed just the top and bottom hinges, and left the middle hinge for which the billy’s bracket holes are too high in relation to where they are on the door, unattached. Seeking advice from the gurus as to whether that will cause any longterm problem.

    I’ve built 8 Billy’s, though none recently, and can practically do it with my eyes shut. It was thus quite the surprise to hang a door, and see the hinge on the door in one place and the bracket on the billy in another, and no way to move the bracket to fit the door hinge. Never seen a mismatch like that before.

    I wish IKEA had warned me that the two don’t necessarily line up at the mid-point.

  3. Ym says:

    Thank you everyone for sharing the tips and measurements.

  4. Mindo says:

    Thank you so much for the measurements. They just fit perfectly and I didn’t have to buy a new Billy.

  5. David says:

    Can some one tell me is the screw holes on the new doors larger then the original. Is there any where to get the larger size screws, I need 18 off screws for three doors. They appear to be the same size as the bracket that screw onto the carcasses.

  6. Jeff says:

    We just installed the Oxberg doors on two older style Billy bookshelves and they look great! After putting it off for about 3 months, my wife finally made me do it. In the end, it really wasn’t that hard and I am by no means a “handyman”.

    We picked up the orange drill template from the kitchen section (why it wasn’t just in the Marketplace is beyond me). It made drilling the holes really easy.

    1. Put the hinges on the doors and attach to anchor/bracket that screws to bookshelf
    2. Apply template to bookcase and then hold the door up in the desired position. This will show you which holes (rows) you need to line up with. Remove door, mark desired hole location using the template.
    3. Use 7/64 drill bit to drill the holes about half way into the side panel (careful not to go through – you get some resistance about half way so I never felt I was about to go through)
    4. Attach bracket to bookcase
    5. Attach door
    6. Attach knobs (optional)

    We put our doors only on the bottom half of the bookshelves. In that bottom half, we have two shelves. One is in the 6th hole down from the top, the other is in the 2nd hole from the bottom. Using the template and resting it on the top shelf, the holes we needed were in rows 2 and 4 from the top. For the bottom, we had to remove the shelf and then rested the template on the bottom of the bookcase and then needed holes in rows 4 and 6 from the bottom.

    Hope this helps! You don’t need to replace your bookshelves!


  7. Irma Latif says:

    If this helps anyone:

    I had old set of billy book case with old style holes.Bought the new oxberg doors and extra shelves with new type smaller pins. To solve my problems:

    If you are not keen on using the drill for fear of boring a hole too big or too deep, you can use my method. Use the measurements given in the posts above.

    1) Find a sharp ended screw that is slightly the same size or bigger than that came with the doors.
    2) Measure accordingly like the posts above.
    3) Hammer once or twice to get the sharp ended screw into the marked position.
    4) Once in, just screw it just enought so that it makes a hole (probably about 3-4 turns of the screw)
    5) Then remove the sharp ended screw (just reverse the turn all the way out)
    6) Position the new hinge holder and use the new set of screws into the new hole
    Might be a little tight, but be persistant and screw all the way in.

    Secondly, the shelf pins for new billy set is smaller and the old shelf has bigger holes. You can do 2 things.
    1) You can buy the old type of shelf pins here http://www.swedishfurnitureparts.com/products/shelf-pins-121762
    2) Or use my cheapskate option:
    I cut out a piece of masking tape about 1cm x 4.7cm and wrap them around the thinner new shelf pin part that goes into the bigger old hole. I know it looks kind of flimsy, but once you’ve got all 4 wrapped and plugged in, put the shelf atop… it is a perfect and sturdy fit.

    Good luck.

  8. Elizabeth says:

    Hi there,
    thanks very much for the info about the measurements. I bought 3 second hand Billys and then 2 Oxberg doors only to realise this problem once I tried to fit the doors..I am not very experienced with DIY and wondered what advice anyone might have about drilling into the sides to make new holes – e.g. any risk of the wood splitting?
    Thank you!

  9. Elizabeth says:

    Thanks for everyone’s advice especially the measurements for drilling new holes. We bought 3 white Billy bookcases secondhand and then bought 2 Oxberg doors and I just realised yesterday that they don’t work with the old bookcases /-: I am new to DIY and wondered if anyone has any advice about what to look out for when drilling holes into the bookcases – could the wood split, for example?

  10. Alexis Kasperavicius says:

    IKEA offers a drilling template that shows where to drill the holes. It’s available in the US and EU sites and is the same stock number, just put 901.017.78 in the search box at the top of the page. You can find in lurking in the marketplace. It’s orange.

  11. David C. says:

    I just got a “new Billy” unit and two sets of Oxberg doors. Here’s what I discovered:

    1: The new Billy uses narrower diameter holes for the shelf pins. This means if you buy extra shelves for an old Billy unit, you’ll need to buy pins from somewhere else. If you want to put original Billy shelves on a new Billy unit, you’ll need new pins or you’ll need to drill the holes wider to accommodate the original pins.

    1a: I don’t know if you can buy just the shelf-pins for a new Billy. The shelves themselves appear to have the same dimensions, so I’m hopeful.

    2: The Oxberg doors appear to be the same dimensions as the Olsbo doors. The finish is different and the position of the hinges is different.

    2a. This means that if you want to pit Oxberg doors on an original Billy unit, you’ll need to drill new holes for the hinges. My measurements are that the upper hinge should have holes about 2.5″ and 3.75″ from the underside of the top shelf. The middle hinge is 2.5″ and 3.75″ from the underside of the middle fixed shelf. The lower hinge is 3″ and 3.25″ from the top edge of the bottom shelf.

    These numbers are not 100% precise (I think I’m off by about 1/16″), but the hinge units have wide holes, so they can be adjusted by about 1/4″. Expect to make adjustments when hanging the doors.

