Saturday, 10 November 2012

Self-assembly ... and self-control!

My wife collects paperweights. To the average wargamer this might seem a bit odd, but it does have the advantage that it helps my wife to understand – to a certain extend – my desire to collect toy soldiers.

The majority of my wife's collection was stored in an IKEA glass display cabinet, but over time it had begun to show signs of wear and tear. As a result she ordered a new cabinet to replace it ... and my task this afternoon has been to assemble it.

The parts were very well packed. The outer cover was made from thick corrugated cardboard, and the corners were reinforced with plastic protectors. Inside the packaging was mainly expanded polystyrene and thick polythene, and each of the major components were very well protected from potential damage. The small parts were each in separate sealed plastic bags, and the instructions were over twelve pages long.

Just unpacking and checking the components took the best part of half an hour … and then I started work. The first thing I had to do was to try to understand the almost entirely visual instructions. These were a series of drawings that showed the various stages of the construction process and which components went where. The only problem was that some parts of the drawing was so small that they were almost useless … and by halfway through the construction process I realised that there was actually a much easier way to assemble the cabinet. (All those years of putting together Airfix kits were not wasted after all!). Unfortunately this realisation came too late to speed or ease the process, and so I continued to follow the instructions I had … and I have the cuts and bruises to prove it.

The cabinet is now complete and awaiting a good clean by my wife before the paperweights can be put into it. I have managed to disassemble to old cabinet, and its component parts are now waiting for disposal at the local recycling centre.

So why the comment about self-control?

Well my wife tells me that during the construction process I used a lot of language more suited to the parade ground than the conservatory (which is where I assembled the new cabinet). As anyone who knows me will tell you, I never ever swear … well not much … and then only after extreme provocation … and when I am putting together self-assembly furniture!

16 comments:

  1. Your experience is why I spend the extra amount to have THEM assemble it whenever I buy Ikea furniture!
    Otherwise it takes away from painting and gaming time.

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  2. Bob

    No project is complete unless the air turns blue. Did you make the traditional blood sacrifice to the Swedish furniture god?

    Cheers
    PD

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  3. I've always found Ikea stuff relatively easy to put together. The only difficult thing I ever did was a futon, which involved numerous slats and lots of moving parts. But even that only took an afternoon. The hardest part was avoiding swearing at my dad, who was 'assisting' me ;)

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  4. In my experience profanity is an essential part of the construction process - whether it's an IKEA bookcase or an Airfix Spitfire. Actually, I'm pretty sure I've built more of the former....

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  5. Dick Bryant,

    You mean there are people out there who will build the furniture for you? But isn't that like buying ready-painted figures?

    All the best,

    Bob

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  6. SAROE,

    IKEA is many things. One of them is being Sweden's revenge on the rest of the world for not being Swedish.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  7. Prince Lupus,

    We have all said that ... but we still keep going back!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  8. Peter Douglas,

    The air was certainly very blue ... except where the blood had sprayed from the numerous cuts on my fingers from screwdriver blades that slipped as I used them.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  9. Kaptain Kobold,

    Using an aged relative to assist you is one course of action ... but in my case my wife was on hand to 'assist' ... and she was always just out of hearing range when I asked for/needed help!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  10. Tim Gow,

    With the number of models you have in your Megablitz armies (and bookcases needed to hold all the file boxes), you ought to be in the Guiness Book of Records for profanity!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  11. Hey, we all have to be good at something.

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  12. Tim Gow,

    Well you are certainly an expert at producing Megablitz armies ... and Fletcher Pratt navies to name but two of your accomplishments.

    All the best,

    Bob

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