Thursday, September 20, 2007

!@#$%&* Swedes

So, the wife and I broke our bed a couple months back... and yes, since you're thinking it anyway, it was EXACTLY what you're thinking of you sick bastards...

I know my readership.

Anyway, I've been planning on building us a bed out of solid white oak; the kind of bed that our grandkids will be asking for when we die.

Thing is, my "workshop" is an un-airconditioned, open air, covered space; so I don't do any work in it from June through September if I can avoid it. Plus, the wood for the bed was going to run around $600, and we have somewhat higher spending priorities at the moment.

So, wanting to keep the bed going until I had the time and money to build the new one, and being the inventive sort, I cheated. I drove a couple screws in, bolted things back together, lashed the left rail with one ratcheting tiedown, and clamped another all the way round the bed as a band clamp.

This lasted us just fine until a couple nights ago, when it collapsed completely.

No, this time it WASN'T during... It was just after...

Anyway, not being able to put it off any longer, and wanting to spend as little as possible while still getting a bed that can stand up to our... abuse... and needing to be able take it home that day and assemble it (most of the furniture places around here don't do same day warehouse pickup), we went to Ikea and picked up one of these:

'Cept we've got a premium, extra thick mattress, so the top of the mattress is actually about 3" taller than our night stands (which are 22" high); which by the way is perfect for me, since I'm tall and have bad knees. I can actually comfortably sit on the edge of my bed now.

This one is relatively decent. Solid pine, with a heavy duty mid rail, and a really solid base platform, plus the drawers (which fit our defensive carbine and defensive shotgun perfectly by the way). Importantly it was relatively cheap, and we had no problem bringing it home today (yet another occasion we are grateful to have the great silver whale; the Expedition). Now that it's fully assembled and in place, we really like it.

Now, if you've never had any Ikea furniture, they specialize in flatpack. That is, the furniture is all broken down into the smallest cardboard boxes possibl so it takes up less warehouse room etc... Ikea furnture is optimized for ease of manufacture, efficiency in materials and resource utilization, and relatively easy construction.

Only one problem though; the instructions (well, actually two. In their drive for efficient packaging, the bed came in two boxes; one of which was 7 feet long and 155lbs, the other 6ft long and 90lbs. A bit hard to maneuver; and Mel strained a muscle in her arm)

Ikea, in an effort to be universal and multicultural and efficient, don't have written instructions, everything is in line drawing pictograms... which is generally OK, they aren't too hard to figure out; but there are certain situations where that can be unclear....

Like, oh... I dunno... say, when the instruction start by having you assemble the bed upside down though they never actually say that; and then they have you switch off and work on the other side of the bed, which is almost, but not quite identical to what is actually (and unknown to you) the bottom; without ever telling you to flip it over, except by a little curved arrow in the top corner of one page.

We ended up putting a couple of the pieces on backwards and upside down because of this little mishap. We could tell it was wrong, because it didn't make any sense (though it fit together just fine, because they drill everything symmetrical in these things to increase parts commonality), but we were doing what the directions showed.

!@#$%^& Swedes and their "efficient" politically correct multicultural directions...