Friday, July 31, 2015

Ikea IVAR Shorter Shelving Unit Review -- Revisited?

This was not my first IVAR shelving unit and this is not the first review I've written up about Ikea IVAR shelves. The first two arrived a bit over two years ago. Extra shelves have been added to them over time and they've worked pretty well. I actually wasn't completely sold on them at first due to their price and construction compared to the cheaper GORM shelves. They've grown on me, though, which is why I picked up another set when I needed to set up another set of shelves. There was a lower height constraint this time around, so I picked up the shorter, 124 cm tall version.
Ikea IVAR Legs
x2 - IVAR Side units at 12" x 49" (30 cm x 124 cm) = US$ 8.00 each (CA$ 13.00)
x3 - IVAR Shelves at 33" x 12" (30 cm x 83 cm) = US$ 6.00 each (CA$ 13.00)
x1 - OBSERVATOR Cross-brace = US$ 5.00 each (CA$ 5.00)

Overview of Single Ikea IVAR Shelf
Overview of Ikea IVAR Legs
Ikea IVAR Shelving Unit Assembly in 35 Seconds
Unstable Ikea IVAR Missing Cross-Brace
Review: Ikea IVAR Shelf

Things went smoother this time around. The reasons were probably that I'd done it twice before so knew what to look for, and this shelving was shorter than the old ones -- fewer shelves to attach too. There's a video of some of what went down above, but it mainly involved a lot of bending. I didn't know that I had it in me to hold one side of the shelf with my left leg while using every other limb to attach a shelf and hold up the other side.

Sway with me
A short summary of what I did: I put all the metal dowels into position with the legs on the floor, snapped in the shelves with the legs upright, and then screwed in the brace with the shelf standing. Since the IVAR wanted to collapse without the brace installed, and I decided to go it alone, I used my GRUNDTAL stand to hold things up temporarily. How safe was that? Not at all?

Included were two sets of wall-attachment devices, one with each leg. They looked like they were glued onto the wood, which worried me initially, but it turned out that it was the easy-peel glue that usually comes on the back of new credit cards.

Assembly-Time: About an hour, mainly due to the camera work.

There's a video linked to above of an unstable IVAR without the cross-brace attached. Another video shows it with the brace attached. The IVAR felt pretty stable when fully assembled but completely empty. The relatively shallow depth compared to the height made it look like a potential tipping hazard to me -- good thing the anti-topple devices were included?

Finished Ikea IVAR Shelving Unit
Expandability / Customizability
I bought a bunch of extra shelves for my original IVAR shelves. Might to it again for this one, but it's probably at maximum capacity already since it's shorter. Another possibility may be to add an extra leg to one side and share an existing leg to produce a second, adjacent shelf -- I've seen such combinations on the website more than once. Otherwise, wood can probably be stained or painted. Can't say I'm interested since I prefer the natural look of solid wood.

How was it?
What's the expression? Measure twice, cut once?

In my case, I probably should have bothered to measure once. The shelf, once put into position, was perfect except for one small detail: the side unit or leg on one side was too high. There are two poles sticking up in the middle of my kitchen right now. I had it in my head that 124 cm was a lot shorter. Turns out that 124 cm is 124 cm when you bother to get a ruler out. It may be necessary to cut off about a foot from the top of this leg. It shouldn't be a big deal since I can replace a leg for CA$ 13.00 and there isn't much wood to cut. The idea of having to saw into it, permanently removing future expansion space, and the mess bug me.

I put these new shelves across from one of the old, 179 cm tall IVAR shelves I already had. Seeing how close in size the 124 cm version was to the 179 cm version was a bit surprising. Measuring tape would have take away all of the surprise...

Otherwise, the shelves worked great. They looked good, I felt that they were sanded down pretty smoothly, and the natural wood look and feel was appealing. I liked the open and skeleton-like design (i.e. no thick posts or enclosing walls), this made loading the shelves simpler and quicker in my view.  These Ikea IVAR shelves were relatively easy to put together, fairly easy to carry around and install, and the future expansion possibilities, which I exercised multiple times with the older IVARs, were nice.

Still got it. I liked the new 124 cm IVAR shelves that I picked up. They were very much like the originals except shorter. Unfortunately, they were still a bit too tall for my purposes. I think a version with legs closer to 100 cm would be useful. Then again, cutting through a few relatively thin pieces of wood to get the "perfect" length shouldn't be too difficult.

Ikea HEJNE Shelf, 1 Section, Review
More Ikea Product Reviews

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