Yesterday I finally got around to putting together an Ikea bookcase – that I bought over Memorial Day weekend.
One thing I’ve been bad about doing with my bookcases is anchoring them to the wall, but this bookcase is 8 feet tall (including the extra shelf I bought), will hold a third of my comic book collection, and will hover (ominously?) above our bed, so I really needed to anchor it, this being earthquake country and all. The thing is, having never anchored a bookcase, I wasn’t sure how much work it would be. So I’ve been intimidated by the project for all this time, while the bookcase stood unassembled, in its box, in the garage. (Why didn’t I put it together over the long weekend on which I bought it? Because I spent a big chunk of that weekend at work.)
It turns out none of it was a big deal, but it did take about 2-1/2 hours to finish the project. All together the project involved:
- Carrying the bookcase upstairs – too big a job for one person, and actually it took Debbi and me a good 5 minutes to maneuver it up the stairs.
- Assembling the bookcase. Really, this was the easiest part. I’ve assembled so many prefab bookcases in the last 20 years that I can almost do it in my sleep.
- Unloading comic books from the first of the four six-foot bookcases they currently live in, and piling them on the bed. Then, realizing that I really need to unload the second bookcase, too.
- Locating the wall studs and marking the spots to drill holes for the anchor straps.
- Moving the old bookcases out of the way and putting the new bookcase in place.
- Vacuuming where the old bookcases where, since it was pretty dusty back there.
- Affixing the anchor straps to the wall. (Requires ladder.) Then attaching the straps (which are the velcro type) to the underside of the top shelf of the bookcase. Why the underside? Because the top of the top shelf is going to be a usable shelf itself, with comics on it, once the extension is attached, and I don’t want comics sitting on the straps.
- Assembling the extension and attaching it to the bookcase.
- Filling the bookcase with comics.
- Since one eight-foot bookcase is not as capacious as two six-foot bookcases, carrying a small (three-foot) bookcase into the bedroom from the front room and fill it with the remaining comics.
- Putting one of the two six-foot bookcases in the front room in place of the small bookcases.
- Disassembling the other bookcases and dump it in the trash. (I inherited this bookcase when I bought the house. It’s not an Ikea bookcase, and is not as cleverly designed as Ikea bookcases. Ikea cases don’t have screws going all the way through the outer wood, whereas this one did, and had little wood-patterned stickies to cover up the screws.)
- Cleaning up. In this project I used a bunch of stuff in my toolbox, a ladder, a ruler and a tape measure, a pencil, a studfinder, and the vacuum cleaner. Waste included the box the bookcase and extension came in, the box the earthquake straps came in, and various bits I didn’t need (Ikea often adds a few extra hardware parts, though which parts you get always seems random). Plus two glasses of water. Not to mention that I showered and changed clothes.
So, that’s one bookcase, and it looks great! Now I need to buy two more such bookcases, put them together to replace the remaining six-foot bookcases, and then throw away two (or maybe all three) of the old bookcases (we’re undecided whether we’ll put the three-foot bookcase back in the front room or leave a six-foot bookcase there). So that will be a project for the coming weeks. But now that I’ve done it once, hopefully the other two will be easier.
The ultimate result of all this, I hope, will be a little more extra room for comics (ultimately, the three new bookcases should replace 21 shelves of comics with 21 slightly-wider shelves), but more importantly converting lateral wall space into vertical wall space so that we can replace our aging queen-sized bed with a new king-sized bed.
Plus, of course, the new bookcases really do look a lot better than my 17-year-old ones that I bought from a furniture store in Madison, in different colors because they kept running out of the colors I wanted. Ikea really does things right.
By the way, comments about the number of comics books I own will be ignored.