Monday, September 17, 2012

The ultimate Lego table

Okay so maybe 'ultimate' is a big call, but this 'Ikea hack' Lego table certainly fits the bill for our needs. My son has a lot of Lego. I know we all say things like that, but really he does. Not adult collector lots, but lots for your average 5 year old kid. Partly this is because we have most of the Lego my father collected for my brother and I when we were kids. Kind of disappointing we don't have all of it, we are missing crucial bits, like the trains for the old train set, and the track for the space train. Frustrating! But as our family moved so much really it's lucky we have any left.

With a new baby joining the family it became important to find a way to store and play with Lego that got it off the ground and behind toddler-proof doors. It also had to be large enough to hold all of the Lego. I don't subscribe to the 'chuck it all in a plastic tub' school of thought, I'm too anal for that. We keep each model in it's own ziplock bag, with the instructions and spare parts. Otherwise what's the point of buying models? Okay let's not go into that here! Ziplock bags aren't ideal, especially as for now they all just get shoved into the cupboards under the table. Another little problem to solve one day. We do have a lot of loose Lego, all of it vintage though. Is it just me or does old Lego seem so much harder to pull apart? Anyway for the loose Lego we actually have vintage Lego storage trays, which slide nicely into the shelves inside the cupboards.

There was already storage units from the Besta range in my sons room, so it seemed a good idea to adapt some Besta units for the job. Later we could pull the table apart and make shelves, or a long low entertainment unit, all we'd need would be the glass tops you can get for the Besta range. It seemed at first it was going to be a breeze, screw the units back to back, screw the elevated table top on (so you can slip large lego plates under for storing), of course nothing is ever so simple is it? There aren't many spots where there is solid material for screwing securely into. Under the short ends of the table we used aluminium plates (amazing what you find in the garage), 5mm thick, about 100mm wide, and about 5mm short either end of the length of the short side of the table. The wheels were attached through the plates, they still screwed in fine. Set behind the middle set of wheels, spanning side to side, is a plank of 18mm plywood. If anyone is keen I can provide better details on just how it all went together.

My husband was a total champ, figuring out the nuts and bolts of it after I brought home all the bits with very vague instructions as to how I saw it all working out. We are still to fit the child-proof catches  and push-openers, but we have a few months before the little one is mobile! Once he is pulling himself up on the furniture we'll have another set of challenges, the big one is used to leaving Lego out for days, weeks, on end, and that won't work with a little toddler around.

An unexpected bonus to having this table is I'm loving the limewashed top as a finish in my jewellery photos!

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