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Assembly Advice

Assembling flatpack furniture can be a nightmare for anyone who is not used to doing it. Here at Rainbow Wood we hope to be able to ease the pain a little by offering some tips and tricks of the trade. We are also hoping to film a few more of our assemblies in order to share the process with our customers.

Assembling a Scallywag Midsleeper Bed

Part 1 - In Which we get things started with our Scallywag Cabin bed, builing the bed ends and show you how to attach the extension legs.

Part 2 - In Whice we join the ends with the slat rails, build the bed structure and ladder and complete the assembly.

Flexa Beds

Flexa Classic Single Bed

Flexa Classic Midsleeper

Flexa Classic Bunks

More video assemblies will follow soon.

General Assembly Advice

We've all been there, the furniture arrives and we unpack it with the family eagerly awaiting the finished article and then "arggghh where is part Z and why won't bolt 142 fit in the hole!", 4 hours later it's still a pile of wood and it's looking likely that the divorce courts may be your next stop. Well take it from me it doesn't have to be that way. Some years ago my parents bought my son a Parisot Cabin Bed and it was duly delivered requiring self assembly. I spent the next 4 and a half hours puzzling over this pile of wood and screws before finally giving up and calling my dad who at the time put them together as part of his business. Now days having joined the family business I spend maybe 3 days a week putting together flatpack children's beds. What I have learnt is that the key, as it is with many things, is preparation.

When dealing with flatpack furniture you must take your time before you begin to understand what you have in front of you and what you are looking to achieve. There are a number of simple steps you can take that will hopefully avoid flatpack frustration.

1. Look at the boxes..

The first common mistake is that people are too quick to unpack everything without looking at the packages that they have before proceeding to unpack. Many brands of flatpack furniture number the packs and this is generally the order in which you will need to open your boxes. Look at the packages to see whether there is any indication as to which box has the instructions in, if there is OPEN THAT BOX FIRST. Opening 5 boxes of flatpack and spreading it round the room is the easiest way to confuse yourself.

If there is no indication of order / instructions, open each box until you find the instructions but DO NOT UNPACK EVERYTHING.

2. Take a Long Look at the Instructions Before You Start..

The first thing to say to the guys here is that you are not a failure as a man if you look at the instructions. I have been building flatpack now for 4 years and I still have a sneaky peek at the instructions now and again. Look through the instructions (all the way through) and try to at least get an idea of the steps that you are going to go through to build your furniture. If you are able to have a look at a picture of the item you are building before you start. Being able to see what you are trying to achieve is a big help and will often save you valuable time when you actually start. Ask your retailer whether they can offer any tips as well you would be amazed how much knowledge some retailers have about their products.

3. Organise..

If you have followed the first two steps you should know the steps you are going to go through and have a good idea of what your furniture should look like at the end. Now you can start to unpack. As you do so consider each piece that you unpack (items of flatpack rarely have more than main 20 pieces). Try to see what each piece is and where it should go (referring back to your picture here is helpful). Doing this allows you to organise the parts in your head and also in your room, you will also find that having looked at the instructions before you start this process you will also have an idea of when you will need the various parts.

4. Proceed Methodically..

I have come across people who count every screw, nut and bolt before they start, don't bother! Now days it is rare to have missing screws etc and even if you discover you are missing a z3 it is very unlikely to stop you from getting your furniture built in any event. From here on in the best advice is follow the instructions making sure you are happy with each section before you move on to the next. Keep the image of your finished product in mind at all stages as this will help you see the purpose of the next stage as you proceed.

5. Take Your Time..

There are no prizes for finishing first, take it easy and don't rush. That way your build will proceed smoothly and without (too much) frustration.

6. Power Tools?

Power tools such as a drill driver are essential for screwing slats down for example but can be a real hinderance if you use them to screw in fittings etc. My advice would be to avoid them. Most flat pack furniture goes together via a combination of screws, screws and barrel nuts and cam and pin fittings. Using power tools to tighten these sorts of fittings can over tighten then causing creaking or over sink them causing them not to work properly. An old fashion screw driver and an alan key are the best tools to use.

So there it is a little advice which will hopefully help you along your way when you next make a piece of flatpack furniture.

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