Cupboard love? Do the flat pack instructions stack up?

PUBLISHED: 08:22 25 August 2017

The cupboard which turned into shelves.  Picture: Jo Malone

The cupboard which turned into shelves. Picture: Jo Malone


The building of a cupboard for Thalia’s room is taking longer than I expected, and it doesn’t even look very useful

Thalia helps. Picture: Jo MaloneThalia helps. Picture: Jo Malone

After a lot of trouble with screw sizes and slight trouble with a rather over-excited six year old and a hammer, we’re still learning about building flat packs.

There is quite a bit I will try to remember if I ever decide to build another cupboard.

1 Dowels go into the pre-drilled holes a lot further than you think.

2 Slotting a panel with dowels into another panel and trying to close the gap with a sharp tap can cause the dowel to pop through the wrong panel.

3 Screwdrivers that turn screws are far better than ones that just grind a circle into the screw head.

4 Trying to find another right size screw is difficult.

5 Too small a screw and a good dollop of glue works (ish).

6 If the instructions say front and back it does mean there is a front and a back, even if both sides look exactly the same.

7 The differences between front and back may just be a trimming or an easily overlooked mysterious small hole.

8 Glueing edges makes for a sturdier build.

9 Trying to add glue once the screws are nearly tight is almost impossible.

10 Glue is difficult to wipe off when it’s wet.

11 But it’s hopeless once it’s dried.

12 Scraping off dried glue with a screwdriver leaves scratches worse than the glue marks.

13 There can be pieces left over which probably don’t matter very much, such as screws and strange devices called camlocks.

14 It may turn out that the mysterious small hole is for the door hinge.

15 If that is at the back of the cupboard it is the wrong way round.

16 Once glued, a flat pack doesn’t come apart when needed and I can’t drill a hole in a flat pack.

17 Those left over pieces have fallen out from somewhere because they weren’t put in properly. This will be discovered when things get wobbly.

18 If a left over piece is a door (see 7, 14 and 15), the cupboard is now known as shelves.

19 Shelves are useful.

20 There is no known use for a very small left over door.

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