Thursday, 4 September 2008

Ikea - Sultan Mattress Systems

Ikea have recently introduced a range of mattress systems to provide excellent lumber support and a good night’s sleep.

The main difference from an assembly perspective is that the slats that can be purchased for a wide variety of their beds are different to traditional slats.

Traditional Slats are supplied on a roll, where each slat is connected via two strips of fabric, so you can simply roll them onto the bed frame and in less than 60 seconds the bed is complete.

The newer Sultan slats need individual assembly, and contain multiple parts, suffice to say of the two systems available, both take around one to one and a half hours to assemble! This makes a big difference if you are paying a Flatpack Assembler to do it for you!

The slats that fall into this category are:

  • Sultan Lillaker

  • Sultan Lovene

  • Sultan Landon

  • Sultan Mane

The following photographs illustrate the additional complexity involved.

1) This is one of the rubber lugs that three of the slats will eventually slide into:

2) This is one of the side peices, the rubber lugs slide into these as shown in the next photo and these are assembled to form the basic frame:


4) Here you can see the slats are slid into the rubber legs and the system starts to build:

5) Of course it isn't that simple! A fabric ribbon, is also present to keep the slats aligned and this makes putting on each slat quite difficult/fiddly. Although I haven't shown a photo of it here, some of the slats are doubled up for extra support and this is awkward to say the least to assemble.

6) The final slats all assembled:

Unless you have the patience of a saint and are good with yiour hands you will find this excruciatingly annoying. I know I did the forst time I did one! Further more the more complex systems with bends in them and so forth (such as the Landon and Mane) are even more tricky.

Friday, 18 July 2008

Moving to a new house?

So the delivery truck arrives with all your possessions, and you start directing them to the relevant rooms in your marvelous new home.

When they have gone a few things start to dawn on you, that maybe you hadn’t thought of:

- I need curtains in the bedrooms
- I need to put my clothes and other things away
- I’m tired and hungry!

Yes everything is upside down and you need some order. You can’t even cook, so it is off to the chippy!

You can’t begin to start putting things away until all your furniture is in place and these days this often means assembling flat pack furniture and getting out the screwdriver if you can find it!

Time is the biggest enemy when moving house, and assembling your new furniture takes a lot of time. If you don’t do this sort of thing often it could take you all day to assemble a couple of wardrobes and beds, several days to do more furniture. Very few people have a good idea of how long it takes.

You are also stressed and frustrated so this probably is not a good time to have a hammer and a screwdriver in your hands!

Why not instead, just get some one in?

Pay some one to arrive and assemble all your new flat pack furniture, maybe even the day before your stuff arrives, so you can start putting stuff away immediately after you move in.

Not only will it be done properly and look how it should look, but you will avoid another stressful task!


I have just added this blog to Technorati to get some more exposure!

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Monday, 14 July 2008

Ikea Pax Wardrobes are brilliant!

I thought it was about time I added some information about Ikea's flagship flat pack wardrobe product or "Bedroom Idea" (sic), it is called PAX.

The first thing you will notice is the price!

Yes they are brilliant and I'll list all the pros and cons at the foot of this blog just to highlight them. I have built that many that I kind of go into automatic mode when I start building them. I've even put up a bespoke page regarding Ikea stuff on my website too - Ikea at Flat Pack Assemblers which you can use to find out more or contact me if you wish to.

They are fairly easy to install, but once you get beyond two units side by side then installation becomes rather tricky. This is not a fault of the wardrobe, moreover, there isn't a single house in the world where the rooms have flat floors, true walls and a perfectly level ceiling. It is not apparent up to 2 metres, but over that it becomes noticeable. There are a few tricks to ease levelling them but this is a significant issue if you are covering an entire wall or two with them.

