SCPDX

IKEA Shame

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So the wife has been on Pinterest (which I believe is pretty much porn for women).  Has seen all the "miracle IKEA bookcases".  And now is wanting the old IKEA book cases in the bonus room turned into something that will look like custom built in bookcases.  I have suggested that if that is what she wants we can do that, but why not just build new bookcases?  The power of the internet has her convinced that re-working the IKEA is fast, cheap, easy, and will look absolutely amazing -- because look at what this person did in a few hours one weekend.

So - happy wife, happy life.  I guess it is off to buy some MDF to put lipstick on a pig with a little bit of crown moulding and some 1x S4S.

Anyone have any experience, suggestions or ideas?  My initial thought is build a simple face frame to beef up the appearance, raise the book cases up about 6" - 8" and box in sort of a platform,  trim with some crown on top, and call it good. 

Lovely.

IKEA.jpg

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Best idea is to put your foot down. It sounds like you don't want to build it in that way because you clearly know those things are absolute junk. Not only are the "joints" they use garbage but the materials are also. Any lipstick you put on will have to attach to that spongey balsa core crap with peeling laminate.

It's your house and your shop. Build it how you want it. After you futz around with building the pre fab unit, you could have just had all of your sheet goods processed and ready for assembly on something that won't suck out the gate.

My $.02. 

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10 minutes ago, Brendon_t said:

It's your house and your shop. Build it how you want it. After you futz around with building the pre fab unit, you could have just had all of your sheet goods processed and ready for assembly on something that won't suck out the gate.

I swear I've said that about  flat pack furniture before. the girlfriend wanted me to help her brother put something together. I told her that it'd be faster for me to build it from scratch than to figure out those silly things.

Good luck with the build @SCPDX Hope it works out. Also the picture bookshelf looks like it's already leaning and bowing quite a bit is that part of the fix?

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Give her a big smile and say "sure i can do that" and then go build one from scratch that will be 10 times better and she will love it. it already looks like that one shelf is starting to bow from the weight anyway at least thats the excuse you can start with if she catches you building a new one.

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16 minutes ago, treeslayer said:

it already looks like that one shelf is starting to bow 

Yes it does and the edge banding will soon come off when someone breaths too close to it

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I am going to go against the grain here and say make her happy and do it the way she wants. Than if you find you are in need of another, make it yourself, make it better and she will want you to switch out the Ikea one. If you don't use the Ikea one then every perceived flaw and delay will be seen by her as more justification as to using the Ikea bookshelf.

On to the topic. Having owned a couple of those book cases I will say their biggest weakness is sagging shelves and cardboard backs. You can beef up the shelves by gluing a strip along the bottom in front. It will have the added benefit of aesthetics. You can replace the back if needed with 1/4 ply.

 

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You could use the online calculator " Sagulator " to calculate the safe load for those shelves. Weigh the stack of books & stuff on the shelf. 

Solid wood edges could be added to the shelves to stiffen them up but then you are approaching the " dress on a pig " zone.

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It's a fine line we gentlemen walk.  Things to think about, you are going empty the shelves move the book case, move it back on to its new base and then stack the shelves full of stuff again.  All of this is going to rack the joint mechanisms in their little partial board homes, there by making everything juuust a little looser then when you started.  It will probably end up looking fine, but will it have the long term use you, oops I mean she is looking for.  I would imagine that you will have to paint the book case as well as all the new construction so it looks consistent.

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I am very fortunate that my wife stays off the internet for the most part and also tends to listen to me when she asks if I could do this or that.

If I don't want to do something, I start out by saying "Sure i can do that. But if I do..." Then I go off on a rant about what will happen if I do. By the time I'm done, she's opted to move on to another subject and forgotten what she asked me to do. :)

Works everytime

The reason I bring that up is I'm in the boat with @Brendon_t don't do it if you know better - it's just going to cause problems later you don't need.

IMO of course :)

Either way, I hope it works out for you.

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8 minutes ago, new2woodwrk said:

I am very fortunate that my wife stays off the internet for the most part and also tends to listen to me when she asks if I could do this or that.

If I don't want to do something, I start out by saying "Sure i can do that. But if I do..." Then I go off on a rant about what will happen if I do. By the time I'm done, she's opted to move on to another subject and forgotten what she asked me to do. :)

Works everytime

The reason I bring that up is I'm in the boat with @Brendon_t don't do it if you know better - it's just going to cause problems later you don't need.

