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how can I assemble a Tvilum Austin 8 Drawer Double Dresser

Hello and Good Afternoon Everyone,

        I am interested in purchasing a Tvilum Austin 8 Drawer Double Dresser for one of my bedrooms at the following link https://www.ebay.com/itm/Tvilum-Austin-8-Drawer-Double-Dresser-In-White-Finish-PEFC-Certified-7007349-New/381600099731?epid=2255550640&hash=item58d9236d93:g:uNcAAOSwPhdVCUYB    At this point, I am hesitant about purchasing it because of the mixed reviews about its assembly.  Some of the feedback indicates that it is easy to assemble while others indicate that it is difficult to put together.  With that said, could someone provide an audio video link which provides demonstrations for its assembly?

       Any submitted link or links will be greatly appreciated.

       Thank you

       George
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GMartin
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GMartin
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1 Solution
 
Andrew LeniartSenior EditorCommented:
Hi George,

I don't have an audio/video link to provide, however, I am a qualified Carpenter and Joiner by trade and looking at the unit you're interested in, I can say that it should be very easy to assemble.

That type of unit generally comes with an instruction sheet for assembly. You will likely only need a hammer, perhaps a slotted or Phillips head screwdriver, and maybe some Aquadhere (White Wood Glue) and that's about it. If the glue is needed, it will generally be supplied. You may also get some wooden plugs (dowels) in a bag that might be needed for assembly as well. These just slot into pre-drilled holes.

It would surprise me if there was a video about assembling this particular unit, so I would suggest if you are happy with the price, go ahead and purchase it and then ask for assembly help if you run into any specific problems. I've assembled hundreds of that type of unit over the years, and from a variety of manufacturers and suppliers. I've always found them quite easy to assemble and they are generally designed for unskilled folks to be able to assemble themselves.

I hope that's helpful.

Regards, Andrew
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GMartinAuthor Commented:
Thank you Andrew for your nice feedback and reassurance.  I will go ahead and purchase it.

George
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Andrew LeniartSenior EditorCommented:
You're very welcome George. Please don't be shy in asking for help if you run into any problems.

Regards, Andrew
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GMartinAuthor Commented:
Thank you very much Andrew :-)   I will certainly keep you in mind if I should have issues with the assembly.  

George
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BillDLCommented:
Hello George

I know the question is closed with Andrew having provided some good advice, but I thought I might add a few helpful tips if you haven't already bought and assembled your chest of drawers.

Generally this type of furniture is made from chipboard, otherwise known as particle board.  This is made from fine wood chippings and sawdust that are compressed together into "planks" with some kind of bonding compound to keep it all together.  A shiny hard laminate is applied to the outside when used for furniture panels.  In its unlaminated form thick chipboard is commonly used for flooring panels, and thinner slabs are used for a lot of different applications like garage shelving.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Particle_board
Chipboard unfortunately fragments quite easily, so never overtighten screws.

Other home assembly furniture may be manufactured from MDF which is harder, denser, and heavier than chipboard because it is made from fibrous material.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medium-density_fibreboard
It doesn't fragment quite as readily as chipboard, but care still needs to be taken when tightening screws or they will just strip out the material.

Planning

Because this kind of furniture is sold throughout the world you tend to find that the assembly instructions are pictorial and numeric and are broken down into numbered stages rather than described in words.  They usually show "exploded" views of how the different shaped and sized panels need to be pieced together.  The secret is to first lay out all your panels, screws, dowels, and rails as though you had laid the unit on its back and then "dissolved" the joints to let the parts fall onto the floor.  There may be different sizes of screws and dowels, and the count and where they should be fitted is usually shown using arrows on the diagrams.  Care should be taken to ensure that the undecorated sides of the panels intended to be against the wall are recognised.  A well designed self-assembly kit will have screw and dowel holes offset so that you cannot accidentally fit a panel with the undecorated edge facing the front, but a "dry fit" will ensure that you have them in the correct orientation.

You will be fitting runners for the drawers to the insides of the side panels.  If they need to be screwed into place there will usually be small pilot holes already on the panels.  You would usually fit the runners to these panels BEFORE assembling the carcass because fitting runners afterwards could be difficult or impossible, but the step-by-step picture sequences should make this clear.

Dowels

Usually the supplied wooden dowels will be chamfered at the ends and will be fluted (shallow grooves cut into them along their lengths all around the circumference.  The reason for this is twofold.
(a) Glue is liquid and does not compress. If you put too much glue into the pre-drilled dowel holes or onto the dowel and then try to tap it into the hole, the glue would have nowehere to go if there were no flutes in it and you wouldn't get the dowel all the way into the hole.
(b) The grooves hold glue and the edges of the flutes will cut slightly into the sides of the hole to allow good adhesion without potentially splitting the wood, as might happen with a tight smooth unfluted dowel.

Measure the depth of the dowel holes and ensure that there are no leftover wood chippings at the bottom of the holes.  They should all be half the length of the dowels or deeper or else the panels will not butt neatly together.  Don't try and loosely fit dowels to do a dry run and test alignment.  You can chip the edges of the holes if you need to pull the dowels back out.

Everybody will have their own preferred method, but mine is to smear glue onto the half of the dowel I am going to tap into the hole first rather than squeezing glue into the hole.  It's easy to squeeze too much into the hole and then you maight not get the dowel all the way home.  Only apply glue to the half that is going into the hole.  Usually there will be more than one dowel per panel end, so you fit them all into one panel first.  You can then smear glue onto the other half once you are ready to butt the panels together.

Glue

The standard PVA wood glue used for self-assembly furniture smells like interior wall paint and cleans up in water before it starts to cure.  It is harder to dissolve with water if left until it dries, and if it is waterproof wood glue this will not work.  Keep a dampened sponge and dry rags close at hand to wipe off squeeze-outs before they dry and to wipe your fingers (still the best designed wood glue applicators of all).  The small sealed plasic sachets of glue supplied sometimes are not enough if you need to glue panels together as well as glue in the dowels.  Wood glue is cheap.  It's usually a good idea to buy a small squeezy bottle before starting just in case.

Remember that when you smear some glue onto your dowel and then tap it into the hole, it will push glue up the dowel as it is tapped home, so don't smear on too much.  The same is true of any panel ends that you are instructed to apply glue to.  You don't need much.  Assuming the dowels aren't too long and have tapped home fully into one panel, the mating panel should make a very close fit when tapped together with the dowels into its pre-drilled holes.  Even a very thin smear of glue can still squeeze out if the kit is well made, so you don't need to bash panels together with a hammer.

Other Tips

Count your components before starting.  It is not unusual to find that you are one or two screws or dowels short.  You don't want to discover this when you are half way through.
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