A shelf unit from stacked IKEA “Nissafors” utility carts

New 10Oct2022. Updated 13Oct2022. This note belongs to the HOBBY group.

It is possible to buy all kinds of shelves to put into a wardrobe with sliding doors. However, when it comes to needing a small footprint for a hidden skyscraper of a shelf, the very nice IKEA “Nissafors” rolling table is close to being perfect as a base. For more than the base. Ebba Strandmark did the design for IKEA. It’s seen here.

Fig.1 “Nissafors” design by Ebba Strandmark for IKEA, hack by Øyvind Teig, Trondheim (2022)

The goal is to be able to stack racks on top of each other, to end up with a permanently installed, very thin shelf unit.  First you have to build the IKEA units. Then perhaps, in some way relate to this list, which happens to point to the numbered photos as well:

  1. First I had to remove the casters of all the units. I then cut the steel bases off the casters, to use as placeholders on top of all those racks that were going to have another rack on top of it. So, not on the topmost. More in point 4. Goodbye nice casters! However, the topmost stack’s casters survived
  2. I then made a tool guide in aluminium with an accurately centred 7.0 mm hole, exactly where the holes for the casters are
  3. I used this guide to drill the holes on the right places
  4. I then took some brass pins and bent them into the slot of the steel studs. This way they won’t disappear into the legs or frame..
  5. ..and placed them into the holes of the lower part. The original steel belts aren’t wide enough to make the stems stop since they are only meant for the casters not to fall out when the table is being lifted
  6. See how they look underneath the upper part. They will in the end join and hold the racks together, sitting half in the upper part and half in the lower. I was impressed with how sturdy the full rack turned out to be
  7. For these units to be stackable in practice, the bottom shelf of any “upper” rack needs to be moved up. A very thin compartment with four sides isn’t very usable. I therefore had to find my tap & die set to make  the new 4.0 – 4.5 mm fastening holes also threaded, with a 5.0 mm tap. For each leg I reused one of the holes, and made only one threaded new. This is the reason why I chose to move the two-holes-per-leg bottom shelf up and not the single-hole-per-leg top shelf down
  8. This is the starting point of the point above
  9. Two of them stacked on top of each other. You may notice the red stepladder going up from my basement. I can easily remove it when I need to “upload” larger stuff through the cellar opening. See next blog note for a photo Office desk, shelves and folding doors
  10. More detail
  11. The two skyscrapers. Both have been built from three IKEA “Nissafors”, but one of them is shorter, there a top rack was shortened
  12. The largest shelf unit one in place, behind sliding doors. I made a fitting to fasten the top one. It was not necessary to do that for the two lower. Since we didn’t think a child would thing of this construction as a (step)ladder! The other unit is hidden behind the folding doors of the next blog note (link above)

IKEA hack

This is my second “IKEA hack”: #ikeahack. See: IKEA Hackers. The previous: My IKEA “Alex” desk’s new table top.

Norwegian: hylle av tre IKEA “Nissafors” trillebord (her) oppå hverandre