I’m happy to say that this article has been featured on ikeahackers.net and lifehacker.com.
I was looking for a nice space-saving solution for my computer desk and I got inspired by iMac-computer-desk on ikeahackers.net. I really liked this hack, so I decided to try finding a solution for us no iMac /all-in-one users, but just mini-pc users.
The biggest problem was finding the Ludvig Laptop shelf/charging station around, because Ikea stopped selling it a while ago, so you have to resort to different channels to obtain it. No, don’t worry, no black-market, I bought it on Ebay.
Then I fixed the shelf to the wall using hidden brackets/anchors to increase the weight supported by the shelf itself.
Last, I switched the original black-compartment, the one below the sliding shelf, with an handicraft one. Made by a zinc-coated metal sheet (1mm thick) with different holes on the floor and sides (for cables, weight and ventilation reasons). The rest is your normal wall-mounted monitor, wireless keyboard set and mini-pc. A Dell Inspiron Zino HD with its keyboard set.
Inside the handcraft compartment I stored the mini-pc, 10wx20hx10d cm.
I think it’s a good compromise between comfortness and space-saving-ness.
About the handicraft compartment
Just talk about the metal compartment for a moment. At first I was uncertain between going for metal or wood, but even if a wooden structure probably would have been easier to build for a carpenter, I didn’t like the idea of a flammable material in contact with electric stuffs. A metal structure has some other pros, thickness, firmness and as I said, it is inflammable. The only cons I thought of it’s the weight, but it’s not a big deal.
- Tip 1: rust; use a zinc-coated metal or an anti-rust paint. Or go for a less chip solution, steel.
- Tip 2: holes; don’t forget to do some holes on the back, the floor and sides. It will be useful for a better organization of your cables, will improve the ventilation and will lighten the whole compartment
- Tip 3: load; if possible add two pairs of screws/bolts on the back of the structure, as showed in the pictures. In this way, screwing them clockwise or counterclockwise, you will lean them with precision against the wall to relieved part of the load on it.
- Tip 4: dimensions; take in account the thickness of the material you will use when taking the measures (mostly the width) of the compartment, because it has to be inserted into the big white metal bracket, so even few millimeters make the difference.
- Tip 5: cables; keep the cables as short as possible. You will have more room for other stuffs. I learned that it’s not as easy as you can think. Anyways a sub tip is this: use a DVI, HDMI or DVI/HDMI cable, depends on your hardware, to connect your computer to your monitor, they are shorter and give you a much better quality than your usual VGA cable.
How to get the replace compartment
As I said to a poster who asked “how I got/built the replace compartment”, I looked for the nearest blacksmith in town and showed him the original black cardboard-like Ikea compartment; you can see it in one of my pictures. I asked him to copy it following my modifications. He has been really willing, but not cheap.