IKEA Hack! - Expanding Side Table to Board Game Table

Create your very own expanding table with IKEA products! Here we present how to make an expanding side table into a board game table using easy mount slide rails.


Build Time:

2 hours


$130 to $180

Materials Needed

IKEA Items :

  • Lack TV Unit - Qty 3-6 depending on how much expansion wanted

    • IKEA Article # 902.432.97

Other Items Needed:

  • Easy Mount Expanding Table Rails

  • #10 wood screws - 3/4" Length - Hex Head

  • 1/4" Wooden Dowels

  • Ruler or Measuring Tape

  • Pencil

  • Drill

  • 1/16" Drill Bit

  • 1/4" Drill Bit

  • 5/16" Drill Bit

  • Flat Head Screwdriver Bit


1. Pick a large flat surface to work on- a kitchen floor was used for this project.

2. Assemble two IKEA Lack TV Units, without the bottom shelf

3. Lay out all needed materials, See picture below

Needed Items Laid Out

Needed Items Laid Out

4. Using a ruler and pencil, create drill mark locations on the faces of the Lack TV Unit that will touch each other. Drill locations are 1" from the edge of the table, and in the midpoint of that line. See picture below.

Drill Locations

Drill Locations

5. You can also create a drill mark location in the center of the table, as seen below, but it can be skipped if needed. Picture below shows the finished result of the marking locations.

Finished Drill Locations

Finished Drill Locations

6. Drill at the marked locations, using a 1/16" Drill Bit

  • Start with a small drill bit, and work your way up to the larger ones - this will help prevent wood and paint chipping, acting like a guide for the larger drill bits.

1/16" Drill Hole

1/16" Drill Hole

7. Gradually increase drill bit size to 1/4" - wipe away wood dust - a vacuum works best

25 drill with no dust.jpg

8. Install 1/4" wood dowels on one side - wood glue not needed, but can be used

Installed 1/4" Dowel

Installed 1/4" Dowel

9. Enlarge the holes on the table not using the wood dowels to 5/16" - This helps compensate for any slop in the original marks and drilling of the holes.


10. Place Easy Mount Slide Rails onto mated table pieces, and mark drill locations

placed on top.jpg
mark locations.jpg

11. Create pilot holes using 1/16" Drill Bit

1/16" Pilot Hole

1/16" Pilot Hole

12. Install #10 wood screws using flat head screwdriver bit or hex bit.

hex screw.jpg
other pilot holes.jpg

13. Repeat steps 10-12 for opposite mounting sides

finished all screws.jpg

14. Flip the table over, and test out functionality

flipped and finished.jpg

15. Place this finished portion of the table out of the way. Next is to make the table leafs.

16. Gather the other Lack TV Unit Shelf pieces, which will act as table leafs, and begin marking drill locations for dowels and 5/16" mating holes.

17. Use the same drill locations used in step 4 above. Use a ruler and pencil.

hole location leaf.jpg

18. Use same method of drill enlargment as seen in step 6-7

leaf drilled.jpg

19. Repeat for the other side of the table leaf.

20. Pick the one side that will not have wooden dowels installed, and drill out 5/16" holes.

21. Install wood dowels on one side of the table leaf with the remaining 1/4" holes. One side of the leaf will have 1/4" wood dowels, and the other side will have 5/16" holes.

leaf dowel.jpg

22. Repeat steps 16-21 for as many table leafs as you want.

23. Expand your table, and test install of your table leafs


24. Enjoy your new expanding board game table!