The PAX wardrobe is basically a shell, with a variety of doors from hinged to sliding, wooden to glass, contemporary to quite smart. The KOMPLEMENT range from Ikea are the internal bits that make your storage ace! You can choose form a variety of the following slidy things:

External Drawers - Internal Drawers - Plastic Tubs - Jewellery Trays - Shelves - Tie Racks - Shoe Racks - Clothes Rails - Trouser Rails etc

I call them "slidy things" because so many of them slide in and out of the robes!


When you order or buy them, check you have everything you want with one of their staff. Get an inventory of everything you need and ensure that when it is delivered you check everything off.

Furthermore, do not select or accept any damaged or opened items. These are more likely to be faulty and the returns system at Ikea should you have to endure it is hard work. So buy with avoiding this in mind.

That said as I say the system is brilliant.

You can mix and match virtually everything. In the stores they have a few combinations made up but really your imagination, space and needs are all that constrain you. Once you have come up with your fantastic combination make sure you draw it so you know how it should look, or perhaps take a photo if it is on display. This may come invaluable if your chosen design is fairly complex.

Right I think I have sold you on them, if not read the Pros at the bottom of this blog!

Okay so now for the Cons:

Although you can assemble them yourselves the following ought to be considered first:

NB: I have gone into great length regarding what to consider at my flat pack help site if you are doing it yourself!

- Have you measured properly? The taller units can often be too tall for modern apartments and homes.

- How long will it take? Each wardrobe will take 1-3 hours depending on your ability before you start on your internal Komplement fittings. Each of these will take around 10-15 minutes, though there are some exceptions: A pair of sliding doors or the shoe rack each take 1-2 hours to assemble.

- Is there enough space? Very often you want to maximise your storage space, by buying this range and the down side is that working in a confined space can make the job take a lot longer. The wardrobes are easier to assemble lying down, so if you take the height and width adding about 60-70cm to each then you will have the area you need and plenty of space.

If that is daunting then you could always call for a quote, at least then you will have a rough idea of how long it might take you to build them! Now imagine sitting in the garden soaking up the sun with a glass of wine or a cold beer, with me sweating away upstairs putting your wardrobes in for you! (Is that Neuro Linguistic Programming? ;-)

So all that is left now is the Pros of Pax:

1) The range has been around for 10-15 years it doesn't look dated nor does it show any signs of going away.

2) You can spruce up your Pax range after a few years with new doors and handles with limited effort and cost.

3) The internal Komplment fittings give you maximum flexibility over what you can have in your wardrobe/storage system.

4) The range of colours and materials is vast, so you will find something that goes with your planned or existing room and that you will like.

5) You virtually get a Rolls Royce for the price of a Mini.


Sunday, 13 July 2008

Crystal Chandalier Assembly

I was called out on Saturday to assemble a crystal chandelier from Heals. Unfortunately I cannot find it on the website, but it was beautiful. It isn't technically a chandelier, but simply several spot lights shining down onto a ball made of dangling crystal jewels as per the photo below:-

To be honest the photos, don't really do this light justice, because it really comes into its own as you walk around it, because the light refracts forming a myriad of colours from the spectrum and the final result is stunning!

The customer had arranged for an electrician to install it, who had wired it up in the correct place in the stairwell for when I arrived. I had been asked to attach the jewels/crystals to the dangling wires to make up the ball.

If you ook at the photo below you can see part of the way through, the wires on the left are dangling and have yet to have the crystals added:-

This was to be frank, a pain in the backside! Each wire ended with a loop. I had to hook a V shaped paper clip through the hook and then clamp this onto the crystal. Each one took about 10-20 seconds to do, which doesn't sound to bad until you realise there were over 180 of them to do.

This was excruciating and took me around 90 minutes to do. Partly because I was stretching and some of the time stood on a free standing step ladder; partly because my arms were constantly above my head with lactic acid slowly rising in my arms; and partly because every time I added a crystal more light diffracted into my eyes and the harder it was to see where the vacant loops were for the next crystal!

