IKEA Fjell Repair

One of my recent builds that I am the most proud of is repair to our IKEA bedframe that got damaged in a recent move. The damage was entirely my fault – in deconstructing the bed, I was convinced that only one large bolt attached the side boards to each corner, based on current designs of IKEA furniture. I had forgotten the model name of our bed, and it has long since been discontinued. At the same time, I decided to save some time and not remove the rails that held the cross boards that held the mattress. Of course, those rails hid the four other bolts that secured the head and foot boards to the side boards. After struggling with a corner for a while dissembling the bed, I discovered the hidden bolts by ripping one straight out of the headboard. So, I had two options – scrap the bed, since replacement parts are discontinued, or try to construct a new one.

All of the components to the Fjell bed, along with the missing left board in the headboard.

I started by getting a piece of pine that most closely matched the destroyed board. It was slightly thicker that the original board, but since I did not have the equipment to thin in, I figured that would at least give me some wiggle room when it came to drilling the dozens of holes in the thing.

I then took a great deal of time to carefully measure the placement of all of the holes in the original piece. The first stage of the reconstruction would be to drill the side holes and carve the channel that fits the board into the rest of the headboard.

Already running into some problems in the first stage, you can see I had a few difficulties when drilling the holes by hand.

Then came routing out the channel, again by hand. I didn’t worry too much about looks at this stage, since everything on the inside of this channel would not be able to be seen from the outside. I took some breaks from the routing to drill the holes on the front of the board. This routing was the most excruciating of whole build, because of my tools. I built this back in the winter when it was really cold out in the garage, and my battery powered router’s battery was going on five or six years old. That combo led to a single pass with the router in a battery charge! I spent several days charging, routing a pass, and charging again until the whole thing was finished.

It was worth it though after the test fit! It took several attempts to get this fit, having to go back and adjust the routed channel or drilled holes to get everything to fit straight.

The finished board, with holes and channels cleaned up and fitting snuggly. After this, I did a quick stain to get it to match the original board. I originally wanted to do a few more coats to get it darker, but since the routing and drilling took so long, I was running into a deadline – guests coming to stay and this was supposed to be their bed.

After the stain, the board was screwed in and glued up to the rest of the headboard.

With the headboard complete, it was time to rebuild the rest of the bed!

The board is clearly fixed, but once the bed is all made up, it is much less noticeable. This took a lot of time, planning, and adjusting, but turning a huge mistake into a once again usable bed is a great feeling.

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