    Personally, although I don’t like the idea of drilling holes, the Oxberg doors are a better design. The new hinge positions mean the hinges don’t consume space where you might want to put actual shelves, which was a problem for me using the Olsbo doors.

    3: The finishes have changed. The new Billys seem a bit less polished than the originals. I don’t think it will bother me, but there is a noticeable difference.

    Overall, I think the new Billy and its doors are a better design than the original version, but it is really inconvenient when you’ve got a room full of original Billys and now want to add doors to them. And if you’ve got some extra shelves that you might want to put on a new Billy unit.

  12. SteveK says:

    I installed new Oxberg doors (802.755.71) onto my old Billy bookcases (600.717.87) this weekend. Here’s what I used for the measurements of the holes:

    Holes: use 1/8″ (or less) drill bit, drilling 1/2″ deep

    Holes should be 1 1/2″ from the front edge (lining up with the exist shelf peg holes).

    Top hole is 2 5/8″ from top, inside edge. The next hole is 1 1/4″ down from the top hole.
    Bottom hole is 2 7/8″ from bottom inside edge. The next hole is 1 1/4″ up from the bottom hole.

    Good luck!

    • acadia says:

      Thanks for posting dimensions! Super helpful!

    • Phil says:

      Thanks for posting the dimensions. We just used them and the doors look great! The measurements were perfect.

    • Panos says:

      I can also vouch for the measurements! For anyone else also using the metric system (rounded to 1 decimal place):

      Holes: use 3mm (or less) drill bit, drilling 1.3cm deep

      Holes should be 3.8cm from the front edge (lining up with the exist shelf peg holes).

      Top hole is 6.7cm from top, inside edge. The next hole is 3.2cm down from the top hole.
      Bottom hole is 7.3cm from bottom inside edge. The next hole is 3.2cm up from the bottom hole

      • Barbara says:

        Thank you so much, we bought 2 billy bookcases in july and the oxberg doors yesterday in Dublin , thought we were going mad looking for missing holes – great sunday afternoon ahead!!!! Rang Ikea wanted us to deconstruct original bookcases and return with bank statement – think they should let people know.

      • Nikos says:

        Thanks! Worked great!

      • antoine says:

        Thank you very much. Worked perfectly.

    • kamion says:

      Thanks for the measurements. They are exact. Just done 4 doors.

      One point is that the “middle” door hinge uses the same measurements as the “Top hole”, but measured from underneath the fixed middle shelf.

    • Ckirsch says:

      Wowie! Can’t thank you enough for the measurements. They were perfect! Easiest hack I’ve ever done.

  13. Oisin Dunne says:

    I bought the new doors yesterday for the old billy’s and it was quite easy to install them once I laid the bookcase flat on the ground and used a small drill bit. With 2 people, you could do it on the cases while standing up. In all, I did 5 doors in about 2 hours. I was a bit fiddley but I needed them on the discontinued extra deep shelves. The wieght is no problem and the doors hang very well. Usual issue with adjusting so that they meet in the middle. Only issue with the new doors is that they seem to be less finished than the bookshelf. The finish is rough compared to the side finish if the Billy case. Another trip to Ikea is needed to confrim that this is the new design or if I just have a bad batch of 5.

    • Don Kinghan says:

      Hello. We bought whole Billy set in June/ July. Then bought an extra 3 waist high book shelves and found the old doors out of stock. We just bought the Oxbergs yesterday (Belfast) only to notice the hinge holes in the doors dont match the case. Will have to drill new ones to suit. Also noticed as you have said that the doors are slightly rougher than the old ones. As if they have applied one or two less coats of sealer/ finish etc. At the time we bought the book cases we were given the new order code for the Oxberg replacements and told to check on line for when they arrived which is what we did. They didnt mention they wouldnt be an exact replacement.

  14. Lovelygirl says:

    Many thanks everyone. Still not sure what to do. Might buy whole new set of Billy and consign old shelves to the workshop…

  15. Amber says:

    Has anyone made this work? Tips?

  16. Julian-Felix says:

    in IKEA in Denmark, I found this one to mark the new holes. It works.


  17. Alfaikea says:

    My concern is not to achieve good holes but that new doors have the same weight as the old ones. Might otherwise strain the hinges.

    • EofS says:

      Ikea publish the weight of everything they sell and the new doors appear to be lighter. Comparing the half-height panel door the old one had a package weight of 3.3kg, the new of 3.1kg. Unless the old one has a lot of extraneous packing material adding several hundred grams (and this is Ikea, so I highly doubt that!) the new door must be lighter. Double height glass, it’s 9.2kg for the old, 7.3kg for the new.

  18. EofS says:

    In Germany, the Oxberg doors are already on the website.


    (Lucky you want white!)

    Looking at the pdf of assembly instructions (Montageanleitung) they seem to attach in exactly the same way as the Billy doors we attached this weekend. The design is subtly different and they’ve replaced the push openers with a handle (odd step backwards there…) But they appear absolutely to be the standard Ikea hinges. So the only thing that I can think would get in the way is if they’ve changed the spacing of the holes in the new Billy frames.

    (Interestingly, whilst we were told in store in the UK that Billy is being changed, new doors won’t be compatible etc, the German website was saying something along the lines of “same shape, new colours”. It was certainly a different message than we got in store!)

    Good luck! I’ve got my parents driving halfway across the country tomorrow trying to track down one of the remaining oak glass/panel Olsbo doors (we have 3 doors to cover two double bookcases, so that’s a problem…) so I can definitely understand your frustration. Lucky you’re looking for white, seems like you’ll probably be able to make Oxberg fit!

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