I might be addicted to Ikea. So perhaps it shouldn’t surprise anyone that I’ve been seeing more and more workshop accessories out of ordinary household products that they sell.
I already wrote about the Raskog cart, which is a very inexpensive small rolling caddy. And their Sektion kitchen cabinets inspired another post, about vertically-lifted wall cabinet doors.
But I’m now taking about other kinds of products.
Their Vurm wine bottle holder might be a good 18V-class drill, impact driver, or impact wrench holder. I picked one up the other day, and it can hold a Hitachi 18V impact driver. I might need to modify it slightly so it doesn’t chew up the rubbery overmolding on the Hitachi and other tools. I have some ideas.
Ikea’s Plastis ice cube trays could be quick and cheap part trays. These have decorations, but the ones in-store are available in green with 9 square compartments, or blue with narrow rod-shaped compartments.
Maybe this Grundtal magnetic knife rail can hold hand tools?
Mount a Sunnersta rail and some of these bins, and maybe it’ll work as an inexpensive parts storage system?
Ikea’s housewares are often inexpensive, but well put together. Some of their stuff is cheap, other things quite sturdy.
I’ll be playing around with some Ikea products to see what could possibly work in a workspace, and what cannot. In the meantime, do you have any suggestions? Ideas? Potential storage problems that you’re looking to solve?
I like the Vurm wine bottle holder I’m my garage without modification ?
I have one of the Raskog Carts that I made dividers for to hold all my leather working tools. and one of the raskog steel stools that I leave in the shop for seating,
Definitely a great place to get creative with their products.
I talked with a long time woodworker friend of mine and he didn’t recommend using magnetic knife holders for the simple reason that they generally aren’t strong enough and if they are, they tend to magnetize things that you don’t really want magnetized.
On Keith Rucker’s Vintage Machinery youtube channel, he very recently showed a cheap flexible arm led light that looked like a decent machine light. Unfortunately, I forget the goofy IKEA name for it. I think it was something like JANSKO.
a VERY good critter. I have two, one using the clip arm that I use on my lathe, the other with the weighted base that I use wherever.
I’ve been modifying my Jansjös to work with switchable magnetic bases. They’re great; they’ll stick to any heavy duty tool and provide perfect lighting.
Mag bases can be a little pricy but I managed to snag a pile off of Ebay for a few bucks each.
I have one of the Helmer drawer units; fits under my workbench and holds patterns and such. Not heavy duty, but does the job for 40 bucks:
I also picked up a little desktop file organizer that I subdivided with wood strips and made into a tool holder. Don’t remember the name of that one.
I’ve used ORDNING cutlery holders for various things (lately, organizing whiteboard markers and erasers for a robotics team I mentor). They’re stainless steel, and perforated, so easy to screw into something in various orientations so they don’t move around. Hard to beat at $2.49 each. A bank of them would would be a good solution to organize some medium-size parts.
My barber always seems to have magazines like “Handyman” and “Popular Mechanics” laying about to read while you wait. These magazine regularly have bits about how to repurpose this or that as a tool. I recall them showing a cheap whisk chucked in a drill and use as a paint stirrer, a wine rack being used to hold towels, cutting boards used as backups to hollow punches, muffin tins as parts trays etc.
The Harbor Freight Magnet Tool holder is usually a free with coupon item. I have a couple on my work bench. http://www.hfqpdb.com/
I agree I have about 6 of them.
Thanks for the Harbor Freight coupon database link. I usually have a few 20% coupons in my wallet and I end up giving some to other people in line. Nice link to share instead!
I have a couple of those sitting in a cabinet waiting to have a found purpose. I never go into HF without a coupon for something free. To be fair though I think they retail for like $4 at HF so they are probably still cheaper than ikea’s.
If you’re into IKEA repurposing I suggest checking out:
Its full of nifty “hacks” of IKEA product repurposing and ideas to try out.
These are definitely light duty, but I love the Alex drawer units:
I have three for my kids arts and crafts/maker space.
The grundtal s-hooks with the towel bar is something I’ve put in the kitchen, but it could just as easily go into a shop.
The also have a double towel rail that could be used.
I’ve been using these plastic hinged-lid boxes as hardware/small-parts organizers… for years!
3 pack for $2.99
I should also mention this version of “Glis”, which is larger and has a divided interior. More closely resembles a typical plastic parts organizer.
