July 26, 2005

Where do you think Ikea furniture is made?

It is what you might have guessed. At Google Answers, fobchina-ga writes:

IKEA, the top-ranking furniture company in terms of sales in the
world, has shifted its purchasing center from Singapore to the
Mainland China. It has established five purchasing centers in Harbin,
Qsingtao, Guangzhou, Yunan Province and Shanghai. For example, it
purchases 300 containers of furniture in Tsingtao every month and
sells them to the whole world. A Shanghai-based sofa factory
manufactures sofas of RMB 100 million for IKEA every year.
Facinating.

Posted by torque at 12:39 AM | Comments (24) | TrackBack

Great quotes from Ingvar Kamprad

Per Johan Olsson, some quotes from Ingvar Kamprad, the founder of Ikea

  • To design a desk which may cost $1,000 is easy for a furniture designer, but to design a functional and good desk which shall cost $50 can only be done by the very best. Expensive solutions to all kinds of problems are often signs of mediocrity. (emphasis mine)
  • Most things still remain to be done - a glorious future! Time is your most important asset. Split your life into 10-minute units and sacrifice as few as possible to futurities.

Posted by torque at 12:28 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 25, 2005

Effectiv wall cabinets and US stud spacing

Recently, I purchased two gorgeous Effectiv wall cabinets from Ikea to mount in our bedroom-office. Last night, I made the short-sighted mistake of recycling the boxes prior to mounting the cabinets. This morning I got organized, got my 3" #14 wood screws, a drill bit for the pilot holes, and a 48" Empire level from Home Depot. After marking the studs, I was shocked to discover that the studs were too far apart to hold the Effectiv wall cabinet (about 35 lbs). In the United States, studs are typically 16" apart, sometimes 24". The metal bracketed cabinet holes? About 30" apart. Problem.

Since I tossed out my boxes, Ikea wanted a whopping 30% to take back the cabinets. Add to these the glass doors, and now there is a substantial financial incentive to get this to work. Now, how can I get it to work in an aesthetic manner? Apparently, I'm not the first to face this problem. H.S. Cambell, on an ImproveNet board, proposed "running a metal strip to across the length of the cabinets, attaching that strip to all available studs, and then where a stud is not available, using a toggle bolt or screw to fasten the cabinet through the metal strip."

LiveModern has a substantial thread on mounting Ikea wall cabinets. Steve_OH suggests

If the person who framed your kitchen was thinking ahead, there will be blocking (horizontal 2x4s) installed in the walls at the right level for attaching your base cabinets. If so, then you have it made. If not, you'll need to drill new holes in the cabinet backs. In any case, walls are rarely perfectly flat, so you'll want to get some tapered cedar shims (you can get them at your local Home Depot/Lowe's-type of store), and insert one (or more, if required) between the cabinet and the wall at each stud, and adjust them so that the backs of the cabinets are all perfectly aligned.

An alternative is to attach a 1x4 furring strip to the studs at the right height (use the shims!), and then attach the cabinets to that strip. The advantage is that the cabinets are well secured right where they need to be, without concern about the location of the studs. The disadvantage is that the cabinets are 3/4" further away from the wall, which means that you might have a fitting problem if you have any corners, and an off-the-shelf countertop might not be deep enough.

If you're not using the furring strip, use 2-1/2" drywall screws to attach the cabinets to the studs. You don't need to drill pilot holes, but you may want to drill holes just through the plaster to minimize cracking. If you are using the furring strip, use the 2-1/2" drywall screws to attach the furring strip to the studs, and then use 1-5/8" drywall screws to attach the cabinets to the furring strip.

Will a drywall anchor ala E-Z Ancor be strong enough? I'd really hate to see the cabinet pull out a huge chunk of wall. Maybe that is the way to go. E-Z Toggle claims to hold up to 90 lbs. I could do one stud and one drywall anchor...

Robert E. Lee from Fremont wrote for Mercury News:

One drawback to the Ikea wall-mounted cabinets: European and U.S. studs are placed at different widths apart, so the mounting holes for the Ikea cabinets do not match up to our studs. I had to attach 1-by-3-foot boards to the wall first, drilling into the studs, then mount the cabinets to these boards through the mounting holes.

Posted by torque at 11:35 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Domain name searching

I have to say, the Name Spinner at Whois Source is quite useful.

Posted by torque at 5:08 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 12, 2005

PG&E delays

I called PG&E this morning at 8:30a to start service and found out that they can't turn it on until Thursday. What's worse, I have to be there all day waiting for them to call when they can be either around the corner or 15 minutes away. What's up with that? How completely inefficient. The next "appointment" is Monday sometime between 1 and 5. The power of monopolies...

Posted by torque at 9:07 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack