How to assemble Flat Pack Furniture


WARNING. Be very, very careful using any type of power tool when assembling Flatpack furniture. It is easy to insert screws too far and cause damage. Having said that, just use a little common sense and take it gently.
Power screw driving. An ultra-compact rechargeable screwdriver is perfect for assembling a flat pack. Just press it onto the screw head and it will work automatically.
To assemble Flat pack furniture or Play Equipment or anything else is easy. The difficult part is following the instructions. Read carefully and follow the hints below.
Convenient. Flat packs have become so popular because they are readily available and easy to transport. Most are packed so they can fit into a normal family car.
Versatile. Flat packs are a convenient way of creating attractive storage space, and many ranges are so versatile that with a little imagination you can create almost any design to suit the style of your home. They are made in a wide range of wood, coloured or glass finishes.
Flexible. Flat packs allow you to choose your own accessories. When you make your purchase, check what has been included in the pack. You may need to buy handles, drawer fronts or legs separately; this is a good opportunity to add your own design touches. You can even buy conversion kits to transform a simple cabinet into a filing cabinet, or a set of drawers. You can mix and match finishes, or replace the doors or drawer fronts to match a new colour scheme. There is no need to feel limited by the size of unit available. Measure the space you wish to fill and then work out if a combination of units will fit the area. The units are designed to fit together horizontally, vertically, or both. Once they are secured to the wall, they will be perfectly stable and look just like fitted units.
All Flat packs follow the same basic principles. The steps are logical and each part will be numbered clearly on the accompanying instructions. The most important thing is to read the instructions carefully first, check nothing is missing before you begin, and allow plenty of uninterrupted time for assembly.

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Example of how to assemble a small cabinet.

This compact cabinet is a typical building block in a flexible, modular storage system. You can fit drawers, or a shelf and door to make it into a cupboard. Buy several to make a unit that is purpose-built for your storage needs. Always read the manufacturer’s assembly instructions too, since individual products may differ.

1 Lay panels out on the floor so that you can easily see each part. Use the packaging to protect the panels from scratches, if necessary. Keep screws and fixings inside their packaging until you need to use them.
2 Push the legs into the pre-drilled holes underneath the base panel. If you are using decorative legs that have been purchased separately, refer to the fixing instructions supplied with them.
3 Turn the base panel over so that it is standing on the legs. Using a screwdriver, screw four cam studs into the pre-drilled holes closest to each corner.
4 Apply a little of the PVA wood adhesive supplied to one end of four wooden dowels and insert them into the pre-drilled holes either side of the base panel.
5 Tap the dowels into place with a small hammer. They should fit snugly. Take care not to damage the end of the dowels; a light tap should be sufficient.
6 Insert a locking cam into each of the larger holes at the bottom of the side panels. The arrows embossed on the cams must point towards the end of the panel. Use a trimming knife to remove any excess edging at both edges at both ends of the grooves running along the length of the side panels. This is where the back panel will be fitted.
7 Apply a little PVA wood adhesive to the protruding end of each dowel.
8 Fit the first side panel to the base. It should slide neatly on to the already glued dowels. Keep the panel at right angles to the base, or you risk damaging the dowels. The grooves in the base and side panels should line up.
9 Secure the first side panel by tightening the two locking cams. Use a screwdriver, and turn them clockwise.
10 You are now ready to fit the back panel. Run a bead of glue along the grooves in the side and base panel you have already assembled. Slide the back panel into place.
11 Slide the second side panel into position. Tighten the two locking cams.
12 Insert four locking cams into the holes on the top of the side panels, with their arrows pointing towards the end of the panel. Glue four wooden dowels and fit them into the top panel. Insert four cam studs into the pre-drilled holes and run a bead of glue into the groove. The top panel can now be fitted. Tighten the locking cams and fit cam covers to all of the exposed locking cams.

Fitting door hinges
Hinges are usually supplied with all the necessary fixings, and doors and cabinets have cut-outs and guide holes for easy fittings.
Use a bradawl to make guide holes in the pre-marked positions on the cabinet door. Insert the circular part of the hinge into the large hole in the door. Repeat with any other hinges. Fix the hinges to the door using the screws provided. Make sure they are fitted squarely. Once all the hinges are in position on the door, fix them into the guide holes on the side panel of the cabinet. Do not over tighten the screws.
Adjusting Door Hinges
You may find that the doors need some adjustment after you have completed assembly of a new unit. On most modern cabinets, badly fitting doors can be adjusted in the same way.
1. If a door is hanging either too high or too low, use a screwdriver to loosen the top and bottom screws on the hinge mounting plates. Slide the door up or down until it is level with the top. Re-tighten the screws. To adjust the door to the left or right, turn the front screw on the arm of the hinge.
2. If a door does not fit flush against the cupboard front, loosen the screws at the back of all the hinges. Reposition the door and re-tighten the screws. Adjust the screws at the front of the hinge if the door is not square with the cabinet. Re-tighten once you have a good fit.
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Fitting a shelf
This cabinet is supplied with a shelf, but you can fit shelves into any flat pack cabinet. Door hinges are usually supplied with all the necessary fixings, and doors and cabinets have cut-outs and guide holes for easy fitting.
1. Decide on the height of the shelf. Use a screwdriver to fit two shelf support screws into each side panel. Make sure all four screws are the same height. Avoid using any of the pre-drilled holes that you will need to fit door hinges to the cabinet.
2. Place the four shelf support inserts into the pre-formed holes in the shelf. You made need to use a small hammer to tap them into place.
3. Simply slide the shelf in and clip into place by pressing down. The shelf will rest on the exposed screw heads on the side panels.
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