The ultimate resource for help assembling flat pack funriture in the UK.

September 22nd, 2019

Wardrobes by their very nature are very heavy, and some are very difficult to move. If you a heavy wardrobe on a carpet and want to move it, you can often do it easily. This technique works very well for Rauch style wardrobes and large 4,5 or 6 door wardrobes such as the Argos New Hallingford and Very Prague range.

To slide the wardrobe around the room very easily, tip it up slightly and slide a single piece of cardboard underneath most of the base and then let the wardrobe sit on it. It does not need to be fully on the cardboard. You can then push the wardrobe easily.

TIP: Never pull a Rauch style wardrobe always push it. This also applies to the Very Prague range.

Once it is almost where you want it, tilt the wardrobe up again and slide out the piece of cardboard. This works because the friction between the cardboard and carpet is very low and it also stops the wardrobe frame sinking into the carpet pile.

NB: If nylon feet have been put on the wardrobe (these are hammered in and should only be put on a wardrobe going on a hard surface, such as a laminate floor), the above technique will not work. I would also advice not trying to move it, as you could rip the side panels where the nylon feet are positioned.

September 20th, 2019

There are websites devoted to Ikea Hacking ie customising their furniture to suit your needs. One of the simplest ways of making any flat pack furniture look a lot better is to buy good quality handles and use these instead.

Today we assembled some items from Ikea’s Hemnes Range.

The Hemnes range is solid wood,  but quite light weight and painted in some basic colours white stain, navy black

All items come with the same black knobs for the drawers and doors. These are functional,  provide a good contrast and comparible with the quality of the furniture.

For this customer she had chosen some good quality knobs from B & Q to replace those on her Hemnes items.  At the time of writing these cost £12 for a pack of 6.

If you look at these two chests side by side you can clearly see the improvement in the finished effect.

As well as a couple of bedside tables the customer also had an 8 drawer Hemnes chest as shown below.

These were the handles used:

September 12th, 2019

Expanding pins are becoming more popular because they are easier and quicker to fit, however it is worth noting a few things about expanding pins, because without taking a reasonable amount of care they will not work, and you will damage your furniture to the point you cannot build it.

You will find these on BandQ’s Darwin Range, the Holstead Wardrobe from Argos and most of the Next-to-no-time furniture from Next.

The principle of how they work is quite simple, simply push the pin into the hole (instead of screwing it in), and when the minifix cam is turned, it pulls the pin up a little and the base of the pin expands, tightly gripping the hole.

In order for the expanding pin to function properly, the collar must be flush against the panel into which it is inserted, and the two panels must be pushed firmly together whilst the minifix cam is turned to tighten the joint.

So there are two points of failure, if the pin is not fully inserted, then it will not grip the hole properly, damaging the edge slightly. On re-seating the pin correctly in the hole, it will no longer grip the hole with the same strength as the edge is slightly damaged. The damage can be less than a millimetre, yet it is sufficient to render the joint to fail. Similarly if the panels are not flush with each other before the minifix cam is tightened, it can draw the pin out of the hole, repeating the problem above.

Whilst both of these issues are very easy to avoid, it is worth pointing out, that it can be very difficult on wardrobes due to their weight, and on small items such as nests of tables to avoid.

Personally, I do not think these fittings are fit for purpose at all.

Certainly the ones on the Argos Holstead wardrobe is simply not strong enough, and expect over time a lot of these wardrobes will come apart during use from the constant banging of the sliding doors. When I have been building them, I have reinforced the joints with discrete brackets.

I have lost count of the number of Next wardrobes with the Next to no time fittings which customers have failed to build themselves and have called us in to fix them. Next seem rather disinterested in helping their customers when this happens, often telling the customers it is their own fault.

So if you do come across them, please ensure you:

a) fully insert the pins

b) ensure the two panels are firmly pressed together and there are no gaps before you tighten the minifix cams.

September 10th, 2019

Today I came across the Darwin soft close device. I have not seen it for a while, because very few people buy it, but it is quite a nifty adaptation for the Darwin chest of drawers.

