At some time in life we are all faced with our first experience of putting together self-assembly furniture. You order a six foot shelving unit, and a four inch deep box is delivered. Your heart sinks as you contemplate spending the whole weekend wrestling with a host of screws and alien fittings. Take a deep breath and take control. You can do it!
First check out what tools are required for the project. Usually a hammer and a couple of screwdrivers are needed including a slotted and a crosshead screwdriver. Often an Allen key is supplied (a right-angled bracket of metal for tightening hex sockets) and you may need a box-cutter or scissors for opening cartons and packaging. For larger projects an electric screwdriver is best.
Hopefully your first self-assembly project will be a small item, such as attaching legs to chairs or constructing a simple coffee table. The tools and the principles are the same. Open the box carefully and make sure that you do not slash the wood when using a sharp knife. Lay out the pieces and check all the components are present and correct – there should be a checklist in the box. Put the handles to one side and lay out the smaller fittings in groups, like with like, to save hunting for that last screw in a muddle of assorted hardware.
Follow the diagrams carefully step-by-step. Don’t be tempted to follow your own logic or you may miss a vital preparatory step. Be warned; self assembly furniture does not easily undo for your to retrace your steps.
Follow the instructions carefully and your masterpiece will soon take shape. If you have a problem there is usually a helpline number for assistance. Don’t worry if you have a bag of bits left over. The fittings are often generic to suit different projects so you don’t have to use them all.
Finally, stand back and admire your handiwork. The money you saved and the sense of achievement are well worth the effort. Now, about that 7-drawer chest………