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SurfCables: Silver Teflon Audio Cables

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PartTimeProjects Ikea Stereo Stand

We all want something nice to fit the stereo on. Everyone's needs differ, they have different sized components and the room layout is different. As you can tell, I've got some equipment around this place. A lot of amplifiers, a lot of big, heavy amplifiers. I could put them on the floor but they would be better on a stand of some sort. The ideal stand would be over 40 inches wide with 2 shelves, and able to support about 300 lbs on the top shelf!

Well, I came across some kind of Ikea stand on Craigslist. I believe this is an Ikea "Timra" but if I am wrong please drop me a message. It is about 46 inches wide and 23 inches deep. The spacing between the top and bottom shelf is slightly less than 12 inches, so you can really fit tall items (or things that get very hot) on the first shelf, if you trash the middle shelf, which I will happily do. Anyway, this is the right size but configured for a TV, and its pretty cheap lacking the necessary structural support that I would need.

Ikea Timra Original

I got this for almost nothing and proceeded to make some modifications.

Dowel and Feet

First, I added a dowel to the back of the shelving unit to increase the support. Three inch screws from the top and bottom extend through the 2" thick shelves and go 1" into the dowel. It is stronger than it looks. I also added a caster to the middle on the bottom, and later a second one behind the first. I didn't put the caster (wheel) on the front lip mainly for looks - did not want to see another foot at a normal viewing angle.

Ikea with dowel and one caster

Moving the Supports

I next moved the aluminum supports from the front to the sides. These are fastened from both the top and bottom so provide lateral and vertical support.

New Location of Supports

Adding Rods and Pipes

I realized that the top self would have to hold hundreds of pounds and I felt that using more wooden dowels would not provide sufficient support. I needed something else that was sufficiently strong, and that could assist with lateral as well as vertical support. The solution was to use a cast iron pipe assembly with a threaded rod in the middle. I used black malleable cast iron pipes, 1" in diameter. A "pipe nipple" is theaded into a "flange" at one end and a "coupling" at the other. The lengths of these parts, once assembled, was deliberately chosen to be just a little to short to touch both the top and bottom shelves. The coupling on the top is unscrewed to give it adjustable height. I unscrew it just enough to push the top and bottom shelves apart so they are tensioned.

In the other direction, a threaded steel rod goes through the center of the pipe and is fastened to the outside of the top and bottom shelves, squeezing the shelves together. Thus, the iron pipes push the shelves apart while the rod inside the pipes pull the shelves together. Hopefully this will provide sufficient vertical and lateral support. The whole thing is checked with a level to make sure I'm not warping it. There is no need to screw in the flanges (on the bottom of the pipes). Nothing moves. But I may do it someday.

Cast Iron Pipes
Pipes in Position

Adding another caster

Finally I added another caster to the bottom, just to be safe. Here is a picture of the bottom of the modified unit, you can see where the threaded rods come out and are fastened. The cast iron pipe in the middle has no associated rod because I wanted to be able to change its position depending on what is in the stand. I was lucky. The 3" wheels I bought are almost the same height as the original 3" wheels. By the time I got the Ikea unit the bottom shelf had slightly warped in the middle which was perfect for my wheels which were only slightly less tall than the original wheels.

Ikea Bottom
Ikea with amps

Ok, there it is with over 200lbs on the top shelf and some good weight on the bottom. Its sturdy, does not wobble and is easy to move around. Not bad looking either. The metal rods are fastened with special end nuts (?? nuts with a closed end??) on the top so that they don't protrude and it has a somewhat finished look. I can stand on top of this and change lightbulbs no problem.