I needed a small table to put my printer in and a piece of artwork on.
Naturally a trip to Ikea was in order.
We went and purchased the RAST bedside table but it was not wide enough so I decided to hack it.
Please keep in mind this hack is to widen the table by a total of 80mm. I would not recommend going any wider that a total of 100mm as the screws holding them together will not be able to take much weight.
If you are not familiar with any of the tools listed below I highly recommend looking up how to use them on youtube.
The materials you will need for this hack are as follows:
At least 550mm length of 18mm section straight extruded copper pipe (hardware store should have it) – refer to step 1 to establish the total length you need of pipe, this length is for widening the table by a total of 80mm.
12 x 14G 100mm long bugle head screws (gold passivated or galvanized is fine – again hardware store should have them)
The tools you will require are as follows:
Copper pipe cutter (make sure it can go up to 18mm section pipe) – do not use a saw for this, it is too inaccurate
Alan key fittings or Phillips head fittings relevant to the screws you purchased
A Spirit Level
30cm Metal Ruler or tape measure
Step 1 Measure and Cut Copper Pipe
Establish how much you would like to widen the table in total. Then divide this number by 2. In my case and for the purpose of this article the total width I wanted to widen the table by was 80mm. So we are left with 40mm.
You now need to measure and cut 12 x 40mm lengths of copper pipe.
The first thing you need to do is to make sure that the end of the copper pipe is nice and flat. To do this cut a small piece off with the pipe cutter about 10mm long.
Then you will need to measure 40mm and mark it with the pocket knife (be careful to not cut yourself)
Then line up the blade on the pipe cutter with your mark and make your cut.
Repeat this until you have 12 equal length pieces of pipe. If you measure accurately and cut to your marks the pipe cutter is very accurate.
Once you have made your cuts you will notice that the ends of the pipe will have a slight burr on them. Take the iron file and file the burr down a bit. It should only take a few seconds to file it down, no need to go overboard.
Step 2 Assembly (you may need 2 people for this)
For this you will need a flat level surface. I personally used my kitchen table. Use your spirit level to make sure that the surface is indeed flat and level.
Take the top section of the table and have it so that the 3 pre drilled holes are facing outwards and hanging over the edge of the table by about 10mm or so.
Take one of the side sections and put the 3 screws through top holes. You will need to put these through enough so that the copper pipe lengths will go over the screws and the screws will have a few mm sticking out. Place 1 length of cut copper pipe over each of the screws.
Now line up the screws with the holes in the top section that is flat on the table and insert the screws in the holes and screw in with your hand. You should not need the drill at this point. Screw all 3 in as far as they will go using your hand.
Once you have done that take the drill with the relevant fitting and drill the screws in until there is about a 10mm gap between the head of the screw and the surface of the side panel. You want the screw to be securely in but not tight at this point.
Turn the top piece that will now have one of the sides attached around so the other side of the top of the table is now hanging over the edge and repeat the process so you will now have two sides loosely attached to the top piece.
Now place the partially assembled table on your working surface so the top of the table is closest to the ceiling (ie the right way up)
Now you will need to get the lower flat section of the table. This is where you may need an extra set of hands.
Again insert the screws into the lower part of one of the side sections of the table enough so the copper pipe lengths will go over the screws and the screws will have a few mm sticker out. Now place 1 length of copper pipe over each of the screws.
With one hand (or get your helper to) hold up the lower flat section of the table and line up the holes with the screws.
Again finger tighten them into the holes then take the drill and screw them in so there is about a 10mm gap between the head of the screw and the surface of the side panel.
Repeat this process on the other side.
Step 3 Tightening and Finishing
You should now have a loosely assembled version of what the finished product will look like.
Starting at the top you will now need to tighten the screws. With one hand push the copper pipe up against the body of the screw and with the other hand drill in one of the outside screws so its now tight.
Next do the middle screw. You might find that the copper pipe has tightened and you won’t be able to push it up against the body of the screw. If that is the case loosen the outside screw half a turn and it will allow you to push up the middle copper pipe.
Now drill the middle screw in tight. Also drill in the outside screw you started with if you loosened it.
Now drill the other outside screw in tight.
Turn it around the do the other side of the top.
Now do the same steps for the lower section and you will be complete.
As you go you may find you need to slightly loosen the screws to make sure the copper pipes are nice and even.
Now you are done! It should look like the picture. All told cutting the pipe and assembling this took me about an hour. As long as you are familiar with the tools you are using you should be find and this will be quite simple. As above if you are not familiar with this sort of thing there are heaps of youtube tutorials on each of the tools.