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Ikea Lack Table Stack Hack Jig

by snocat Sep 28, 2018
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Do you have the original design file available, or remember the measurements between the holes centre-to-centre and between the holes and edges? I'm designing a leg spacer to create some clearance for a T-nut in the middle, so would like to include screw holes to match this, but Fusion 360 doesn't play so well with imported STLs.

Not sure what you mean by leg spacer, but I designed the jig in Fusion 360. I'll message you the link.

Thanks for sharing the file, looks like the centre of the four outer circles is always 12.75mm from the nearest edge.

I'm using T nuts on the 18mm hard plywood base to secure the castors underneath. but the T nut tubes have a depth of 17mm, so if I tried to sink them level with the top of the plywood they'd poke out the bottom. I considered shorter ones, but I also don't have a bit to make a wide, flat cut out for this, so plastic is my solution. The outermost bolt unavoidably has to go where the leg goes, so I'm making a spacer between plywood and leg with a hole in the middle for the top of the T nut to fit in. I also wanted a rounded plastic bumper for the corners of the plywood, so it works out. I've just added the holes for screws too so I can use your jig to secure the legs to the plywood base after fitting the T nut.

Sweet! Let me know when you're done and I'll link your design in my description.

Good idea, was just about to buy a bunch of metal brackets but this is much neater.

So 2mm bit with jig for all of the initial pilot holes, 4mm bit without jig for all of the holes, then #8x3" for a perfect fit? Do you know what the screw size is in metric?

How deep into the underneath of the legs do you need to drill?

Where does the 2mm offset come from? The legs are straight, so do they not usually fit flush with the top piece?

In metric I'd use a 4mm x 80mm screw, normal pilot hole would be 2.5 mm for that drill size but the wood plugs in the legs are real soft so I'd drop down to a 2mm. The plugs in the legs aren't very long so chances are you'll drill right through them, the legs are essentially hollow. just go full length of the bit into the jig and you should be fine.

The legs are straight but don't fit flush to the edge of the table, they're inset by 2mm (probably to give a design feature known as a shadow line, you see it a lot in furniture making). You could fill the hole with a dowel and redrill it if you had a drill press, I wouldn't try it with a plastic jig unless it had a metal insert of some sort. That type of drilling likes to wander. I have the drill press but I've been trying to do it in a way most people with limited tools could. Post a make when you're done, I'd love to see it!

Thanks, I'll keep it simple then. Do I need to remix the jig for 2mm holes? What size are they?

How stable are you finding this? I'm planning to put it on casters, so might need some additional corner braces anyway if it's not solid.

Any issue using slightly thicker screws? 5mm are a bit easier to find. Also, any problems for this with screws that are threaded only half way up?

The outside holes are 2mm, the center is 2.5mm. If stability is a concern you could double the screws and use four instead of two but it should be fine. I'm going to have a plywood back on mine from top to bottom which will stiffen it up considerably. You're definitely going to need to add to it if you/re putting it on casters, I wouldn't just screw casters into the bottom of the table. The lack tables are hollow, with a paper core, and soft fiberboard blocks in the corner.

My plan is to have a wiffle tree base. I'll get some angle iron and make a square support, then add the legs made of rebar (hard to describe, I really have to draw this up in CAD to show people). The wiffle tree will keep it wobble and vibration free no matter how bad the floor is.

Instead of the rebar legs you could just tap corner holes and thread in casters to the angle iron.

Do you think a plywood base cut to match the 550x550 would be OK for supporting the stack on the casters?

I'd go with 3/4" plywood with t nuts. Without the t nuts I'd double up the plywood but just not move it around much. Casters apply a ton of torque when they bring up on something because of the leverage so I'd definitely use the t nuts. The filament is going to add a fair amount of weight. This is the style of nut im talking about. https://www.albanycountyfasteners.com/mm5/graphics/00000001/316-stainless-steel-t-nuts-product-1_300x300.jpg

Which plywood would you recommend for the base? I was looking at 18mm hard plywood online, but that stuff is heavy, maybe overkill...

