Build a bookcase

A friend who is fairly disabled at the moment had bought a flat pack Ikea double cupboard with bookcases above, but was not able to assemble it.  I agreed to try to do it, with the help of another friend who can do the practical bits and help with lifting and moving things but can’t interpret the instructions.  Ikea instructions have no words, just pictures – of which some are fairly clear and some are not.  There are also little inserts and until one knows to look out for them they are easy to miss, which can cause problems.

We started one Saturday afternoon and it took us over 3 hours (probably nearer 4) to make one of the cupboards.  The hinges were the worst as it was not at all clear which way round they were supposed to be.  In the end we fitted them together with the doors off and then translated that into how to attach them – after unscrewing the supports about 3 times.  It took a cup of tea or two to get those hinges right!  I was really exhausted after doing it and muscles I didn’t know I had ached the next day.  I think it was from dragging and lifting the chipboard panels around and crawling and kneeling on the floor to get at the parts that had to be screwed together.

The next Saturday we managed to put together both of the top bookcases and the other cupboard and it only took  about 3 hours.  It helped that the bookcases were easier and we had a better idea what we were doing with the cupboard, but the hinges were still a bit of a problem.  I was still quite tired afterwards but not as much as the previous week and I didn’t ache anywhere near as much the next day.  It was a relief we got it done as I didn’t want to spend another Saturday afternoon on it.  The end result seems to be fairly satisfactory.

The end result starting to be used.

The end result, starting to be used.

We haven’t worked out how to fasten the two parts together – there didn’t seem to be a diagram to show that, so we just pushed them next to each other.  There is also a hook thing on one side and we don’t know what that is for either.  I still think I need to adjust one of the doors but I am not sure if the instructions on adjustments have been kept and the owner seems happy enough.

Would I do it again?  Not unless I really have to!  And I don’t think I would choose Ikea furniture for myself – however nice it is.


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