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

Archive for February, 2011

Instructions for Assembling Ikea Pax Sliding doors

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

I have been assembling these doors for several years now and the first time I did it I thought it would be quite intimidating to do. I hate working with glass and the the overall process is quite tricky. Furthermore the instructions are not that easy to follow and the first time I did it part of me thought have I done this right? So I scoured the instructions over and over again to ensure I had, looking at every part of the Ikea instructions. The nice think about Ikea instructions is that usually every piece of information you need is there, just presented in an international non-language specific diagrammatical way!

So far I have written the following sets of instructions on Ikea Pax wardrobes:-

  • How to build an Ikea wardrobe standing up.
  • How to rectify a collapsed Ikea wardrobe
  • How to build the Ikea Pax Sliding Doors

All instructions are available at:-

Ikea Help

Assembling Bunk Beds - John Lewis Ashton Bunkbed

Sunday, February 6th, 2011

Whether it is a bunk bed or loft bed, it is important to heed the warnings on the instructions. If you do not attach the slats properly to the upper bunk your child can suffer serious injury. The following two things have been identified:-

  1. The slats must all be fastened down on the top or raised bunk. On a normal bed the slats are often strung together and fastened down at six anchor point. If the slats fall through the bed you only have 12 inches to fall so no issue. If you are on the top bunk, such a fall could cause a serious injury, especially considering the way the slats might move and trap an unlucky child.
  2. Slat must be placed right up to the head and foot boards on the upper bunk. Again an unlucky child could slip and get trapped in a seriously uncomfortable or fatal position.
The chances of these two things happening are increased during play and therefore it is imperative that bunk beds and loft beds are assembled correctly.

John Lewis Ashton Bunkbed

Skylon floating bed in white is Beautiful

Saturday, February 5th, 2011

This is an incredibly contemporary and stylish bed from Dwell. I built one this morning and it looks fabulous.

Dwell Skylon Floating Bed

The instructions for assembly leave a lot to be desired though. The main idea is that you build the bed base and build the head board and then slot the two pieces together. Nothing wrong with that you may think but there is. Due to its weight you need two people to lift the head board and probably a third person to line up the bolts and dowels, which need to come together at a handy 45 degree angle. Now bearing in mind there are three bolts and three dowels on each side, even if you were to attempt this it would be fraught,  since I doubt both sides would line up nicely and you would need a decent amount of lateral force as well as downward force to bring the two pieces together.

In my opinion the correct way to build this is using my standard “let gravity do the work for you” approach and build it in a logical manner piece by piece. This was the first one I had seen and it took my 90 minutes but I think second time around I could build it in about an hour on my own, yes on my own.

I’ll be writing some instructions on how to do this with photos and so on which will be available soon at Dwell Furniture Help.

The bed however is beautiful, the finish is glossy, expensive and ultra-glamorous.

Voucher Discount Codes - Money off Furniture

Friday, February 4th, 2011

One activity which is well worth while is visiting Flatpack Assemblers to get some Voucher Codes. All you need to is

  1. Select an assembler’s area by postcode at the top of the page.
  2. On the next page enter your email in the box at the top.

You will be emailed a link to a list of retailers including:-

High Street Names: B&Q, Barker & Stonehouse, British Home Stores, Debenhams, Dreams, Focus DIY, Habitat, John Lewis, Laura Ashley, Marks & Spencers

Popular Internet Retailers: Bedstar, Furniture 123, Furniture Village, Garden Bargains, Nabru, Oak Furniture Land, Oak Furniture Solutions, Pinesolutions, Space2, Super Tramp, Sleeping Solutions

Offers cannot usually be used on sale items and are time limited, but can save you 5-10% off your next  furniture purchase!

Wardrobe That Can Be Built Standing Up

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

In many cases people want a wardrobe to fit into a small space. In such cases most people will pick sliding door wardrobes, since hinged doors can obscure the space. One thing often overlooked when purchasing a wardrobe is how it can be built?

This wardrobe from Furniture 123 is an ideal example:-

Blithe 3 door wardrobe in dark walnut

Blithe 3 door wardrobe in dark walnut

Most hinged flatpack wardrobes are designed to be built lying down whilst most sliding door flatpack wardrobes are designed to be built standing up. Sliding door wardrobes will also tend to have the back panel fit into a groove rather than be nailed on, again to help assembly in a tight space. This is the general rule however there are two notable exceptions:

IKEA Wardrobes - All Ikea wardrobes should be built lying down and then standing. They can be built standing up but you will need either two people, a self made jig or a lot of skill and experience. With the Holborn range Ikea often provide a small square of hardboard which can be used, but this is not provided with the standard PAX range. Another point with Ikea’s wardrobes is that you have to nail on the back panels. This means if you do built them standing up, you need space and then need to push them back against the wall. This is not too difficult if you are experienced, but considering their weight and space, it could be too taxing for some in a small space.

Dwell - most of these wardrobes have a rather complex construction and are generally best constructed on their sides. This means they are often unsuitable for assembling standing up in a tight space.

Gas Strut Piston Beds

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

I was tootling around on the Internet today and I came across the correct term for these. Apparently they are Ottoman beds, or the Ottoman style. You know the sort of thing that pivots at one end near the head board and allows you to lift the bed at the foot and tore stuff underneath. This is a good example from Bed Star :-


These beds are fairly straightforward to put together. The main difficult comes when attaching the bed frame to the mattress slats as the gas struts are generally very stiff and you are always anxious not to damage them. Ideally two people are needed, one to hold up the slats whilst the other attaches the gas strut.

There are always more than one way to crack and egg so here is what I do when building them on my own and have sufficient space. Once I have built the bed and attached or positioned the frame, I lift the bed up at one side and rest it on its side. This will then allow me to position the slatted part so that I can easily attach the gas struts. You can then return the bed to its natural position. In order to apply sufficient pressure to condense the gas struts I always try to put the mattress on first. Mattresses are heavy and this is why the struts are so strong.

In order to complete my technique correctly you need to be:-

  • Strong enough to easily lift the bed
  • Careful enough not to damage walls and other furniture.
  • Double checked that you have build the bed so far properly
  • Have had a good think about what good happen if it starts to slip!

They are good beds though!

Guy sleeps whilst I put up wardrobe!

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

This happened to me yesterday and struck me as possibly one of the most bizzare things that has happened to me in seven years of building furniture in peoples homes.

I arrived to assemble a
Carlene triple mirrored wardrobe in lugano cherry
as shown below:-

Carlene triple mirrored wardrobe in lugano cherry

This is an absolutely beautiful wardrobe and a delight to put together.

Anyhow I arrived at the address, did the usual hello’s and where you want the wardrobe to go. All the general chit chat that accompanies arriving in someone’s home and building rapport. So I was stood in the bedroom and about to start and the customer said to me.

“I was working last night and only got in an hour ago. I am going to sleep while you work.”

Nothing too unusual I thought and then he promptly got into the bed in the same room and fell asleep. Needless to say I was astonished. I simply got on with the job (what else could I do?) and and a couple of hours later woke him up and got paid.