Monday, April 30, 2012

Ikea wood countertop with Vika legs

We were looking for a smaller desk for our guest bedroom/office and found this great DIY project in Apartment Therapy. We liked the looks of it and for the price it was hard to beat. However Ikea had a surprise for us, both the Pronomen countertop and the Vika Inge legs had been discontinued and, while you can find the Lagan countertop (which looks identical to the Pronomen, makes you wonder if the folks at Ikea just changed the name), the Vika Inge legs are nowhere to be found. We really liked the look of the hairpin legs on the desk, and while looking for alternatives found a great selection on Their products are really nice but out of our budget for this project. We also looked on Ebay and then got lucky on craigslist, someone that lives literally blocks away from us was selling four used Vika Inge legs. I guess you can call it serendipity, these legs where just posted on craigslist that same day and cost us only $15! Another good thing that happened is that, while the guy selling the legs only had the legs and not the mounting plates, we were able to get in touch with Ikea and they sent us the parts we were for free (and from Sweden!).

Putting together this desk is quite easy, these are the steps we followed:

First you need to install the four mounting plates. We decided that we were going to place the center of the mounting plate three inches away of the borders. After you have that mark, using a mounting plate you can also mark the holes where the screws that will hold it will go.

Solid wood desk - Step 1: Measure

Solid wood desk - Step 2: More measuring

After that, we drilled the holes using a 1/8" bit. Make sure you don't drill too deep, this is easy to avoid by marking the desired length in the drill bit with a sharpie and not going any further than that.

Solid wood desk - Step 3: Drill

Screw the mounting plates and then the legs. Hopefully your drill doesn't suck as much as ours and your batteries are not out of juice yet...

Solid wood desk - Step 4: Screw

In order to protect the desk and cover up a couple imperfections, we decided to give it a couple coats of Minwax finishing wax.

Solid wood desk - Step 5: Wax

The final product:

Solid wood desk - Step 6: Enjoy!

The total cost of this desk was $55, I know we got lucky with the legs and that drove our cost down, but even if we would have had to pay more for it, the desk feels rock solid and in our opinion looks better than anything else that you can buy in the less than $75 price range.