Koko the Talking Ape
I actually tried using those exact ice cube trays to hold parts. Didn’t work so well. The wells are too narrow. It was hard to get the little parts out with one finger.
That Jansjo feller looks pretty good though.
IKEA Butcher Block makes a decent work surface at a good price, great for a quick home made bench.
There’s no IKEA anywhere around here, but I do have lots of items from the dollar store, big lots, and the kitchen and housewares departments of other various places. Even wallyworld has a variety of kitchen/bath items under a dollar that you can use for reaching/grabbing/cutting/holding/storage.
I generally get this stuff to have on hand for situations where the tools I have might not be the best ones for the job, so I can modify something cheap to work, or if I just don’t want to chance damage to a tool I can no longer get a replacement for.
recently I’ve been trying to come up with organized Storage solutions for Sawzall blades and 18 g brads. Mostly easily portable rather Than Shop Solutions. Any Ideas Or Suggestions Welcome.
We Dont Currently Have An Ikea In Our Area But Theyll Be Opening One nearby Within About A Year, Im Looking Forward To It. I didn’t go very often when I lived near one previously but they do have a lot great value items.
Our plumbing crews were always looking to try to use scrap lengths of plastic pipe – particularly the higher schedule stuff for alternative purposes. One of those was for storing levels, another for sawzall / hacksaw blades. A length of pipe, a cap glued on the bottom. and a length of cord looped through a couple of drilled holes in the side near the top – and then I’d see them hung in the back of the van.
The is an Ikea about 7 miles away – but I was so disappointed with the service at that store after my two visits that I’ve never been back. I understand that they may want to ascribe to a minimalist sort of ethic and the idea of functional and inexpensive furniture does have some appeal – but rude or indifferent service should not have to go along with it. From the number of people that shop Ikea, I guess that most folks don’t agree with my disdain for what they sell and how our local store sells it.
For household goods – I prefer the overall shopping experience at our local BB&B and for furniture – my wife and I have always liked a store that is a local chain in the northeast called Safavieh that carries brands like Baker, Bernhardt and Hendredon – with salespeople that have been attentive without being pushy or fawning.
Does your workshop have curtains and drapes? What would you get from Rooms To Go to use in your shop? What would you get from the grocery store to use in your shop? Haverty’s? Garage sale? Gas station? I’m trying to figure out what or how the hell does ikea or workshop decor have anything to do with tools or tool reviews. Ikea? Really?
Curtains and drapes? Ikea has those too, but I never thought about using them in a workspace. What a strange idea.
We had vinyl strip divider curtains in one of our shops. They were suspended of a track and could be moved – sort of like curtains in a hospital room. No flowers or patterns on them – but they were a bit decorative having a solid color band at the top and bottom edge.
Maybe Stuart just likes his local Ikea, has been shopping there lately for his new house and got to thinking how one could repurpose some of the stuff they sell as tools or workshop appurtenances. he’s mentioned Ikea in past posts too.
I don’t see Ikea listed under the Where to Buy section where he lists his affiliated dealers – so I don’t suspect any immediate mercenary motive – but even if there was – keeping ToolGuyd up and running doesn’t come for free – and I take it that blogging is how Stuart earns his living. Even though I expressed my personal opinion of Ikea, I’m (and I suspect others are also) OK with a diversion from tools like cordless drills which were the topic of his prior and next posts. It gives us a chance to think outside the box.
I didn’t take it to mean that he was suggesting I was somehow paid by Ikea but didn’t disclose it.
I started going to Ikea for fun last year – my son loved it, and I did too. I’d pick up little things to use completely different than how they are intended.
An Ikea chopping board isn’t ideal for some projects, but it’s good for prototyping and small jigs, and a lot cheaper than I can buy HDPE elsewhere.
I’ve found that the level of service depends on the associate. Some are downright unhelpful, others love their jobs and are extremely pleasant and helpful.
Some are cheerful and helpful, some are grumpy and helpful, some are cheery or grumpy and unhelpful.
I had a problem with a couch breaking. I talked to one person about it, they promised I’d get a call. I talked to another after having a problem with a delivery missing an item, and 2 weeks later I finally sent photos, but nobody got back to me. It took a little back and forth and then escalating the language in my email, and things worked out quick.
I’ve found that Ikea is BUSY. A manager has lots to juggle, and regular employees might have to deal with all kinds of customers in all kinds of moods after spending 3 hours at the store.
Customers can be inconsiderate and careless to each other, so I can’t imagine how they treat workers.
