A bit of IKEA hacking — slide out shelf for record deck

I recently built an IKEA “Bestå” unit as an entertainment centre in the living room. A source of frustration was that IKEA UK do not make a slide-out shelf for their Bestå systems, and I wanted to put a record deck on one, so I had to improvise.

The standard shelf that fits into the unit is 56cm wide and 36cm deep. I needed something a little smaller. I got lucky, I had a table that was going to be scrapped, about 8 years old, and when I dismantled it, I found the width of the table top was about 2mm short of 56cm! I’d planned on maybe 55cm, but figured that if I could get it into the unit, and it could move easily, it would do. I cut it to about 34cm deep. If you are attempting this on a different cabinet, you would need a similar or greater depth than the Bestå in order to accommodate the drawer runner.

besta-runner

Bestå drawer runner pair.

In order to allow the shelf to sit on the drawer runner, you’ll have to cut off the hook (as you can see in the picture above) at the back, on each of the pair. A junior hacksaw, from a local pound shop, was good enough. Then you need to fit the runners in the cabinet. The front edge of each runner, in the drawer closed position, should line up with the front edge of the cabinet, each runner should be level, and the two should be at exactly the same height. Of course, if you are using a Bestå cabinet, this will all be marked out for you.

Next, you need some Velcro or similar. Stick it to the top of  the moving part of each runner. Without putting velcro on the shelf, check it will all fit. In my case, because there was very little space at the side, the shelf was touching where the stationary part of the runner was screwed to the cabinet, the solution being to stick two more bits of velcro back to back, and added them onto the velcro on the runners.

My record deck is an old-ish Pro-ject RPM-1 Genie. This is one that sits on a surface, without a box. The problem is that it may slide due to pulling on the cables that connect it to the amp and its power supply.

This is an RPM-1, mine is similar, without anti-skate.

This is an RPM-1, mine is similar, without anti-skate.

What I did, was to get a piece of thin metal with screw-holes at each end, and grip the wires onto the bottom of the shelf, with them facing backwards, and enough coming round the back of the shelf to the top, to connect to the player. I ensured that there was the right amount of wire under the shelf to allow free movement but without more wire than necessary. This has worked and the shelf comes in and out without wires putting pressure on the shelf or showing out the front of the unit. Of course, I tested everything before putting any velcro on the underside for the final placement. I put the velcro on the underside of the shelf, and pushed the runners right in. I held the shelf from the front, and put it into place, but tilted so that the velcro on the bottom was away from that on the runners. I made sure that the leading edge was level with the front of the cabinet, and that it was in straight, before lowering the back of the shelf onto the velcro.

Finally, I reached over the shelf for the leads and brought them round, putting the record deck into place and plugging the wires in. Done!

player-in player-out2

Finally photos of the shelf “in” and “out” with the record player in place.

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