Materials: Besta Shelf unit/height extension units. 1 single and 1 double.
In need of a mid century modern style media center to match the rest of my home but at a price that was reasonable, I created a unit using 2 Ikea Besta height extension units.
I started off with a single unit and a double unit and connected them together using the same hardware that is used in the Akurum kitchen cabinets together (I had some left over from the kitchen but it can be obtained for free from the hardware cabinet at your local Ikea).
I also used heavy duty glue as an extra bonding agent between them.
Once connected I bought some unfinished sheets of stain ready aspen wood, enough to cover the top, sides, bottom of the Besta cabinets and some additional trim and support. I measured and cut the wood to exactly flush cover the outside perimeter of the cabinets but leaving extra overhang on the face and rear of the piece. Once I had the wood cut, I roughed the exterior of the Besta cabinets that would be covered and applied glue and then placed on the cover pieces one at a time. Once a cover piece was in place I inserted the proper length screws from the inside of the cabinet outward to also secure the wood in place and to avoid having any hardware show from the outside. The exception is that on the bottom of the piece I put the screws in from the outside since they are not visible. It is imperative to drill pilot holes for any and all screws you put into an Ikea cabinet. I repeated this step with the top, sides and bottom. Once completed I measured and centered a smaller piece of aspen, about 2/3s the size in area, on the bottom of the cabinet to correspond with the position I wanted the legs.
I used glue and screws to again secure. This provides extra support in the center of the cabinet and allows for longer screws to be used to mount the legs. Once this was done I took some old pencil legs and angled mounting plates that I found on a trashed piece of furniture. I cut them a little shorter, being cautious to keep them even and to angle cuts to correspond with the angled mounting brackets. I then secured brackets and pencil legs into place. At this point I took the unit outside and sanded it first with a 150 grit sand paper, then a second sanding with a 220 grit. I tape and papered off all the white Besta cabinet that was showing, front and back, to protect from stain and spray. I cleaned the wood with alcohol to remove any dirt and grease, then treated the exposed wood with a pre stain conditioner. Once dried I applied a light coat of “Special Walnut” stain, then went over it to highlight the grain with a “Dark Walnut”. Once this was dry I sprayed the wood with a semi gloss aerosol lacquer. Once all was dry I then drilled 4″ holes in the top center of each segment through the back cover for cords and wires. The extra wood overhang on the back is excellent for tacking down wires so none hang. This was my hack. It took me 3 days.
~ Rick Turner