Very often when I see Ikea add on ideas, they are very Heath-Robinson type affairs where they don’t really work that well. For example, the original Pax sliding doors released about 15 years ago, had the most convoluted way imaginable of securing the glass panels in the metal frame, which in the long run proved unsatisfactory. The lighting system on the Pax wardrobes is also poorly thought out, as there is no neat or obvious way of hiding the wires, or even getting them outside the frame.

There are many more add ons that make you sigh when you see them, however these Darwin soft close devices are lovely. They simply clip on the bottom of the drawer and find the brackets on the frame with ease. The system is easy to apply and just works.

September 5th, 2019

About 3 years ago, Ikea released the Sondheim wardrobe, I was quite surprised by this as it was very similar n many respects to the Dombas wardrobe. However there are some fundamental differences.

The Dombas wardrobe does not have a good quality finish, and has one cumbersome door that is larger than the rest. Additionally the assembly technique is like a cheap piece of furniture from Argos.

In contrast the Sondheim has a much nicer cleaner white finish, and also has an assembly technique which is up their with the usually good cheap and effective quality you would expect from Ikea.

It seems that earlier this year the Dombas price was dropped from about £180 to £60, so they are clearly getting rid of the stock and intend to withdraw it at some point soon.

May 26th, 2019

We have recently built the Holsted Sliding Door Wardrobe from Argos (886/8983).

We have built this wardrobe several times before, it is currently reduced from £394.99 to £315.99 on their website.

This is a large wardrobe with plenty of storage space. The high gloss with doors look good finishing off the wardrobe well, although these are made from three panels each and require assembly.

ASSEMBLY TIP: The frame is connected together using the expanding torsion pins. Unlike traditional mini fix (pin and cam) fittings, the pins do not screw in, they simply slot in. When the cam is turned they expand and grip the frame. It is VERY IMPORTANT when building furniture using this type of pin that you ensure each pair of panels being connected using them are pressed firmly and flush against each other before twisting the cam. If you do not, you can damage the edge the pre-drilled hole and weaken the fastening.

Generally, this is a decent spacious wardrobe at a good price.

December 26th, 2013

Wow I have finally found some time to get this website back online, I still need to work on the forms, but I have added a new design and it looks a wqhole lot better.

I have also added some links to Andre Victoire, my furniture business which

  • delivers
  • assembles
  • and removes all waste packaging

If you read the secitons on delivery or have difficulty with assembly, you will be delighted with the sevice Andre Victoire Ltd offers you.

Thank you and Merry Christmas,

Edwin Cooke.

July 23rd, 2012

Recent developments of my suite of flat pack related websites has meant that once again we are looking for a small number of additions to the team. Phase 1 of the work is now complete and anyone interested in joining can register their interest at AV.

Provided you meet the criteria and pass the assessment, you will be eligible for a trial period to determine whether you meet the high standard we require. This will give you access to a steady stream of additional local work to support your own business.

June 21st, 2012

Hi

I am the technician in a senior school. I have seen these new panel pin holders that come in modern flat pack furniture that helps you hold the panel pins vertical and evenly spaced when attaching back panels.

Can you tell me if it is something you have come across? I took a couple to school to help my less able students, and those with physical impairments and they have been amazing. I could do with purchasing several dozen!

Any information would be great. Many thanks

Hi Nikki,

Whilst many suppliers include these, the only product I can think of which definitely does are the Ikea Pax wardrobes. I throw them away as I don’t use them. It would take an indeterminate time for me to save 12 for you.

You could try asking your local Ikea, as they regularly assemble new lines of furniture on site and may have a few lying around you could have? Or phone their customer service line?

Sorry I cannot be more help,

Edwin.

June 21st, 2012

I wonder if you could please help me. I have been given a set of Argos Canvas furniture. One three shelved wardrobe and one three shelved set of shelves there are no instruction as to how to put it together.

I would be very grateful if you could help in any way at all.

Hi Anne,

Have a look for the item on the Argos website, many of the items have the instructions available for download as a PDF. Failing that find the product number (this is required) off the website or box and phone the Argos helpline and they will be able to send you a copy.

Edwin.