IKEA Shelf Assembly Instructions a Tad Murky

The curse of bad instructions struck again in the booklet that accompanies a shelf unit Jon Titus bought from IKEA.ikea-1b.jpg The original instructions for Step 1 show how to attach two brackets and eight screws and dowel pins to the top, bottom, and sides of the shelf. But, if you’re not mechanically inclined, it’s easy to miss where the items go. Jon’s marked-up instructions, below, explicitly show where the pieces go. The brackets (A) look fairly obvious, but someone with poor vision might miss where to put the other parts, B and C. ikea-2b.jpg Things get even sillier, as underscored in another cartoon from the instructions:

ikea-3b.jpg Perhaps an appropriate caption for this image would be; “Take careful aim at screws from at least half a meter away.” Or, “To start screw threads, hold screw firmly in screwdriver blade and run at the wall.”

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  1. Steven
    June 14, 2008 00:13

    Whatever the case, the captions are really funny.

  2. Mike
    June 04, 2008 22:08

    seriously, everyone’s sort of right about this. Ikea pieces are easy to put together and fairly intuitive…the problem arises when you actually try to follow the animations exactly. That’s when things tend to break and fall apart.

  3. AP
    November 01, 2007 16:42

    I think the original IKEA instructions look very easy to follow.
    In the first picture you can easily see which corner and holes referred to, even in a 10×10 cm image on the web. On the original sheet it must be even easier too see.
    In the second picture it’s easy to see that the person is working on the second screw.
    In all fairness I think it’s your comments that are “a tad murky”.
    If you can’t find better things to send then I think I won’t bother to read any more…

  4. Jon
    October 30, 2007 19:40

    1. This is definitely not the worst of instruction manuals, just one that could use some help. I review many products that completely miss steps or include out-of-date information that will confuse users.
    2. As to the cartoon… Just having a bit of fun at IKEA’s expense. You can find funny captions for the illustrations used in airline-safety flyers at: Enjoy –Jon

  5. Chris
    October 30, 2007 15:56

    Do you have to be left handed to deal with the screws, then?
    To be fair to the cartoonist, it does look like he’s dealing directly with the second screw in the picture.

  6. Anon
    October 30, 2007 14:29

    is that really the worst example you can find? Shouldn’t you mention that the holes are all different sizes so you’d have to really work at it to get it wrong.
    Then again IKEA are foreigners so they’re fair game

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