Product Type: Ikea home furniture
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An Expedition to Expedite EXPEDIT (Expeditiously)
Ikea Expedit Bookcase
Member Name: Nibelung
Ikea Expedit Bookcase
Date: 15/03/09, updated on 17/03/09 (2553 review reads)
Advantages: Neat, good value, well made. With one exception, fitted together well
Disadvantages: Bloody heavy - don't forget to anchor it to a wall, unless it's for someone you don't like
*Pardon my A-Level German from 1968
Incidentally, we're the only people in Europe to pronounce it "Eye-Key-A", in that American "Eye-Rack and Eye-Ran" kind of way. The rest conform to calling it, somewhat more correctly, Ee-kay-ah.
Anyway, that's got all my prejudices and mis-conceptions out of the way - for now at least! Watch them resurrect themselves as I try to build something.
For a couple of weeks now, I've been decorating our smallest bedroom, pressed into service as a study, office call it what you will. Ironically, in agreeing to revamp the room we spend most time awake in (my wife thinks, incorrectly as it happens, "Oh goody, we're getting a new lounge!"), I set about gutting the room completely.
As the task neared completion, the question of storage reared its head. Some bookshelves of formidable capacity were needed, even after a damned good weed-out.
It needed to be neat, functional and neutral in design. Naturally IKEA's web-site featured in this process, and that's where the Expedit storage system comes into the equation.
The 1.85 x 1.85 metre variant was what we decided to get, in white. Black and beech-effect are also possible.
The end result is that you have a nearly 6-foot square bookcase, with 25 cubicles of roughly one-foot in all dimensions. The thick upright sides and four other internal partitions lose about 1/10th of the height and width between them.
The nice thing about this item is that, apart from the underside of the base, it's all veneered, so that it can act just as well as a room divider as it does a bookcase. In either case you get brackets for fixing it to the wall.
The IKEA web-site is quite handy. Not only could you order it on line, for home delivery, but if you so desired, you could check stock position at your nearest branch. I opted for the latter with a degree of trepidation, not having the faintest inkling of its packed size (and weight). However, if you get there and find you have bitten off more than you can chew, you can always arrange delivery once through check-out.
The reason I decided to risk it, is that the Wembley branch is 'only' 5 miles away although it does involve the dreaded North Circular Road, reinforced by the fact that home delivery was to cost an extra £35 and the loss of a day's pay!
Yes, confirmed the site, there are 6 at Wembley so off I went.
Getting there is one thing, finding what you want is another. Being a large packed-flat item, means that you have to locate it in the gloomy valley floors amongst canyons of warehouse racking. A visit to the service desk is an immediate 'must do'. Armed with my Post-It that the nice lady wrote down for me, I found it.
B***** me, it's big, and in three boxes too. The two smaller are, ironically the heaviest, whilst the biggest is the lightest. Has anyone working for IKEA ever tried sliding something long and heavy onto a trolley with no brakes? I doubt it.
If it wasn't for those £35+ costs, I'd have ordered for delivery on reflection.
I can say this with it fresh in my memory from the previous day as I write, that, yes, it does (just) fit in a SEAT Leon with the hatch closed, but go alone. The front passenger seat had to be pushed completely forwards, and even then, I had to place my cargo diagonally to get that last inch or two of room.
Well, un-wrapping it comes first; worth mentioning as it can take 30 minutes alone.
Each melamine panel is separated by tissue paper, and in conjunction with the stout cardboard boxes is entirely recyclable.
You get one tool - a cranked Allen key for the 8 bolts that secure to top and bottom to the sides. You are advised in pictorial format to add a hammer and spirit level to your arsenal. The rest of the fittings are mostly hardwood pegs, which is mainly where the hammer comes in.
The diagrams are easy enough to follow, advising that you build the thing lying down on its front on carpet (that's the bookcase, not you, although you might feel like a nice lie-down half way through - I did!)
Construction starts by attaching one side to the base with screws and the Allen key.
Then you insert pegs all along where the first four internal upright partitions are to be located, and gently tap the actual boards onto the pegs (There are 20 of them and they're all the same - phew!). Then you fit horizontal pegs into the first side, and locate the first horizontal shelf. At this point, and not before, you bang through the next set of pegs, for the next set of dividers. The pegs pass through the horizontal shelf and into the previous set of dividers.
Sounds easy? Well yes, but there's an awful lot of it, and one of the horizontal shelves didn't 'want to go in' first time, and no amount of tapping from the other end would disabuse it of this aversion. Then I hit upon a brainwave. Wedge a plank between the bookcase and the skirting board so that all of the hammer's efforts are directed at persuading the recalcitrant plank into place, instead of moving the whole shebang sideways.
Incidentally, one tool they DON'T mention is a bit of softwood to take the sting out of whacking finished chipboard with a hammer, one slip of which would knacker the veneer.
The rest of the job went easily, with the second side going on with a lot less trouble than I expected, despite being needed to locate on over more than a dozen wooden pegs all at once!
If I have one criticism of the suggested method, it's that using a cranked Allen key one inch from the floor for four of the main screws takes an absolute age at ¼ of a turn per go. Tedious to say the least.
BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR. TAKE MY ADVICE AND PLAN AHE......OH B*****!
So there it was, in its pristine state, a 6 by 6 bookcase lying down in a room of little over 7 by 7. Bearing in mind that it needs positioning at least a foot out from the wall against which it is to stand, this doesn't leave a lot of room for your bum as you strain to lift it upright, and boy it's a strain.
In the end, both my wife and I had to take a corner each, standing at a 'funny' angle to lift it. Fortunately, the base was quite slippery so any last minute adjustments could be made to its position. I decided not to use the self-adhesive felt pads as these would stick to carpet tiles like Velcro!
NOW IT'S UP, LET'S USE IT!
The cubicles can make smaller books like paperbacks look a little lost, but it's great for ring files and the like. Even our pair of stacked in-trays and the three drawer unit for printing paper fit. If you don't like the non-aesthetic view these present, IKEA can supply hinged doors that make each cubby-hole look like a cupboard. I can see a need for about three of these at about £10 each. Likewise, there are somewhat dearer drawer units that can be used to fill the spaces, and maybe just baskets too.
Mine cost me about £107, and a bad back - let's hope I don't lose work over it otherwise I may just have well waited in for it to be delivered!
In short, I'm pleased with my purchase, the melamine finish feels good quality, unlike chipboard shelves and it's made my wife sort out loads of 'vital school resources'. Result!
Summary: 25-partition storage (other sizes available)
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