IKEA Lack Inspired Bookcase

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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.

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.

72" tall, 39" wide, 11.5" deep


Shopping List

• 1 - 2 x 12 @ 12'
• 1 - 2 x 12 @ 16'

• 8 L-brackets

Common Materials
2 1/2 inch screws
120 grit sandpaper
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.

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Kreg Jig
Miter Saw
Power Sander
Drill Bit Set
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

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

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!


Fantastic Furn…

Mon, 09/07/2015 - 06:28

I really love how accurate and detailed your furniture assembly instructions are. As a furniture fitter I know how messy a flat pack project could end up like. Even the simplest of RTA units, like a bookshelf could suffer from a crack if assembled the wrong way. That's why to become a good furniture fitter one has to obtain a solid amount of experience. The best thing about flat packs is the fact you can hack those! I've seen hundreds of different rta unit adaptations out there and this is just another example of how ready to assemble furniture offers you/me/us the chance to add a dash of our own imagination and creativity into the montage itself. Just my 2 cents here.  Great assembly project here! Was a pleasure.


Tue, 11/17/2015 - 16:02

This is a pathetic newbie question, but it's my first solo woodworking project & I'm stuck.


I don't have a power saw (yet), so I had them cut my lumber to size at the yard. I built my box, and I was proud that it was square. And now...I can't fit the rest of my shelves in. If I built the box so that it was tight & square (and glued), and the top & bottom shelves are 36", then how would I be able to fit other 36" shelves in to make the butt joint? I've tried planing the sides but I think my inherited planes are too dull & I don't know how to sharpen or use them. I also tried sanding, but that seems to be taking forever. What am I doing wrong? If I want to make more of these in the future, should I ask the lumber yard to cut the inner shelves to maybe 1/4 inch shorter?


Thanks so much.