Judith Lautner (judith) wrote,
Judith Lautner


There is a reason I do not attempt many home improvement projects. I am not good at them. However, I can usually put together a piece of furniture or a shelf that is in a kit. So I attempted to put together a shelf that goes on the wall.

The item is from Ikea. I bought the box of pieces Friday, July 17. I have wanted this shelf for some time. The following Monday I screwed together the shelf itself. Tuesday I installed the hardware on the wall. The way this thing works is that you hang the shelf from these hardware pieces that you screw to the wall.

The brackets on the wall

With a little bit of difficulty (it is much better as a two-person job) I hung the shelf on the wall. I slid the little posts into the holes in the shelf, but I did not realize that the next step was to insert little pins to hold the posts in place. When I started to load the shelf with books it came crashing down.

Fortunately, no harm done. I looked at the instructions again and realized my error. I got the shelf back on the wall and started to insert the first pin. And the shelf fell down again. This time with disastrous results. One end of the shelf had broken off. I could see inside, could see the construction of the shelf.

If these shelves had been simply wood all the way through the solution I came up with would have worked. My plan was to buy long wood screws and glue and glue and screw the parts together. I decided to screw in a bit closer to the center from the existing screws.

The first difficulty was in finding long wood screws. I ended up with lag screws that were fat and had to screw in. I got one of them in most of the way but discovered that it was pulling the inside of the shelf out. The inside was not attached to the frame of the shelf. A curse on these types of shelves!

I went back out to get shorter screws, because I realized I had overdone it. I found wood screws at the smaller size and I started to screw one into the far end of the shelf, where it would go into the solid particleboard corner. For some reason I kept running into blockages, like there was metal in there somewhere. I could not get it to work.

The shelf end was starting to look like it was diseased.

I thought of other ways to make it work: getting some kind of angle iron to wrap around the corner and...screw in...that didn't sound like it would work; and liquid nails. That might work but it's iffy.

My sister called from Ohio to chat about her visit to Ikea to get some things for her new house. I told her my sad Ikea story, relieved to have an outlet. Somehow talking about it made it seem not so terrible and made me seem not so awful, such a klutz. Cathy offered to pick up another one of these shelves the next time she was at Ikea. Her Ikea is a lot closer to her than I am to any of the Ikeas in California, so I said that might be a good idea. Needless to say, this is not one of the items available for shipping direct from Ikea.

Yesterday she called. She had the shelf! She is going to mail it!
Tags: books, challenges, home improvement

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