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Assemble an Ikea Product without Losing Your Mind

Posted by on January 20th, 2012

Yeeeppp.  Like most DIYers, Lisa and I are big fans of Ikea products.  My first bedroom after college was ALL ikea furniture (It’s currently our guest bedroom digs).  For Christmas, my mom bought our daughter the Ikea Moose Rocking Chair.  We’ve put off assembling it for a few weeks with all the floor projects and general grand plan happenings, but yesterday I made some time to finally get it built for her.  I thought this would be a good opportunity to mention some tips that I use when I’m building some Swedish modular furniture.

1.  First things first.  Find a flat area where you can open up the box.  I need to do this on the countertop because Finnie will be stealing half the package if I don’t.

2. Next thing I do is go thru the entire box and sort all the pieces out. I’ll leave the screws and small metal bits in the bag though. You basically want to make sure nothing is missing or damaged. I also throw out all the plastic foamy wrap stuff.

3. All Ikea products are designed to be assembled without glue.  However, most of them come with wooden dowels. I ALWAYS glue wooden dowels. I feel that it adds additional strength to the dowel joints, especially for something that my daughter will be sitting on. You wouldn’t want to use wood glue on something that you may need to take apart in the future. For example, you probably wouldn’t want to glue together a huge shelving system that needs to be broken down when you move out of your apartment.  Not a good idea.

4. Once I get into the actual assembly with the fasteners, I pay careful attention to the holes on the parts.  Almost all of Ikea products have mirror like parts, so it’s easy to accidentally screw part A into part D, when A was supposed to go into part E.  They usually have minor differences to distinguish between them.  I always double check the procedures before I start gluing or screwing something together.  Keep an eye on the wood glue too. As you tighten down on the screws, the glue will want to squeeze out of the joints. It can be wiped off with a damp paper towel.  Also, it’s a good idea to sort all the screws into little piles to keep them organized.

5. Whenever I start connecting major parts together, like the red seat to the bottom rails, I make sure I get each screw started before I tighten any one down all the way.  You can see in both photos above that feature the screws that I have ALL of them in at once.

This will go great in the baby’s play room!

Do you have any Ikea survival tips?

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Posted in Baby Stuff. Tagged in ,,

  • Kristen

    I love the bright red color of the moose! I've never thought about gluing in the dowels but that's probably because I often have to take things apart and flip the pieces before putting them back together.

    • http://www.OurHomefromScratch.com John@ Our Home from Scratch

      Haha.. yeah that happens!

  • http://www.buffalo-roam.com Amy@BuffaloRoam

    DANGIT! I need that rocker and live no where near an IKEA. Thanks for the link. :)

  • Linda

    where can I find replacement dowels when they break during assembly?

    • http://www.ourhomefromscratch.com/members/john/ John

      I believe Ikea dowels are pretty standard, so you may be able to pick some up at any hardware store. If you don\’t have any luck there, I think Ikea sells extras.

  • http://blog.sparefoot.com/3928-the-ten-ikea-commandments/ Tony

    Whether or not to use wood glue on the dowels is pretty hotly debated for furniture, but it only makes sense for a children's toy.