Whenever I want to use castors I base it on using the item on a shop floor, max weight, moving it every now and again but with the possibility of the castor bringing up on a piece of welding rod or a small nut dropped on the floor. A 3d printer doesn't weigh much but when you start storing spools it'll add up quick. And like I said, when a castor brings up on the end of a welding rod and stops hard theres a lot of leverage at play. Considering its no real extra work I'd go with 18mm plywood as a minimum, and only then with a tnut. I used to be a ski lift and snocat mechanic so i tend to over engineer things to minimize down time and maximize safety but honestly in this case I dont think i'm being too conservative.

Is that a nut to secure the casters to the plywood first, then screw into the Lack, or should the bolts go through the plywood and the bottom Lack shelf too? Given they'll be in the corners, the legs will be in the way of the nuts, so not sure how I can pull that off. Maybe the outer bolts under the legs attach to the plywood only, flush, then the inner bolts can go right the way through

The nut gets hammered into the top of the plywood, the caster screwed into it from below. Ive used them to attach holds to climbing walls so I know they're strong. The particle board in the table top corners and legs is really soft. I'd drill a slightly over sized hole that the excess threaded rod of the caster would seat in it but not be used for strength. These tables aren't made of much more than sawdust and thin mdf board lol.

I've got no idea what that'll look like or do, but I'm really looking forward to seeing it

I really like this stacking solution as opposed to plastic brackets!

The one observation I had as I went to print the jig was that you could have split it half and made two jigs.one for each side, and those can be printed without overhangs or supports.

Thanks! I was trying to get a sleek look for the enclosure and this was the best I came up with. I'm not sure what you mean about splitting it though, you don't need any supports as the only overhangs are in the small holes. When you opened it in your slicer was it oriented like the picture? If not maybe you need to reposition it?

I uploaded my split STLs as a remix so you could see what I meant

Awesome! My first remix, thanks! Still not sure why though as the original didn't need any supports. I must be missing something but in my defense it's six am here and I haven't had a coffee yet. What program did you use to split the stl file? You should keep an eye on this too as I'll be adding to it soon, I'm building an enclosure with extended legs from four ikea tables. Should be cool when done.

I think this might be the first part I've remixed too! And no, you're not missing anything. It didn't really have to be split, but it can be split and remain totally functional. Right now I don't trust my 3d printer that much - my previous Lack table enclosure was knocked over (painful story I'd rather not retell yet...) and totally thrashed, and I'm sure the printer took abuse in the fall too. In fact, the first piece of the jig printed fine, but the second piece failed. Now I only have to reprint half of it!

I'm kinda on the lookout for a better modelling program, but right now I'm just using Autodesk's cloud based TInkerCad https://www.tinkercad.com - it will import STL files too.

Oh and on the leg extension bit - I'm highly interested. After I found your jig I realized it could be used to attach legs to other legs as well. I still have the damaged tower (actually it's in use till I get this new one built!) and was going to cut some legs down to use as extensions . I'll definitely keep an eye out for what you do, but I do actually hope to get there fairly soon.

On the new tower under the bottom legs I'm going to use an extra table surface, and then drop a rack mount UPS on that to give the entire structure a very lower center of mass.

Ive got my legs cut to size and the inserts printed, i sat down this morning with a black sharpie and all the leg components and colored the edges to hide the seams. Really all that's left is the assembly insofar as the tables go. My plan is to have the bottom contain and display the electronics (figured I'd show off the flashy leds). The middle will hold the bare printer. The top will hold a ton of filament as the added height will allow rolls on the surface as well as hanging from the ceiling with room for a couple trays of absorbent beads. I've got it in my head to weld up some bar stock and rebar to make a wiffletree style base so it stands firm on uneven surfaces as well as lowering the center of gravity. That's going to have to come later.

I haven't tried Tinkercad yet, I've been teaching myself Fusion 360. This stuff should be taught in schools, it's fantastic. Something just occurred to me, if the jig is split the names will still be on the same side. You should probably warn people to use the piece marked "table" on the legs and the piece marked "legs" on the table. Otherwise you'll be 4mm out.

Indeed, it does feel misleading. Because you responded so promptly to my comment, I published the remix quickly without a good write up hoping you'd still be online and could see the parts - glad I did! Later I did go back and edit the description and warned readers of that very fact. If they don't read and don't realize the wall thickness differs and how/why, well, drat.

I think the split jig, labelled with the piece name that they are used on, would be the least likely to be misused.

Yeah, I agree, so I I swapped the text around and saved the stl for you so you can split this one if you'd like to make it less confusing.