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IKEA Lack Inspired Bookcase

March 17, 2011 |
posted by brookifer86
PDF versionPDF version

Looking for something that's not only cheaper than the big box stores, but sturdier and made from solid wood? Cut out the particle board and veneers from your life with this super easy hack from the popular IKEA Lack bookcase. It retails for $130, but you can build your own for $30 each! I sprayed mine with a metallic chrome finish, but the options really are endless when you build for yourself instead of being limited to the manufacturer's opinions.

IKEA Lack Inspired Bookcase

Handmade from this plan >>

Projects built from this plan. Thank you for submitting brag posts, it's appreciated by all!

Dimensions

Dimensions: 
IKEA Lack Inspired Bookcase
Dimensions: 
72" tall, 39" wide, 11.5" deep

Materials and Tools

Shopping List: 

• 1 - 2 x 12 @ 12'
• 1 - 2 x 12 @ 16'

• 8 L-brackets

2 1/2 inch screws
2 1/2 inch pocket hole screws
wood glue
wood filler
120 grit sandpaper
Tools: 
measuring tape
square
pencil
drill
compound miter saw
sander
level
countersink drill bit

Cut List

Cut List: 

• 2 - 2x12 @ 72" (sides)
• 5 - 2x12 @ 36" (shelves)

Cutting Instructions: 
You can easily get these boards cut down at your Orange or Blue for easy transport. Otherwise, take the boards home and cut with your favorite saw.

General Instructions

Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!

Step 1

IKEA Lack Inspired Bookcase

Build your box by attaching the top and bottom shelf sandwiched between the two sides with 2 1/2" screws. Check for square. I would recommend not using a Kreg Jig™ unless you have the plugs, as you will easily see holes on the undersides of the shelves. Predrill and/or countersink your holes to prevent splitting.

Step 2

IKEA Lack Inspired Bookcase

On your sides, measure up 18" for the center of the first shelf, 36" for the center of the middle shelf, and 54" for the center of the third shelf. Predrill your holes where you've marked on each side, and attach your shelves with 2 1/2" screws. Keep checking for square on each shelf, and level as well. Predrill and/or countersink your holes to prevent splitting.

Step 3

Attach two L-brackets on the bottom wall-side of your shelves for added stability.

Finishing Instructions

Preparation Instructions: 
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth. It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.
Finish Used: 
Paint or stain as desired!

If you have children or pets in your home, it would be wise to secure these to the wall. They are extremely heavy, and would severely injure a small child or pet.

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Ana White's picture

Love the Metallic!

And love the bookcases!  Heck, I love EVERYTHING that you do!  Thank you for taking the time to share your plans!  

posted by Ana White | on Thu, 2011-03-17 21:21
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Secure to the wall

How would you suggest securing these to the wall? Also, a complete beginner's question, but where are the L brackets installed?

posted by traciecook | on Mon, 2011-03-21 13:33
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brookifer86's picture

Safety

The L-brackets are installed after you finish building, on the undersides of your shelves. You only need two per shelf, so place them along the edge of your shelf that butts up against the wall. Basically these will eliminate any "wobbliness" you may have. Technically you can put them anywhere that attaches horizontal shelf to vertical side. You could even do it on the visible top of the shlef and paint over them, then hide them with your books.

As far as securing them to the wall, you may check out some baby-proofing devices. L-brackets may work for this purpose too, but you can never be too safe. These look a lot like "ladders" to little kids, and can invite a lot of climbing or tugging. Which you don't want, because if these fall on them, it would be very damaging. I'm not an expert on baby-proofing or bookcase safety, so you may want to do a web search or ask a worker at your local hardware store

posted by brookifer86 | on Mon, 2011-03-21 13:56

Best way to make the shelves adjustable?

Any suggestions for making the shelves adjustable?

posted by John M (not verified) | on Thu, 2011-03-24 21:41
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hillarylouise's picture

adjustable shelf jig

I would guess that for a unit this big, you probably need to keep one or two shelves fixed for stability purposes. But, for adjustable shelves, I just bought a shelf jig at Woodcraft. I checked both Home Depot and Lowe's first but neither had it. Here's a similar one from Rockler:
http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=5876&rrt=1

The jig is amazing!! And expensive!! $19 for a piece of plastic with a bunch of holes in it spaced exactly an inch apart. I also bought the drill bit that goes with it -- it centers the bit exactly in the middle of the
hole in the jig and stops you from drilling all the way through. I bought the 1/4 inch set, but you have a choice between 1/4 inch or 5 mm. It is super cool and I plan to use it for a lot of projects.

http://friendly-home.net

posted by hillarylouise | on Thu, 2011-03-24 23:09

We used a scrap piece of peg


We used a scrap piece of peg board as a template for all our closet organizers...worked great and best part it was free!

posted by Guest (not verified) | on Fri, 2011-03-25 04:35
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jamigraham's picture

Wood type

I plan on making something modified from this so thank you for the directions and really the concept I've been able to come up with inspired by this!

