I have come to the end of a week fraught with dangers as I’ve embarked upon building flat packed furniture. In amongst the Chinese instructions, the thousands of tiny parts, bits of wood that look the same with no clear indication of which way round they go, yet have a subtle difference and a soft aluminium Allen key that looses it’s shape within 10 minutes, I have come out alive and still managed to create something that resembles nursery furniture.
During this tormenting process I have learnt a few pieces of vital information. I thought it would be wrong of me to keep these gems to myself, so here they are:
#1 Spend time checking you have all the parts before beginning
#2 Lay all the small nuts, bolts, screws, doweling and washers out at the start. Put them in their groups of alike pieces – It makes it far easier to find them and use the right bit – Takes a while but saves time in the long run.
#3 Ask your pregnant wife to tick all the items off. This way, she feels involved…even though she isn’t. (I did actually ask her to do some lifting, then stopped her once I’d thought about it. I don’t want a premature baby caused by heavy lifting!)
#4 Buy your own quality set of Allen keys.
#5 Electric screw driver every time!!!
#6 Use the instructions. We all think we know what we’re doing and think that we can go solo…we can’t! It just gets messy.
#7 Don’t leave polystyrene inside the cardboard boxes…the cardboard collecting bin men won’t take it!
#8 Measure twice, cut once. (I didn’t actually have to cut anything, but my dad taught me this and it is true!)
#9 Clear a space BEFORE you start work.
#10 Use your pen knife. You don’t use it for anything else despite it being in your pocket or on your bedside, so make the most of it.
#11 (perhaps the most important) Do it topless! It makes you feel as close to the diet coke man as you’re gonna get. “I just wanna make….” You know the rest.
All in all… It ended remarkably successfully: 3 pieces of furniture that stand up on their own, don’t seem to wobble and with working drawers.