Friday, December 4, 2015

Confessions of an IKEA Hacker - Restoring Vintage IKEA

Chapter 1 - I hate throwing away good things. 

Contrary to popular opinions some IKEA pieces can last generations if properly taken care of. This occasionally may mean that the piece needs to be restored, modernized, updated. 

Such was the case with this piece. DIKTAD was three drawer dresser complete with a baby changing table on top. The carcass [box] was still usable and sturdy [SOLID WOOD PEOPLE!]. The drawer boxes were all intact - but the original IKEA drawer slides failed - the ball bearings were trapped in plastic fittings that eventually wore out from sliding and broke down completely. 

Even though the babies outgrew the changing table [some are pre-teens already!], our family still used the dresser for storage, and actually found it quite handy. That was until one day, my youngest pulled the bottom drawer out a bit too vigorously and completely pulled the drawer slides apart. Millions of little steel balls scattered around the hardwood floor and made their way to the lowest spot in the room....[the house is old = floors uneven].

What do we do now? I went to IKEA and asked if they had any replacement slides - they always have some excess hardware kicking around in the AS-IS section - but they did not have anything. This dresser was long discontinued and hardware was not available. 

Throw it away? We considered that option...Although....

As a woodworker, and a professional IKEA hacker, I felt two little painful stings in my heart:

A] This piece was all solid wood - the carcass, drawers, feet - everything. I never throw away any solid wood! I have solid wood scraps in my shop [select scraps] that date back to my design school years!

B] I like IKEA. I hack them. I re-use them. I re-purpose them. This seemed like an ideal little side project for me. 

And so....I professionally restored it! Enjoy the video! Many more to come!