I like to make things, but don’t have the means to make certain things from scratch. So I see potential in certain existing products.
As mentioned, with a little modification, the wine bottle holder can be a drill dock.
Kobalt recently came out with a tool docking station – https://toolguyd.com/kobalt-charging-station-and-tool-storage-wall-cabinet/ . There are plenty of drill docks made using wood or PVC pipes. But this wine bottle holder gets you 90% of the way for not a lot of money.
I’m thinking some U-channel rubber grommet lining might be enough to keep it from damaging the overmolding on most modern drills and drivers.
I want to make a smallish tool parts pier. Ikea has a hardwood platter for $13 that’s the right size and shape for the holder part. I can’t make something like that myself, at least not yet. It’s a lipped platter with smoothly rounded and beveled outer edge.
I’m on a mission to seek out DIY-assist products, and was looking for some reader ideas and wants. Such products might be partially or wholly used in tool storage or organizational solutions.
Because… why not?
I’m at Ikea fairly regularly, but each time I see something different.
They’ve got lots of talented folks designing products, why not benefit from them, either as inspiration, or for adapted workshop-suited products.
For years I’ve been looking for a better wet stone base. Maybe the Klipsk bed tray could work, maybe with a roll of mesh ani-slip rug liner.
My wife and I must have run into the “downright unhelpful” staff both times we were there. Being retired we try not to shop at peak times – so I don’t recall the place was too crowded – but maybe they had less staff working. The staff we saw – seemed to run away and hide when they saw you coming – and when you finally got someone they were rude and unhelpful. I wondered if the store manager had any clue about how to motivate the workforce or did anything about monitoring their performance. It was a few years ago, when we were repurposing one of the empty-nest spaces, so maybe – I should try them again – but I’m not inclined to do so.
I have a decent chunk over a decade of working retail (changed careers after 13 years). I can say that, oddly, off peak times can be more stressful due to lack of staffing during “non-busy” times.
When you have X employees to cover Y space, but you, the employee, really have to get to the bathroom to take an S, dealing with a C is D.
Also, it’s common to stock your customer facing roles during off peak with folks that aren’t the “ace” sales people. Maybe some folks that are great organizers. Or sometimes, it’s as basic as folks having the schedule availability to work it. When better employees might not.
Ikea sells more than decor. I got the Janso light mentioned above. It was $10. A very similar light at rockler sells for $49, the snakelight. I’d never get the rockler version, too pricey. The Janso light is great!
Rockler sells an interesting array of gizmos and gadgets – but isn’t exactly an off-price retailer. Sometimes their sales seem decent – and their recent one for half-off on Piher clamps – looked like it might have been a good deal.
The interesting thing about ikea to me : some pieces of furniture are sold as a set of related but separately priced packages.
This sometimes means that you can buy a rather unusual part to use in a home project without having to buy the whole piece of furniture.
We have a handmade bed frame in ash, but it was nice to be able to buy pressure laminated, curved wooden slats from Ikea for a few dollars to use in the project. It would have been a lot of work to make those in my home shop and they are better than flat solid timber slats.
On another note, people across the whole world use the perforated steel pot that Ikea sell as a cutlery drainer as a small fire pot for backwoods cooking 🙂
My first stop is always the damaged/returned goods section, there are great deals to be had. It’s always fun to look through the random assortment of parts and furniture to see what would be useful for the shop. I just finished building a nice and heavy workbench with an 8 ft Ikea countertop I paid ~$20 for, and the scratched up stainless shelves I got for $10 ea work great in the shop.
I should say that we have had ikea in our neighbourhood in the uk for 25 years. I dont visit often but when I did 10 days ago, I was very disappointed. Little signs of cutting costs everywhere. Watered down soda dispenser, old familiar choices gone and replaced by cheaper, lower quality alternatives … it will be along time before I bother to call there again.
I never thought of ikea as a place to go for anything that could be used or had useful potential for something project related. I’m sure that you can find something from anywhere & try to figure out a way to repurpose it for something other than what it was meant for. But after the unpleasant experience of ordering the same cabinet & it taking ikea 4 times to get one that wasn’t either damaged or had all of the parts, I’ll never buy their garbage again. F__K IKEA!!
I wrote about Itso trays a while ago, after buying a bunch at Target and finding them to be quite useful.
I’ve been seeing lots of potential at Ikea, and it’s a place that lots of people have at least periodic access to.