Ikea Ivar Computer Desk

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Following re-organisation of our attic room, a desk was lost, and a replacement space for the desktop PC was needed.
As storage around the walls of the attic room was now all Ivar shelving I wanted to use Ivar shelving to provide a suitable space for the computer whilst occupying minimal space when not in use.

Thus the Ikea Ivar computer desk was born.

Step 1: The Shopping List

So what do you need from you’re local ikea to build an Ivar computer desk. For this instructable I had a height constraint due to the ‘eves’ of the roof space meaning that the smallest Ivar side unit of 124cm height was ideal. You can of course use any height you choose.

Shopping List (items linked to product webpages).

–  2off  Ivar side unit (30cmx124cm)  £7 each
–  3off  Ivar shelf (30cmx83cm) £5 each
–  1off  Observator Brace (100cm) £2 each
–  1off  Ivar shelf (50cmx83cm) £7.50 each
–  1off  B&Q Piano hinge (60cm) £4.78 each
–  1off  B&Q Mending Plate (pack of 4) £3.08 per pack
–  1off  B&Q Corner Plate (pack of 4) £5.28 per pack
–  2off  B&Q Flush Hinge (pack of 2) £1.38 per pack
–  Approx 2.4m of 18mmx44mm planned softwood ~£2.60

Step 2: Build your Ivar Unit

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Using the 2 side units, 3 shelves (20cm x 83cm), and the Brace, construct a basic Ivar unit. I recommend 1 shelf at the bottom, 1 at the top, and the middle shelf at about the same heigh as a desk (75cm).

The stock ikea image below will give you the idea.

In this case it’s vital that you attach the unit to the wall. With the additional modifications tipping of the unit is a certainty.

Step 3: Modify the Ivar Shelf

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By now you’ll be familiar with the fact that ivar shelves come with a plastic insert on each side that is used to fix to the mounting pins that you insert into the side frames.

These work really well for the intended purpose of the shelf, as a shelf, but look out of place on our finished project.

To remove, you’ll need a large flat bladed screwdriver, and a certain amount of patience.
Starting at once end of the plastic insert, gently ease the screwdriver between the wood and plastic, I recommend doing this on the underside of the shelf.
Hopefully a gap will begin to open between the plastic and wood, move the screwdriver along, and repeat. If everything is going to plan you may now start to see that the plastic insert has ‘slots’ along it’s length at about 7-8cm spacing, getting the screwdriver into this slot makes the process much easier.

Repeat as needed until it’s possible to remove the plastic insert, take your time you may find that the wood becomes slightly distorted due to the soft nature of the wood.

Repeat on the other side of the shelf, you’ll then be left with 2 plastic insert, and a shelf. We’re ready to move onto the next stage.

Step 4: Shelf becomes a leaf

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At this point you should remove the middle shelf from the unit.

Place the middle shelf, and the large shelf from the previous step, face down on a smooth surface (in my case the attic room carpet). Ensure that the outer edges of the wood are now perfectly aligned.

Now place the piano hinge, aligned so that the hinge pin sits over the join of both shelves, and centred in the middles.

Fix the hinge in place, I used 4x16mm woodscrews.

Step 5: Replace the shelf and leaf

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Really quick step this, just to give you a feeling of achievement.

Replace the shelf and leaf, being careful not to trap fingers as you do.

Step 6: Leaf Support (parts)

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Now we’ll move onto making the leaf supports.

We’ll need to cut the 18x44mm softwood into the following

4off 40cm pieces
2off 20cm pieces

The two 20cm pieces having a 45 degree angle at each end (see the picture). I used a power mitre saw.

Step 7: Leaf Support (build it)

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Using the parts from the previous step, we’ll no construct two identical leaf support.

Arrange three parts, 2 40cm, and 1 20cm as show in the previous step.

Now secure using the various plates available, I used a right angle plate on each side of the right angle between what will be the vertical and horizontals

Then used the mending plates to secure the 45 degree support only on one side.

Repeat with the remaining to make 2 opposed leaf supports

Step 8: Attach Leaf Support to Ivar Frame

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Possibly the most difficult step, you might want an extra pair of hands.

Attach the hinges to the leaf supports I recommend on at the top and bottom. Now attach the support to the Ivar frame, this is where that extra pair of hands might be useful.

You should aim for the support arms to support the leaf in it’s raised position, yet allow the end of the support arm to drop in the storage position. When folded away the leaf arms should no protrude beyond the frame, this will prevent the leaf closing properly.

Repeat above for the second support arm.

Step 9: The Finished Article

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Here’s a few more pictures of the finished article.
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