Saturday, January 14, 2012

Project: Expedit with legs / Cost: $$$$

Guess who finally has a camera again?!

Yes, as it turns out it's rather difficult to blog about home projects when you drop your camera on the ground mid-photograph, bending the lens beyond all repair. Stupid gravity!

Anyway, a new camera has been acquired and, now that I finally have some free time again, I'm back and ready to post some of the projects I've worked on over the past few months.

Good old reliable Expedit. Why don't you have leg accessories?
First up, a quick but effective Ikea hack. I'm in the process of leveling up my bedroom from the current college-student-style mess of mismatched cheap furniture to something not much more expensive, but significantly better looking. Most of what I'm using is from the Ikea Hemnes family, which is a lovely line that unfortunately is completely devoid of anything that can hold Kassett magazine boxes, of which I have and use many.

What to do? The best option was an Expedit unit, but without legs it didn't match the rest of the furniture.

Because Expedits are reasonably cheap, I decided it was worth trying an experiment. I would pick up some legs, and then force them to attach to the Expedit in some way or another, presumably through brute force or coercion.

So an Expedit came home with me, as did two sets of Besta legs. At $10 a pair, the legs were a bit more than I wanted to spend, but if I could get them to work they would look perfect.

Behold! Overly expensive legs, in all their glory.
Expedits are predominantly that weird wood chip mulch Ikea is so fond of, so I figured it wouldn't be too tricky to drill leg holes into the unit. Of course, that requires having a working drill, now doesn't it? Wouldn't you know it, I had the drill, but the drill bits, on the other hand, were AWOL.

I guess I could have waited until the next day, gone to a hardware store, picked up drill bits, brought them home, and then drilled the appropriate-sized holes (FYI: you want to drill the holes just slightly smaller than the width of the metal screws that attach the Besta legs), but I wanted this thing done immediately. My patience, at this point, had completely evaporated, so I instead decided to stab out holes using a screwdriver and a hammer. I'm happy to say this is a legitimate option if you don't have a drill. If you have a drill, though, do yourself and your sanity a favour and put in the holes the right way. You'll save an obscene amount of time that way.

An important thing I should note is that, when placing the holes for the legs, you must be sure to avoid drilling/stabbing your way into the huge screws that hold the Expedit together. If you match the legs up exactly with the corners of the unit, you'll end up hitting these screws when you drill your leg holes. As such, it's better to line them up just a little off to the side. They'll still look right, and you'll actually be able to attach them that way.

Once you put in the leg holes, you only have about 5 more minutes of work to do to screw in the Besta legs. It's stupid easy at that point. Just follow the directions that come with the legs and you're all good.

Look! You'd never guess I had to stab this thing with a screwdriver to get it together!
Overall, I'm happy with it. Does it match the Hemnes furniture more this way? Yup. Do I wish I'd had the drill bits? Heck yeah. Was it okay without them. Yeah, I suppose so. Would I do it that way again? Um... NO!
Still decent-looking from the side
Close up on the leg. It actually looks like it belongs there. Fancy that.

Final project cost to me: $100
Time to complete project: About an hour and a half (if you include putting the Expedit together and my bootleg drilling solution. Give yourself about 10 minutes if you already have an existing Expedit and a proper drill setup)