Sunday, March 9, 2008


Somehow I thought it would be super easy to put together my IKEA cabinets. They have all the parts pre-drilled, right? Well... only if you don't want to use the microwave cabinet. I figured out how to get my microwave off the counter without fear of dumping hot sauce down my chest. I'm putting it on the wall, just lower. Then ganged to the right of it, an open shelf that's at normal height above the counter, but level across the top with the first one. It leaves just enough room under the counter for the toaster, and I can reach the first shelf over the microwave easily enough to use it as my primary drinking glass storage.

I thought it would take 15 minutes to assemble, and a half hour to add the microwave shelf. Maybe after a lo-o-ot of practice? It took 45 minutes just to get the basic frame together and make sure I had all the parts. The 4 shelf open unit didn't have 4 shelves, so I had to drive back to IKEA to make the exchange. Then that went together smoothly, but still not in 15 minutes. More like 30. Today I got most of the rest done. I'd measured the microwave and marked the shelf. Today I got out the circ saw, and during a TV commercial for Divine Design had the excess lopped off. Then I fixed my measurements for the 4 holes I had to drill through the shelf and cabinet based on the sawn off length. It helps that I got a new T-square last weekend with a measured rule on it. I managed to put the backing board on without damaging the interior with misplaced nails, since my coworker warned me about it.

In addition to the new T-square, I also got a new tape measure. It's a little sad because my "Do It Herself" measure has served me well lo these many (18) years. It fit in my hand well (2" square and 3/4" thick) so it was comfortable to use. Until I dropped it on something hard from a height and the plastic frame snapped and now it doesn't retract automatically. The replacement has bonus features, but it's bulkier (2.75" square and 1.4" thick). It does still fit in my palm relatively well, though, being my primary ergonomic criterion. I think I'll like it in time though.

Other stuff I figured out: the spade bit leaves a clean hole on top and a mess on the bottom (even if taped); whereas the saw leaves a clean edge on the bottom and a chipped mess on top (no tape). Most of the sawdust is on the patio but a little is in the living room from joining the two cabinets because I had to drill a little but didn't want to move them and risk damage after they were lined up so well. All told, maybe another 90 minutes spent over 3 hours, including "mulling over" time. Not including the 20 minutes spent looking for the thing that attaches my grinding wheels to my drill which I never did find. Since I couldn't find my grind-cutting enabler, I'm going to see if someone at work can cut the hanging rail to length for me. I got it started, and aside from somehow getting the hinges into the door, is my last piece on the critical path.

On the whole, I'm pleased with my plan to start small and practice on the first cabinet set, working out the kinks and whatnot. It's going where there was no cabinet before and filling it will allow me to take down all the other upper cabinets without having to displace anything I really care about for too long.

For some reason, I can't find my iron either. I know I have one. I hate ironing though, and don't often use it, so I'd hate to have to buy another even if I can get one for $12 at Target. But I need it now to put my new cherry veneer on my chipped thrift store cabinet. And maybe to get the old veneer off. Where the heck would I put an iron?


Anonymous said...

Pictures. I want to see pictures of these cabinets. :-)

By any chance did your iron end up on those shelves next to your washer and dryer?

CrankyOtter said...

I took one picture of the cabinet lying sideways on the floor for a before picture. The facilities guys cut my mounting strip to length (yay!) and they get a kick out of my glassblowing too!

I didn't find the iron on those shelves - yet. Unless I was a dumbass and put it in the box with the candles... I need to try again. so far I just smooshed the towels and lingerie bags down and didn't feel it. Iron is well hidden.

The Bonz said...

In the past week, I've purchased & put together the following from IKEA ... two Grundton lamps with Skimra shades, one Arstid lamp (well, that one pretty much came out the box as is), a Stephano computer chair, two Helmer cabinets, an Alex cabinet, a Malm three-drawer dresser, two Vika Amon tables with Curry legs (one is six feet long & the other not quite 4 feet, with 9 legs in total for the two tables), and a Hensvik short bookcase with doors.

Sister, that's a LOT OF SCREWING! OMG, my carpal tunnel is KILLING ME!!! And thankfully all items came with the appropriate number of screws, nails, wooden dowels, and other necessaries, as the nearest store is a far ways down the freeway from my place.

My new home office looks totally sweet, and I am very pleased with my new writing & crafting work area, even if I'm too crippled to use it just yet ...

— Bonz

CrankyOtter said...

I can't believe how much furniture you put together!!! Wow, bonz!