Sunday, July 19, 2009

IKEA assembly joy

Two weeks ago while Ken was racking up the miles on the Harley with his brothers & cousin, my own cousin (Ms. Angela) came up here from Portland and spent a glorious week with me.
Angela & I after her college graduation last summer
In addition to helping with household stuff, palling around with me for a little shopping and cooking some great grub, she assembled the majority of the IKEA furniture that is for the nursery and did a great job. I myself actually like putting IKEA stuff together because of the challenge it poses but at this stage of pregnancy, my energy level and stamina is not what it once was. I would get started helping place some wood screws in a panel while sitting on the floor and after 10 minutes I would have to take a break. There are no words in IKEA instructions so you have to be really careful and observant because many parts tend to look alike and none of them are labeled with numbers or letters--even though it would eliminate a lot of the confusion.
But the major obstacle we hit was with the changing table... Angela was almost done and all we had to do was slide the 2 drawers in. For some reason they wouldn't go in all the way. I'd noticed that the ends of the tracks (installed within the cabinet) were slightly canted down. I thought perhaps they had been damaged ever so slightly and that was why the drawers wouldn't go in. As she tried again to push in the bottom drawer, I decided that maybe all it needed was a little force so I gave it a good shove. This caused it to jump the track on one side and then we couldn't get the damn thing out.
We called IKEA and began to set in motion an exchange where they would come drop off a new unit and we'd give them this defective one. It was sort of late at night so we both went to bed slightly disappointed that we did not get all the IKEA things put together. The next morning, I sat in my glider looking at the changing table and reviewing the instructions. As I mentioned, one has to pay very close attention to these visual only instructions and I realized that we installed tracks on the inside of the cabinet upside down which I compounded by forcing the drawer onto them in a way they aren't meant to go. Aww man. I was sure the IKEA people would take one look at that and realize it was our error and not theirs. So I knew what we had to do.
Determined to fix it, Angela and I flipped the thing on it's side and tried to alleviate the pressure on the jumped track side. Nothing changed. We flipped it again so the feet were up and the top was down. I loosened the front of the drawer so that it sort of collapsed on itself ever so slightly and with the angle and the lessened tension on the track, it mercifully slid out. We were SO relieved. Angela was able to switch the tracks, retightened all the things I had loosened and the drawers went in as they should. I could not have done it without her and am so grateful for our collective tenacity to get it done.
It was a great week and I really appreciated her help & presence.
Here are the finished products:
Toy chest without Oliver perched on it.

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