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How we pre-drill solid wood table top holes for Ikea desk frames

We accept order requests for solid wood table tops for all Ikea legs: from the ‘cheap as chips’ OLOV legs to the timeless Bekant (review), from the perfectly functional Rodulf or Trotten (discussion, review, previously Skarsta), to the deceptively well specced Idasen (review). We are frequently are asked what method is used to make sure our table tops are a perfect fit for Ikea desk frames? The answer…

We use genuine Ikea table tops as a template

We have a catalogue of every Ikea table top, in every size, across every variation since 2018.

Each table top is sacrificed and turned into a robust template to ensure the solid wood replacement/alternative fits just like the chipboard/cardboard/MDF Ikea equivalent. That includes not just the main points of contact to the frame, but also every single smaller hole, at the correct gauge/diameter for attaching various peripherals like the Idasen cable net, or the Utespelare control unit.

Custom plastic inserts

Many of the Ikea desk tops don’t just have a set of holes to drill at the correct diameter, they also have custom plastic inserts glued within the holes (pictured right at the top of this post). We have in stock the exact plastic inserts to match perfectly the screws the machine screws that are shipped with the desk frame.

“Can you send me the measurements for my Ikea desk frame?”

As explained in the 2 points above, unfortunately the answer to this question is: no. Firstly we do not have the measurements, as we use the top as a template, and secondly, the measurements are often only half the battle. Without the custom plastic insert, the top would not mate with the frame correctly.

“Can I send you the measurements to pre-drill holes for my desk frame?”

We cannot pre-drill based on measurements alone, even slight errors can result in a hole being an agonising 2-3mm out. Rectifying that problem could result in many lost hours and logistic costs. As such, we cannot pre-drill holes for a specific desk frame. There are some options though:

  1. Provide a CAD/CAM (Computer-aided design and manufacturing) file which can be loaded into a CNC (computer numerical control) machine. Many desk frame manufacturers have such files, which we can work with to produce a final product which has an incredibly high degree of accuracy. There is often a reasonable surcharge for this service.
  2. Sacrifice an existing old top. If a desk top exists that can be used to template from, and even harvest any custom metal or plastic inserts, then there is a high chance a compatible solid wood top can be made. Again, there is often a surcharge for this service, as it involves extra logistics, risk and expertise.

Next steps: creating CAD/CAM files for all our Ikea tops

Due to the increase in demand for our Ikea compatible tops, and the speed and efficiency of working with CNC machines, we are porting all the Ikea desk top templates to accurate CAD/CAM files. This should improve the accuracy even more and prevent our templates from wearing out – especially important for table tops which are no longer produced by Ikea.

A final, (perhaps) surprising recommendation

Did you know most top quality height adjustable desk frames ship desk tops without pre-drilled holes as standard?

Attaching a desk frame to a desk top with good quality wood screws (and washers if required) is a much better method than pre-drilling holes for machine screws. We also have some tips on how to fit a desk top (without pre-drilled holes) to a desk frame and if drilling pilot holes is required when attaching a solid wood table top to a desk frame with wood screws?

Ikea compatible desk tops

Solid wood accessories

Why Solid Wood Tops?

Custom size? Same price.

Desk top prices are worked out using a going market rate formula. There are no extra charges for non-regular sizes. Calculate your price and order in minutes.


Learn more about our service, the quality of our partners sustainably sourced wood, how desk tops are priced, delivery timescales and more. Read our articles or FAQs.

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Our trusted partners are located around the country. Allow us to arrange delivery, pick up from the workshop yourself, or book your own courier.

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