IMO of course :)

Either way, I hope it works out for you.

So your familiar with that glazed over look people get when you talk about stuff in too much detail? I get that look a lot from my girlfriend. Luckily she is patient and willing to wait for me to just build stuff. Out house only has furniture in half the rooms right now because i want to make the furniture to fill them.

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Deja vu! Many years ago, before I knew any better, I did the same thing with a large Ikea entertainment unit. This was one of there higher end units that was actually pretty well built for flat pack. Anyway, it turned out looking great with the addition of some molding, some new panels to turn it into a break front cabinet, & new paint

Was it worth it? Not a chance. I could have built a whole new piece for not much more work. But on the up side, I didn't have to feel bad when I threw the whole thing out a few years later.

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53 minutes ago, drzaius said:

Deja vu! Many years ago, before I knew any better, I did the same thing with a large Ikea entertainment unit. This was one of there higher end units that was actually pretty well built for flat pack. Anyway, it turned out looking great with the addition of some molding, some new panels to turn it into a break front cabinet, & new paint

Was it worth it? Not a chance. I could have built a whole new piece for not much more work. But on the up side, I didn't have to feel bad when I threw the whole thing out a few years later.

Nice part about well made stuff that i had in Bismarck that i didn't want to move. I set it out side in the alley and it was gone before the trash guys came. Solved 2 problems the guilt and the clutter.

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My wife wants to do the same thing. I noticed in these pictures that all of the bookshelves are wall to wall. How close is the wall on the left side of that bookshelf?  Just framing the bookshelf with molding is going to look weird unless the edge butts up against a wall or three. 

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See, here's the deal.

It's all about making her think she's won, that you followed her ideas, while you quietly, yet firmly suggested otherwise. 

But yet, you calmly relented, slapped a face frame on that book case, and waited the 8-10 months before it finally collapsed, but miraculously, the face frame was still standing. 

Now you can have pretty much carte blanche to buld your projects as you wish. 

 

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18 minutes ago, Marmotjr said:

It's all about making her think she's won, that you followed her ideas, while you quietly, yet firmly suggested otherwise. 

You tell her something like "while we are going to this trouble why don't we make to book case bigger", or "why don't we go all the way to the wall with book cases"...

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I wouldn't call it a total loss but I'd be a bit more radical than the folks on Pinterest.

  • I'd salvage the sides:  They're "prefinished" and already drilled for shelf pins.  It's not high quality particle board but it's adequate and it could save some time.
  • Rip rabbets in the back edge and glue in a 1/4" plywood back.  If you can get a final commitment to shelf location, glue and perhaps nail the shelves to the back.
  • The center shelves in these units are sometimes fixed.  I'd ditch the knockdown hardware and replace it with a glued dado joint.
  • Lastly, since we're taking the whole thing for salvage, I'd chop the shelves shorter.  Helps fight the sag and (IMO) improves the proportions by narrowing the silhouette.

All that done, now I have a vastly more solid carcase upon which I'd be comfortable spending the time needed to make the fancy plinth and cornice box that the missus wants. 

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I know a guy that can arrange for that IKEA thing to have an "accident" ...

 

Really, there is no such thing as "fast, cheap, and easy", especially if you want "good" thrown in there, too.

I've attempted to modify that sort of thing before, it just isn't worth it.

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My wife is big on pinterest too. I made it clear to her that I will reproduce things she shows me, but with good material and solid construction, if it doesn't fit into that then she can figure it out herself. It shouldn't be happy wife, happy life. It should be about finding something that works for both. 

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We bought one of the cheapy closet things from Lowe's to store my wife's fabric.  Not real good quality and flimsy, to say the least.  Hard to put together even with instructions.  Just build one from scratch.  You can put all kinds of jimcracks and geegaws on it and make it look good plus a quality stain and finish will shout out, "Quality!"

My wife was watching HGTV once.  I had stripped off the blown crap on the ceiling and in the closet in the MBR.  Yes, in the closet!  Cheaper to spray that crap on than to paint the closet.  I got a wide putty knife and scraped away.  Came off easily.  Sanded and filled in where needed.  Back to HGTV.  She saw where they sprayed the ceiling to loosen the spray-on crap.  This loosened the crap plus you wound up gouging the sheet rock paper.  When it dried, I had to go back over the ceiling and fill in the holes.  Three times the work!  Never again.

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