F is for ...........Flatpack!

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merryone

Registered Shopper
Joined
Jun 24, 2008
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In recent years I have had great success assembling flat pack furniture. I'm currently sitting a a computer desk that I "built" over 20 years ago and it's still solid as a rock. Before I go on I have to say that OH is completely useless at this sort of thing and wouldn't even know where to start. He's an extremely clever man, but has no practical skills other than cooking which he is fab at, which is great because I can't cook for toffee! So yes, if I order flatpack it's down to me to assemble it. My biggest triumph was a pine bunk bed for the kids, I put it together single handedly with nothing more than a ratchet screwdriver. It took me literally all day and a lot of bad language but it certainly was an achievement. (OH helped me lift the top bed on the lower one as I couldn't have done that by myself). Since then I have built a lamp table, a bar cart and the bed in the upstairs bedroom. This was surprisingly easy and took less than a morning as it was put together with screws and an allen key. As the stairs up to the bedroom are so narrow any furniture has to be very light or flatpack, hence why I have clothes rails instead of wardrobes and the chest of drawers are those plastic ones. One of which is used as a bedside table but the top is only just big enough for a clock and light. I recently saw a bedside table in the catalogue which had been reduced down from about £80 to a mere £34. It only had one drawer but then the other one is just full of junk I could happily get rid of. I sometimes sleep up there when I'm on an early shift and will watch tv up there if OH is watching something I'm not interested in. It arrived yesterday, I unboxed it and I could see that all the components were numbered and I was initially impressed, that's until I looked at the instruction manual - It was like stepping back into the 1980's, it was just a series of complicated looking diagrams, a lot of arrows and no written instructions. I was hoping for the Allen key/sturdy screw combination but alas no, you needed two different types of screwdriver which luckily I had. The first job was to screw the drawer runner onto the sides of the drawer but the holes didn't line up and I was flummoxed. Then I noticed this tiny little diagram showing that they came in two parts that you had to separate, I tried but I couldn't separate them but to no avail and I thought I'd have to return it. I then noticed that the diagram showed a screwdriver being used to gouge something out in order to do this, and I found this little plastic tab which I gingerly poked at with the screwdriver and lo and behold off it came and I was able to attach the first part of the drawer runner. I went great guns from then on and within half an hour the unit was standing with just the drawer front to attach - It took me another 2 hours to get this right as it consisted of this weird screw/cam-bolt combination. I followed the drawing to the best of my ability but the drawer front simply would not lock on, eventually I decided that I'd try putting the screws in the other way up from what the picture showed and hey presto it fit like a dream. I still don't know how I managed to get the runners on the right way around, I guessed as the diagram was unclear so I was just lucky there. So three hours of blood sweat and tears to assemble the most simple of items - It was like a trip back to the 1970's and 80's.
Way back in the day when my boyfriend and I moved into our first rented place we were told that it was furnished with brand new furniture, we had a look at the place and it was empty but we were assured that the furniture was coming. To cut a long story short it was all flatpack that we were expected to assemble ourselves, he was a carpenter by trade, so it shouldn't have been a problem. Trouble is he was a lazy sod and more often than not inebriated so between the two of us we managed to assemble a coffee table (which went fine) but the chest of drawers and wardrobe was quite a different story. Runners on drawers put on backwards, drawer fronts that were just propped up, and the wardrobe ended up with a wonky door that wouldn't close and this was down to bad instructions, even worse builders and missing screws. Please feel free to share your flatpack triumphs and failures here.
 
We had to buy flat pack bedroom furniture. This included 2 double door wardrobes with an inbuilt 3 door drawer unit.
Mr MA got to work and soon had one fully assembled, bar the doors.
He called me in to proudly show off his work so far and decided it was time for a rest. And promptly sat down on the drawer unit, which was never intended to take the weight of a 6ft human.
Surprisingly not too much damage was done, other than a corner breaking off, but they’ve never been quite right.
 
I think in this day and age flatpack furniture has come on quite a lot and as I said before a lot easier to assemble. The stuff we were given was basically chipboard with Formica sheets stuck to it, and even if you did manage to build something that resembled the picture on the front of the box the formica would end up cracking or peeling - not a good look!
 
