IKEA Wardrobe Holds Entire Hardware Workspace

An electronics workbench with tools and drawers

If you’re like us, you probably don’t finish a typical hardware project in one sitting. This doesn’t have to be a problem if you’re fortunate enough to have a dedicated workbench for your hacking activities; you simply leave your current project there, ready to continue when you have time again. But this is not always a workable option if you, or a housemate, needs to use the same desk for other tasks as well.

[!BATTA!] over at IKEAhackers ran into this problem, and solved it by building a complete electronics workstation inside a wardrobe. The base of this project is a storage unit called PAX, which is designed to store clothes and shoes but which also works just fine with project boxes. [!BATTA!] installed a variety of shelves and drawers to organize their collection of boxes and tools.

Not content with simple storage, [!BATTA!] decided to add a workbench, using a sturdy sliding tray that carries a working surface and a reinforced back panel to hold parts bins. Metal braces were added to prevent wobbliness, and the whole structure was bolted to a wall to prevent it from tipping over. When the workbench is not in use, the tray simply slides inside so the doors can be closed for a nice, clean look.

We really like the many clever storage solutions spread around the work area, such as a magnetic rail to hold hand tools and a “honeycomb” of PVC tubes for storing cables. Compact LED strips provide suitable lighting while a power strip with both mains and USB sockets brings juice to the tools and projects.

Modifying pieces of IKEA furniture is nothing new; we’ve seen them turned into arcade cabinets and MP3 players. We’ve also covered several well-organized workspaces, but none as compact as this one. Thanks to [IrregularShed] for the tip.

18 thoughts on “IKEA Wardrobe Holds Entire Hardware Workspace

  1. This is a clever idea. as an international student, I am frequently changing places and running low of empty space where I can work on my projects. Thanks Robin and Batta for sharing this.

  2. There is a final hack missing from this great project: wheels, like shoppimg carts. Wardrobe on wheels. Very useful for small places such as small appartments if someone wishes to clean, renovate or redecorate. A lot of time is gained when moving the entire wardrobe to another room. However there is a side effect: if the wife does not like Electronics or Hacking, she might push the wardrobe outside to the trash bin.

    1. > if the wife does not like Electronics or Hacking, she might push the wardrobe outside to the trash bin.

      Ahh, the infamous Wife Acceptance Factor. IMO – one should choose their family better beforehand :-p.

  3. Pressed by wife constraints, we came up with a surprising similar solution. Lowest level of the PAX is also serving as a “server room” (albeit air ventilation through holes on the PAX is poor). I like the idea of the PVC pipes.

  4. I had a similar setup by sawing a PAX wardrobe in half, making 2 small tables/cupboards. 3D printer on the lower shelf and work surface on top.
    Worth noting that even with those metal support brackets, you can’t load it heavily. Ikea stuff is made of chipboard and screws can tear out easily.
    Doing any sort of percussive maintenance (hitting something with a hammer) is a no-no.
    To be fair, this project says it’s an electronic workbench so probably OK…but there is a hammer visible in the pic…

  5. IKEA hacking is awesome. I do it as much as I can.

    I used a PAX for my home theatre cabinet. Ventilation is the bear though. If I ever get the chance to redo the cabinet in the future I’m going to put in side channel ventilation and maybe a fan kit for the top. Haven’t had any heat issues, so maybe just side vents and a vent at the top for air movement would do the trick.

    Got a few other minor hacks from IKEA furniture around the house. I go through the store and look at how I can use things, not how they say I can use things.

    Great work.

  6. Just acquired 2 Ikea wardrobes as a result moving to a new property. One will hold my Anycubic predator and other smaller 3D printers and filament. The other for sons bits until collected and my 3018 CNC machines. The idea of shutting doors is great putting them ‘to bed’ of an evening.
    Using this idea will repair a third wardrobe and make it my electronics and drone space.

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