I'm curious what type of wood you used? I went to Lowes yesterday and was overwhelmed with all the different types of wood there were!

Live, Laugh, and Love...then laugh some more!
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posted by jamigraham | on Tue, 2011-05-10 22:52
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brookifer86's picture

Wood Type

I used pine 2x12's. They're very affordable, and very sturdy.

posted by brookifer86 | on Tue, 2011-05-10 23:12
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jamigraham's picture

Awesome! Thank you!

Awesome! Thank you!

Live, Laugh, and Love...then laugh some more!
Avid-ish blogger you're welcome to subscribe... http://whatthegraham.com
Twitter addict... twitter.com/whatthegraham

posted by jamigraham | on Sat, 2011-05-14 01:28

My husband and I built two

My husband and I built two bookcases very similar to these - we added an extra shelf. I'm a bit envious of your $30 estimate - wood alone cost us $40 per unit and that was before buying screws and the L brackets. We also stained ours so that added in another $15-20 worth of pretreatment and stain and poly. I love my bookcases and they are much sturdier and better looking than the cheap-o Wally World ones they replaced, but just wanted to give others a heads up that depending on prices near you they aren't a super cheap project.

posted by Katelyn (not verified) | on Sun, 2011-05-29 11:39

Wood prices

The orange store sells the 2 x 12 x 12 yellow pine for $10 board. See model # 749869

2 x 12 x 16 for 13.67 see model # 749877

posted by JanetK (not verified) | on Sat, 2011-09-03 17:56
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Back of bookcase

If I don't want the back to be open like the plan, but would rather have a backing what could I use? Or how many pieces of wood would I need to close off the back of the bookcase?

posted by Elana Gamble | on Thu, 2011-07-28 08:56

Backing

There are lots of things that you could use for backing. You could use 1/4" plywood or 1/8" hardboard. Depending on what sort of look you are going for, beadboard would look gorgeous, or pegboard could be funky and useful for displaying items. The possibilities are really endless.

The number of pieces of wood needed to use as backing would depend on the width of the boards that you wanted to use. Using wood rather than one of the possibilities listed above would add a lot of weight and bulk to the bookcase though.

posted by Guest (not verified) | on Sat, 2011-11-05 12:27

Thank you!!

We made several of these and joined them together to make our whole set of new built-in bookcases! We're over the moon with the final result: http://www.condo-nest.com/2012/04/bookshelves-finishing-touches.html. (Don't worry, we told everyone where we got the plan idea! http://www.condo-nest.com/2012/03/bones-of-bookcase.html). Thanks so much or making a complex project very do-able!

posted by Kaitlin A (not verified) | on Wed, 2012-04-04 18:32

No Kreg jig

If you don't have a Kreg jig how would you attach the shelves? Just attaching the screws through the sides, counter sinking and then filling the holes? Or could you do wood pegs and glue and just clamp the whole thing until it dries? Which would be stronger?Thanks.

posted by 30Dominique1981 (not verified) | on Mon, 2012-06-11 12:40
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brookifer86's picture

No Jig Required

I didn't have a Kreg Jig when I built these, and they turned out just fine! I countersunk my screws in from the outside, then filled with putty and painted them with chrome spraypaint. They still look fabulous. Honestly, if you plan to paint them, I prefer this method to the Kreg because the plugs don't always fit perfectly, and you can see them from below.

posted by brookifer86 | on Mon, 2012-06-11 13:01

bottom board necessary?

Hi! I am excited to try building these as my very first project, am modifying, don't need as tall, and I am going to be setting them on an existing cupboard for more storage, (moving into a smaller home and will need it!) so I am wondering if the bottom board is necessary?

posted by Ginalin (not verified) | on Tue, 2012-07-24 23:40
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brookifer86's picture

Bottom Support

It's not necessary if you're attaching it to a base. You may consider adding a 1x2 or 2x2 to the back along the bottom to keep it sturdy

posted by brookifer86 | on Wed, 2012-07-25 11:32

Hi, Do you think you would be

Hi,

Do you think you would be able to design something like the Ikea Lack TV stand in a similar fashion? I'm 100% novice at wordwoorking and need a TV stand and that seems like a simple piece to start with. But I'm so new I'm not even sure how to design it....

posted by Kevin S (not verified) | on Mon, 2013-01-14 16:39

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