In recent years I have had great success assembling flat pack furniture. I'm currently sitting a a computer desk that I "built" over 20 years ago and it's still solid as a rock. Before I go on I have to say that OH is completely useless at this sort of thing and wouldn't even know where to start. He's an extremely clever man, but has no practical skills other than cooking which he is fab at, which is great because I can't cook for toffee! So yes, if I order flatpack it's down to me to assemble it. My biggest triumph was a pine bunk bed for the kids, I put it together single handedly with nothing more than a ratchet screwdriver. It took me literally all day and a lot of bad language but it certainly was an achievement. (OH helped me lift the top bed on the lower one as I couldn't have done that by myself). Since then I have built a lamp table, a bar cart and the bed in the upstairs bedroom. This was surprisingly easy and took less than a morning as it was put together with screws and an allen key. As the stairs up to the bedroom are so narrow any furniture has to be very light or flatpack, hence why I have clothes rails instead of wardrobes and the chest of drawers are those plastic ones. One of which is used as a bedside table but the top is only just big enough for a clock and light. I recently saw a bedside table in the catalogue which had been reduced down from about £80 to a mere £34. It only had one drawer but then the other one is just full of junk I could happily get rid of. I sometimes sleep up there when I'm on an early shift and will watch tv up there if OH is watching something I'm not interested in. It arrived yesterday, I unboxed it and I could see that all the components were numbered and I was initially impressed, that's until I looked at the instruction manual - It was like stepping back into the 1980's, it was just a series of complicated looking diagrams, a lot of arrows and no written instructions. I was hoping for the Allen key/sturdy screw combination but alas no, you needed two different types of screwdriver which luckily I had. The first job was to screw the drawer runner onto the sides of the drawer but the holes didn't line up and I was flummoxed. Then I noticed this tiny little diagram showing that they came in two parts that you had to separate, I tried but I couldn't separate them but to no avail and I thought I'd have to return it. I then noticed that the diagram showed a screwdriver being used to gouge something out in order to do this, and I found this little plastic tab which I gingerly poked at with the screwdriver and lo and behold off it came and I was able to attach the first part of the drawer runner. I went great guns from then on and within half an hour the unit was standing with just the drawer front to attach - It took me another 2 hours to get this right as it consisted of this weird screw/cam-bolt combination. I followed the drawing to the best of my ability but the drawer front simply would not lock on, eventually I decided that I'd try putting the screws in the other way up from what the picture showed and hey presto it fit like a dream. I still don't know how I managed to get the runners on the right way around, I guessed as the diagram was unclear so I was just lucky there. So three hours of blood sweat and tears to assemble the most simple of items - It was like a trip back to the 1970's and 80's.
Way back in the day when my boyfriend and I moved into our first rented place we were told that it was furnished with brand new furniture, we had a look at the place and it was empty but we were assured that the furniture was coming. To cut a long story short it was all flatpack that we were expected to assemble ourselves, he was a carpenter by trade, so it shouldn't have been a problem. Trouble is he was a lazy sod and more often than not inebriated so between the two of us we managed to assemble a coffee table (which went fine) but the chest of drawers and wardrobe was quite a different story. Runners on drawers put on backwards, drawer fronts that were just propped up, and the wardrobe ended up with a wonky door that wouldn't close and this was down to bad instructions, even worse builders and missing screws. Please feel free to share your flatpack triumphs and failures here.
Avoid at all costs if possible. I can only remember which way to screw or unscrew something by thinking rightly tightly,lefty loosey. My problem is patience or in my case lack of. If it doesn't go right the first time I give up
Painting,more goes on me then on whatever I'm supposed to be painting. I'm impractical and clumsy.
 
Avoid at all costs if possible. I can only remember which way to screw or unscrew something by thinking rightly tightly,lefty loosey. My problem is patience or in my case lack of. If it doesn't go right the first time I give up
Painting,more goes on me then on whatever I'm supposed to be painting. I'm impractical and clumsy.
Lol! I was taught turn to the right - screw it up tight, turn to the left to unscrew it! I'm completely the other way there I have dogged determination and I will not allow myself to be defeated hence it taking 3 hours or more to build something that should've been finished in less than one hour! There are jobs that I won't tackle myself from the word go and painting and decorating is one of them - I'll get a man in lol! Though I did managed to gloss paint the banister rails once but that's as much as I've ever done.
 
Lol! I was taught turn to the right - screw it up tight, turn to the left to unscrew it! I'm completely the other way there I have dogged determination and I will not allow myself to be defeated hence it taking 3 hours or more to build something that should've been finished in less than one hour! There are jobs that I won't tackle myself from the word go and painting and decorating is one of them - I'll get a man in lol! Though I did managed to gloss paint the banister rails once but that's as much as I've ever done.
The last tine I helped paint I got more in my hair than anywhere. We had some pine chairs that needed putting together. Hubby said to leave it and he would sort them. We had just moved and I decided he was doing enough so I thought I'd help. Apparently I put the chair legs on wrong. He once asked me if I did most things wrong so I wouldn't have to do them again but that's not the case.
I can wash paintwork and prep it ready for painting.
 
I really enjoy painting (except ceilings) and also doing the smaller DIY jobs around the house. However, despite having a drill, I do shy away from doing the “heavier” type of DIY and the ex usually comes round to do it. With really big jobs like having my barn re-roofed, the bloc paving and new fencing I called in the professionals. I’m lucky that I now have quite a few workmen that I’ve used before so if I need anything doing that I can’t manage I give them a ring as I know their work.

I even tackled flat pack furniture for my bedroom and study when I moved here. However, my son did help me with a lot of it because two people were needed as some of the furniture was pretty big.
 
My dad could build anything, he wasn't a carpenter but could turn his hands to most things. After he died my mum moved house and had to buy furniture because my dad had made built in wardrobes etc. We ordered from M&S, they were doing 20% off which helped. Bought a large wardrobe, chest of drawers and bedside cabinet. Paid a few pounds extra for the delivery drivers to build them when delivered (best investment ever). All they asked us for was a cup of tea!

I've since managed to build simple bookcases and cubed storage units. My main problem though is lack of confidence. But I bought a cheap electric screwdriver which I found useful recently. Haven't built anything serious yet.

Haven't tried painting yet, I'd probably make a total mess of it!
 
Does anyone remember whitewood furniture?

The famous maker was Liden, they had a large range of furniture, already assembled, but you had to paint it yourself.

I bought quite a lot for my first house, and covered some of it with Fablon (and I became quite expert at this).

I still have some, but now in use in the garage.
 
Does anyone remember whitewood furniture?

The famous maker was Liden, they had a large range of furniture, already assembled, but you had to paint it yourself.

I bought quite a lot for my first house, and covered some of it with Fablon (and I became quite expert at this).

I still have some, but now in use in the garage.
I can't say that I do. My first memory of flatpack furniture was M.F.I (affectionately known as Made For Idiots) I don't have any experience of trying to knock it together myself as I was too young but I have a vague memory of my dad buying a nest of tables and the plans and bits and bobs strewn across the living room carpet. I think it lasted a while and served its purpose. Blue Peter staple there Stratto!
 
Would that be Arthur's family,for those old enough to remember.
Or this? Also for those old enough to remember.
 

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