Difficult instructions

Okay, although we used the whole “IKEA instructions can be confusing” meme for this strip to work, I have to admit that I never really had any problems reading their instructions and assembling IKEA furniture. I have bought assemble-it-yourself furniture in other stores too, and those instructions were not always that straightforward.

Although I have to admit that I did make some mistakes when assembling stuff. My “favorite” one is this:

We had these skirting along the walls. By the way, I had to look this word up in the dictionary and it told me the correct term is “plinth”. Seriously? What kind of word is that supposed to be? Is that correct? Anyway, I mean this wooden strip at the bottom corner of the wall, that prevents you from hitting the wall with chair legs etc.

We bought this brand new wardrobe closet from IKEA (Pax, for anyone who’s interested), and I decided to saw off the bottom corners of the side panels, so I could push it all the way to the wall. Turns out, it would have been smart to saw the corners off in a mirror-inverted way. So I ended up with a closet that has three corners missing …

But that had nothing to do with the instructions, of course, and I accept full responsibility!

Do any of you guys have any funny furniture stories?

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15 comments on “Difficult instructions
  1. Saskfan says:

    The trim at floor level is called baseboard in North America. Some houses have similar trim at the height of the tops of the chairs; I thought that in Britain that was called wainscotting, but I may be wrong.

  2. stef says:

    Baseboard! That’s a better sounding name! 🙂 Well, now I reverse-searched that term in the dictionary, and it turns out that there are five different German terms for that thing and I must have used a less common one in my search. This kind of unknowing use of quaint or unusual German words happens a lot when you’re Austrian, haha!

  3. JP Kalishek says:

    Plinth is what I’d use for what a statue is mounted on, or a base for showing something off like the ramp like platforms a automotive dealer will use to put a car or truck up in the air so it is better displayed.
    Trim at chair height is Chair Rail. Wainscoting is a tongue and groove (or simulated) paneling that runs from the floor to the chair rail. I’ve worked in houses that had chair rail with no wainscot, just a different color painted on the wall there.

  4. Tyrael says:

    Sometimes with IKEA-like stuff you just need to deviate to make things work.
    I had a badroom cabinet once (Seegmüller not IKEA, but they are the same anyway), which after being moved twice was so distorted that we had use a lot of extra screws to make everything fit – which was not so much fun since I could not simply afford a new one at that time and it had to work out somehow…
    However, what was extreme fun when we recently moved the third time I was finally allowed to carefully disassemble it – with a sledgehammer 😉
    This time I bought a new one – also a Pax! And btw I normally agree with you regarding IKEA instructions but for the Pax modules I found them really bad and confusing.

  5. Fbs says:

    If you want non-straightforward stuff, just ask julio, he has that in store.

    10 Bucks to the one that can find in the IPC of a cessna 172 M , the part number of the studs that fasten the carburetor to the air box

  6. Manuel says:

    “Plinth” really sounds funny. But then again remember: “The English language was carefully, carefully cobbled together by three blind dudes with a German dictionary.” 🙂

  7. Keps says:

    In Australia, we call it skirting

  8. Nick says:

    Plinth here in greece literary means “brick”.
    I think there’s even an ancient greek comedy that uses plinth to make a “thick as a brick” joke.

  9. Delta Echo says:

    “English doesn’t just borrow words from other languages; it has, on occasion, pursued other languages into dark alleyways, clubbed them over the head and then rifled their pockets for new vocabulary.”

  10. JP Kalishek says:

    Delta Echo, the version I heard was “… rifles their pockets for loose words and phrases.”
    Both are true as is Manuel’s and then there is this: “English is the result of Norman men-at-arms attempting to pick up Saxon barmaids and is no more legitimate than any of the other results.”

  11. Trantor says:

    @JPK: Haha, i just imagined that scene! Great!

    And for funny stories: I like those “IKEA-Hacks” websites (google them!). Some of them are really great inspiration.
    Ages back a friend of mine lived in a former clubhouse of a tennisclub, basically one huge room, and his furniture was a storage-rack system similar to IKEA´s “Gorm” which he creatively recombined.
    Coolest student dig i´ve ever seen.

  12. A&P Brit says:

    This side of the pond we call it ‘Skirting board’ as it ‘skirts’ the room. Wainscotting as JPK says, is pannelling half way up the wall, found in old houses or modern pubs trying to look old! Ikea and other ‘flat pack’ furniture diagrams take some following. It pays to be an engineer with some knowledge of lateral thinking to read them. Thats where working on Mr Boeings products comes in handy!

  13. Jan Olieslagers says:

    “plinth” is remarkably close to the translations in Dutch and French: “plint” resp “plinthe”. It might well be the English form, probably archaic even there.
    As for IKEA furniture: in divorce stories, it seems a quarrel over assembling some IKEA stuff often marks the final point of no return.

  14. Gourry says:

    By the way, in Russia the same thing is called “plinthus” normally, and it is listed as Greek word in dictionary of foreign words.
    As of most confusing Ikea instruction (aside from friend, who bought local made closet and got mirrored instruction and one wrong sized front panel) was bathroom curtain hanger. God damn, it’s just adjusting stick, so it’l be better if they just wrote three sentences.

  15. passerby says:

    The table should have asked “Chuck, is that you?”

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