Finally once I had added them all, I had the challenge of untangling the wires. This can be difficult at the best of times, but again stretching and glaring into the light was not easy. However, fortune was on my side and I was able to use the weight of the crystals to gauge when my twists were the right or the wrong way and finally with a lot of patience I finally untangled them all.

The instructions were great and I ignored most of their recommendations:

1) Use gloves to avoid getting greasy finger marks on the crystals.

A nice enough tip, but could you imagine the crystals pinging off down the stairs all over the house as they slipped out of my fingers? You really needed to be dexterous to manipulate them into position and only someone who had done a lot of this work would be able to use gloves. Perhaps a jeweller?

2) Try not to let the crystals swing as they may shatter if they hit one another.

A great tip, but since these things get tangled and rest on wire of about 2-3 feet in length and rest about and inch apart this simple was not going to happen!

To be honest the finished light look fabulous and it was worth all the effort!

If you buy one of these (or similar) be aware that there may be significant effort in installing it! The crystals were about an inch in diameter and came individually wrapped in a box about 2 foot square.

If you have one that needs assembling you can always give me a call! I can't wire it in as I am not a registered electrician, but I can save you the stress, particularly if you don't have the patience for assembling this sort of fiddly thing!

Monday, 7 July 2008

Dwell Furniture

Dwell make really stylish and contemporary furniture and I have assembled a lot of it over the last two to three years. They have a few stores in London, Manchester and Birmingham and can be found on line at

Most of it goes together very easily however there are some tips to note:


The furniture is heavy, so if you are not reasonably strong and fit don't try assembling it yourself, especially larger items.


These will take a long time to assemble and care is needed to ensure they look good, especially with the doors, many people have difficult with these.


Some of the shelves have an unusual connector. One guy called Larry phoned me up last year who had been struggling with this for days, he emailed me a picture and it all became clear:

These are about the size of two polo mints stuck together. Although not obvious the plastic part will slide away from the metal part with a little force. Then simply align plastic disk and push it into the shelf. Put the metal lugs in the unit (wardrobe usually) and then place the shelf in. Finally lock the connector together to provide a firm finnish.


Due to the construction these are best assembled on their side, BUT when you stand them up, first lie them on their back.


If you assemble them on their side you can reach all the cam studs easily and as you slide in the back components the structure builds up nicely. Don't tighten any of the camstuds connecting the back until the last peice is in as you need to move most parts as you go.

If you assemble them standing up (as per instructions) or lying on their fornt or back, you cannot tighten the cam studs easily or get the panels in easily.

When you come to stand them up, unless you have done it before you may well need two people.

Now the reason I say, don't stand the unit up from its position on its side is twofold. Firstly you may catch the ceiling, but more importantly you will put undue weight on the joints which will break under the weight of the unit. It is difficult to describe, but I advise:

- Assemble on its side
- Lie it on its back
- Stand it up

NB: Make adequate use of cardbaord if you are not assembling on a soft surface such as carpet to ensure that the corners do not get damaged when you manouvre the unit.

Sliding Doors:

This is true for any supply of wardrobes with sliding doors. On flat pack furniture they run along the top of the robe, compared to fitted wardrobes where the doors tend to run along the floor. Hanging and adjusting these doors can be difficult as a lot of care is needed to avoid scratches and they tend to be heavy especially glass ones. Although two people can support the weight better, you need to communicate well to hang them easily.

Failing that, you can always call one of us out by checking out our website BUT be careful to ask the person you call whether they have done Dwell wardrobes before, as not all have experience of them.

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Furniture Assembly UK

I thought I should finally set up a blog to record some of the products I assemble as it might help others who are having difficulty and if they give up they can always give me a call and I'll come out to help them out of their difficulty.

My site is and I have been building furniture for around 4 years now and know a few tricks plus a lot about the products too.

My career background is mainly in IT and I know quite a bit about this too and have what I guess is a portfoilio career at the moment as I do IT related work as well. I'm gonna do a blogg for this as well!