Sunday, August 1, 2010

Den Suck

We bought a new bedroom set from IKEA to replace an old multiple-hand-me-down set. This turned out to be a bit of an odyssey.

The assembly of the bed is good in theory: it has a wooden headboard, footboard, and sides that form a box to surround the actual bed, which is supported by some metal infrastructure. There are 2 angle brackets on the length of the side boards and a fairly robust metal beam down the middle that hold the actual weight of the bed.

Unfortunately the angle brackets are each too narrow by probably 5mm, which allows the box spring to drift and basically fall off one side or the other. This drops the box spring and mattress (and occupants, if any) onto some cross members which are designed to keep the box rigid and not to support weight; damage occurs.

The root cause seems to be that this is a European style bed, and Over There they don't use box springs; mattresses sit directly on planks or slats. So they apparently don't quite get box springs, and things like this happen.

Anyway I tried to work around it but ultimately the angle brackets are just too narrow. I didn't feel like going out and buying a bunch of planks to fix IKEA's bad construction, so instead I figured I'd try just taking the basic metal bed frame we used previously. Since it's nothing more than a metal rectangle that the bed sits on and is exactly as wide as the box spring, it should drop right into the new IKEA bed box.

Well, almost. It didn't quite fit, because the mounting brackets for the headboard on the old frame add just a tiny little bit of width, but it's enough to keep it from fitting.

But I pretend to be a Maker, and I smelled a project! So I figured I'd just remove the headboard brackets and then it'd fit. Unfortunately those brackets are riveted to the frame sides.

I tried drilling out the rivets, but my cordless drill didn't have the power and I didn't have a steel-drilling bit anyway. Then I whipped out the Dremel and put on a cutting tool, and cut off the rivet heads on one side, but the rivet material was pretty well alloyed with the frame metal, so I couldn't push the rivets out once I'd cut the head off. I tried just cutting the bracket off, but a Dremel as old as I am vs. steel is slow going, to say the least.

At this point I'd spent probably an hour and a half on all this. It had come down to it. I was sitting on the floor in the middle of the bed box staring at this frame, out of options. I was going to have to admit defeat.

Then I looked at the frame, and suddenly remembered that it was actually in 2 parts. The left and right angle brackets have arms that join together with a simple keyhole-and-pin slide lock. So I just pushed them in slightly to make the frame narrower, dropped it into the bed box, and then dropped in the box spring. This took a grand total of 90 seconds.

So, lesson learned. Again.

Always look for the simple solution before jumping into the hard one.

1 comment:

timelady said...

Lol. Seriously. Being disabled, AND feisty independent, AND wanting to put up the loft beds for my two youngest of the horde of offspring (tm, pat pend) all by myself*, i nearly hurled the pieces of said beds through windows.

RTFM. I HATE RTFM. Linux/floss types do not RTFM. Well, man ikea maybe...

So, saner heads (my dad, my older members of the horde of offspring(etc),my good ex (don't ask, don't tell) prevailed. When they are saner heads, you know it is pretty severe. Between us all, collective IQ started rolling up from room temperature (winter in AU is pretty cold..) to functional intelligent geek level.

So, we made a collective saving throw, read the damn instructions, which resolved from sanskrit to english, and by the second one, we are just about qualified to build one from scratch. You bet we field tested the beds by severe adult percussive methods (bounce a lot) before unleashing the potential destructive forces of small lad, a 7yo geek with urges to pull everything apart. The littlest princess, ms 9, just likes sparkly things, so new shiny bed was enough.

* we are fooling noone here, are we?

Now, i will not deny i found your blog attempting to find a contact address to tell you about our project using Android and potentially saving thousands of lives by creating a mesh telephony network that can hook into any existing system, keep your number, and be used without infrastructure, but your article really struck a chord. Also, it would be rude to assail you in such a fashion. If you did want to know more, i feel more ethical inviting you to approach me - just contact via my gmail or romana [at]

And ikea instruction victims of the world, untie!