Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

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Still More Furniture Blogging

We went to IKEA this morning to replace the mis-drilled cabinet front, get the bookshelf wall bracket, and to buy two more shelves for one of the BILLY bookcases. When we got to the store, there was a long queue at the Customer Service desk, so Cheryl, who had a book to read while she waited, sent me off to buy the extra shelves.

I couldn't find the correct shelves. I found the area where the white BILLY shelves should be, but nothing there. Checking with the information desk, I found to my mystification that they've discontinued the white extra shelves as a separate part. How strange!

Cheryl's number had just been called when I got back to Customer Service, so I could help explain the situation. They told us that they'd have to send someone to get an entire package of the chest of drawers we bought, which they'd then open and take out the one part we need. (I assume they'll send back the entire opened package as defective, or put it in "As Is" -- caveat emptor.) We took a seat. After discussing the shelving with Cheryl, we decided that we could buy a couple of the glass shelves that they do still make for that shelf, so I went off and bought them without incident.

It took a long time before they found the package we needed. I could have done it faster myself, but of course I wouldn't have been able to get past check-out. I and the Customer Service agent went through the boxes until we found the part we needed, and we signed off on the exchange. They have an assembly desk as well, so Cheryl and I partially assembled the drawer to confirm that the pieces would go together properly.

Getting the extra bookshelf bracket was not a problem. They looked up the number and gave us the part without a peep.

Having survived another bout with Customer Service, we thought we'd celebrate with another coffee and cinnamon roll, but the queue for that was at least six deep, so we just headed straight home. After completing the chest of drawers, we tackled tearing apart the office while the 49ers tackled the Seattle Seahawks. It took quite a while, but we eventually got all of the computer equipment and boxes out of the office, and after taking advantage of the empty room to vacuum and dust, we moved the GALLANT pieces into the office.

Compared to the chest of drawers, or even the bookshelves, these desks are relatively easy to assemble, with very few pieces. But since each set of legs (each desk needs three sets of T-shaped legs) comes with its own attachment hardware, we now have a huge supply of Allen wrenches. The legs attach to an L-shaped framework, which attaches to the desk with screws. Unlike the shelves and chest, there are no nails and therefore no "irreversible" assembly points. This means that the next time we move, we can remove the framework and legs relatively easily, which should make the office furniture easier to relocate. The screws were a bit stiff to turn, so I resorted to my electric drill.

A clever design element is that the legs adjust using an Allen wrench. They supply a little plastic bracket that attaches to the leg, and the necessary Allen wrench fits into the bracket, so you always have the correct wrench if you decide to adjust the height.

There are plastic end-caps on the framework. While using the rubber mallet to pound them into place, I hit one of them too hard and it shattered. Oops. Another visit to Customer Service is in my future. Maybe I'll give them some of the extra Allen wrenches.

When I climbed up on the stepladder to install the bookcase wall bracket, I found the bracket that came with the shelf originally. Oops again. Well, the bracket package is unopened. I'll give it back to Customer Service when I go in to see about replacing the end-cap. Besides, the BILLY shelves didn't come with the mounting hardware to insert them into the bookcase, so I need to get that as well.

We slid the desks into place, and as I'd calculated using IKEA's Office Planner software, the desks fit with about an inch to spare. We then slid them out again, because I decided to mount the three power strips we use in this office on the walls behind the desks, in order to free up even more desk space.

Finally, we could move the new desks into place. I'm so glad that I have a couple of sets of Moving Men furniture disks. They really do work, unlike some of the stuff you see sold on TV.

After sliding the desks into place, I took some pictures to commemorate their pristine state:

The picture on the left is the view looking over Cheryl's desk, and the one on the right is mine. The pole in the center is a floor lamp. Remember that one-inch gap? Between that gap, the location of the desk legs, and the location of the switched outlet, this is just about the only place where we can have a floor lamp.

Then it was time to haul everything back into the office and reinstall it. It's so much nicer now that we have enough room for everything. We could, for instance, put the office telephone in between us so that I don't have to vacate my work space if Cheryl needs to use the phone.

And, after an hour or so of fiddling around with wires and such, as well as moving a small bookcase to the base of the T formed by the two desks, we once again have a working office:

As part of the bookcase-shuffling, we were able to move a wood-grain shelf into the living room, where it matches the trim of the (never used) gas fireplace and thus goes in front of it. We have managed to almost come up with a unified design for every room. Gosh, you might think we were, like, grownups or something like that.

Mind you, all of this work does increase the probability that we won't relocate anytime soon, even when the lease next comes up for renewal, and even though I've had some idea of trying to find a place closer to where I work in San Mateo. Besides all of the work we put into re-equipping this place, there is the matter that we've been drilling holes left and right in the walls, and therefore will almost certainly forfeit our security deposit. However, that will only happen when we move, so as long as we stay here, and as long as the management doesn't raise the rent excessively, we're okay.

There is still a fair bit of cleanup to do, and I have to figure out what to do with the retired chest of drawers now sitting on the patio, but I think our furniture building spree is over. No major injuries to report, and we have a much more livable apartment as a result.
Tags: ikea

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