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

Archive for September, 2008

Building a suite of Ikea Pax wardrobes with Komplement fittings

Monday, September 29th, 2008

In my last post I said I would add a guide to building a suite of Pax wardrobes with Komplement fittings, to be honest I was surprised that it quickly panned out to eight pages!

I really need to add some photos to bring it to life, but it will take time to collect enough so for the time being here is version one, hopefully someone will find it useful!

Assembling these wardrobes like this isn’t that complex, it is just time consuming and requires a little thought and planning.

Additional Assembly Guides and Information

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

Instructions for assembling furniture vary greatly however there are certain products that don’t really go far enough. The initial ones that spring to mind are:

  • Rauch Wardrobes (Mainly Sliderobes from Harveys)
  • Ikea Building Multiple PAX Wardrobes Together
  • Ikea Building Pax Wardrobes Standing Up

Rauch Wardrobes (Mainly Sliderobes from Harveys)

The instructions for building these wardrobes are more of a schematic, i.e. an exploded view of the item, and you have to figure out how to assemble them.

A few weeks ago I was assembling one and took a few photos along the way. I have now written up the guide and it is at the location below on the Flat Pack Advice website:-

Rauch Wardrobes Assembly Guide

The guide is offered free as is, to complement the instructions supplied and to help someone see the stages and emphasise why certain parts are crucial.

Ikea Building Multiple PAX Wardrobes Together

The instructions supplied by Ikea are pictorial so that they do not need translating. This leaves a lot to be desired for some people, but others do not have a problem with it. However, there does not appear to be, to my knowledge any information provided officially by Ikea in terms of how to assemble multiple PAX wardrobes so as to build a range of say 3-4 along one wall. I have put together a guide to give a better idea.

This is pending final review and will be posted on this blog once complete. Why not subscribe the to RSS feed (at the bottom of the page) to be updated when it is available?

Ikea Building Pax & Hoben Wardrobes Standing Up

In some situations you need to build PAX or Hoben wardrobes standing up. This area is frought with distaster whether there are one or two of you. One of the main things to concentrate on is building stability as you go.

In the Hoben range a small square of hard board is provided for this purpose, however the technique I use does not require this and can be done easily on your own without a second pair of hands.

This is pending final review and also the addition of some photos and will be posted on this blog once complete. Why not subscribe the to RSS feed (at the bottom of the page) to be updated when it is available?

Shopping at Ikea - Good or Bad?

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

I have been assembling flat pack furniture for a living for almost 4 years and have seen almost every product on the high street. I have also worked for many people and heard their good and bad stories about Ikea. In my opinion this is what you get from Ikea:-

- well designed, good quality products at a very good price.

- you do all the work involved in the purchase.

If you have never been to Ikea then you need to be warned before you go about the bad point above.

The sales process involves wandering through a pre-defined path so you pass all the stock. More recently they have added customer short cuts to the stores so you don’t have to pass eveything anymore!

As you make your journey you have a small peice of paper and note down the product codes (as you would in Argos) of the items you want (don’t forget the aisle number).

If you are buying a particular set of furniture you can ask an assistant to print the entire list of product codes for that set for you. This is most useful if you have seen what you want in the catalogue and just point at it!

As you near the end you can collect smaller items in your trolley or your fetching nylon shoulder bag, such as crockery, wall art, plants, soft furnishings etc.

The final peice and the one that causes most consternation is collecting the larger items, i.e. funriture (which is really why you came!). It is like a warehouse and you are the picker, with one or more uncontrollable trollies you set about picking your items based on the product codes you have written down. Without the aisle number you are out of luck!

Some items (i.e. Pax Wardrobes ~50Kg) are so heavy you cannot pick them up on your own. As I say you do all the work! When you put them on the trolley align them so that all the bar codes are visible at one end, so the check out assistant can easily scan them and not make you unload the trolley!

You then have a choice, have you arrived in or hired a van? If not go to the delivery desk (after you have bought the goods), and they will advise you how and when they can deliver. This is where the fun really starts, will they deliver when you want? maybe! will they deliver the furniture to the room of choice? maybe! Important if you live in flats or a large house. If the answer is no, then you have to wheel the flipping lot back and get a refund, what a waste of time? So if you are going to use the instore delivery firm, check before you buy, that they will deliver when and where you want otherwise you will waste a lot of time and effort.

Once you have got the furniture home, give yourself plenty of time to assemble it. If you want some help there are plenty of people providing an assembly service online (I do) and you can also find helpful tips here and there (see my profile on here).

Now the final thing that will annoy you is if you have to take stuff back! The whole process takes ages, becuase there is always a queue and the returns desk only ever has one person on it (well as far as Iave seen anyway). I could go on but there is no need.

Here are my tips:

- If you are going to buy furniture plan how you will get it home before you go. Your options include borrowing/hiring a van, hiring a man and van team or using the in store delviery team. Don’t expect people to be available at the drop of a hat either, are you?

- Thoroughly check the exterior of all boxes and packaging, if this is damaged or opened there is a greater chance the contents may be damaged. Let someone else buy it, so you don’t have to queue to exchange it if you need to.
- Do not open any items if you might take them back, Ikea charge a
restocking fee if the packaging is opened.

- Give yourself plenty of time when you go.

- Don’t go on your own.

- Everyone I know raves about the meatballs, I’ve never tied them, but the non-alcoholic Kopperberg cider is lovely!

As I say despite all this, the products are great, well designed and good value for money. So go for it, just plan before you go!

Ikea - Sultan Mattress Systems

Thursday, September 4th, 2008

Ikea have recently introduced a range of mattress systems to provide excellent lumber support and a good night’s sleep.

The main difference from an assembly perspective is that the slats that can be purchased for a wide variety of their beds are different to traditional slats.

Traditional Slats are supplied on a roll, where each slat is connected via two strips of fabric, so you can simply roll them onto the bed frame and in less than 60 seconds the bed is complete.

The newer Sultan slats need individual assembly, and contain multiple parts, suffice to say of the two systems available, both take around one to one and a half hours to assemble! This makes a big difference if you are paying a Flatpack Assembler to do it for you!

The slats that fall into this category are:

  • Sultan Lillaker
  • Sultan Lovene
  • Sultan Landon
  • Sultan Mane

The following photographs illustrate the additional complexity involved.

1) This is one of the rubber lugs that three of the slats will eventually slide into:

2) This is one of the side peices, the rubber lugs slide into these as shown in the next photo and these are assembled to form the basic frame:


4) Here you can see the slats are slid into the rubber legs and the system starts to build:

5) Of course it isn’t that simple! A fabric ribbon, is also present to keep the slats aligned and this makes putting on each slat quite difficult/fiddly. Although I haven’t shown a photo of it here, some of the slats are doubled up for extra support and this is awkward to say the least to assemble.

6) The final slats all assembled:

Unless you have the patience of a saint and are good with yiour hands you will find this excruciatingly annoying. I know I did the forst time I did one! Further more the more complex systems with bends in them and so forth (such as the Landon and Mane) are even more tricky.