Stuck at disassembling my IKEA (I think) bed, what tool do I need?
May 29, 2020 11:40 AM   Subscribe

I acquired an IKEA (I think) bed two years ago, the people I bought it from set it up for me. I'm moving, so disassembling it to sell it. Was fine until I'm stuck at the actual frame and how to take it apart.

There are big cyclical screws (don't know how to describe it well, other than it looking like a big "tire"), and they all seem stuck. I'm not sure how to get them loose/unstuck. Should I get TaskRabbit to come help (might be too expensive) or do I have the right tools?

Here's a close-up picture of the screw, a more general picture, and a picture of the toolbox I have at my disposal.

What do I need—and is this self-removable, or do I need to get something from Home Depot, or is TaskRabbit the right way to go?

posted by dubious_dude to Home & Garden (13 answers total)
With IKEA furniture you usually unscrew those about 1/4 turn and then they release their hold on the metal post that is sticking up from the other piece.
posted by Dip Flash at 11:43 AM on May 29, 2020 [5 favorites]

Best answer: You will need an allen wrench to free them from the metal post Dip Flash mentions. The relevant part of this instructional video is at about 2:20.
posted by sacrifix at 11:44 AM on May 29, 2020

I took apart an IKEA bed a couple weeks ago, and in the end I had to smash it into pieces to get it in small enough sections to throw away. It almost seemed intented to prevent being taken apart.
posted by cthlsgnd at 11:47 AM on May 29, 2020

Best answer: This appears to be this type of connector, which is slightly different than the ones I've usually seen on IKEA USA, but should be removable by an allen wrench. You will need the right size of allen wrench, which I can't quite tell from your toolbox, but one of the smaller ones in the red holder should work. See the 'assembly' button on that page to show how they went in.
posted by cobaltnine at 11:50 AM on May 29, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Dip Flash has it. As a hint, the arrow on the cam will point in the direction of the post when it is in the unlocked position. So that's an indication of which way you need to turn it. Looks like counterclockwise in your picture.
posted by JoeZydeco at 11:53 AM on May 29, 2020

Response by poster: @sacrifix, that video is perfect! It matches my frame exactly, what a brilliant link!

@cobaltnine, I was able to find an allen wrench in my toolbox that works, but some of the screws seem really hard and stuck... any de-greasers or something I can use here that'll loosen it up? I have DAWN dish soap, which I've heard was good for that kind of thing? (The allen screw I have are black and leave smudges, so they might not be the strongest ever, that could be an issue too?)

Also, the original owners of the bed used it before me, and they had no problems taking it apart and putting it back apart. The frame is very sturdy and in good condition, it just seems kind of stuck (I presume from built-up "grease" or whatever you call it).

As you can tell, I'm not a handyman :)
posted by dubious_dude at 11:53 AM on May 29, 2020

As you can tell, I'm not a handyman :)

No you are a dubious dude. (Sorry) The allen wrenches are ok. If it is not turning one way, try the other way. I do not think it is a matter of greasing the connectors. Also, try adjusting the frame to make it square and level. THere could be tension on the connector if it is not.
posted by AugustWest at 12:36 PM on May 29, 2020 [2 favorites]

Note these will only turn 1/4 way, just enough to loosen the "lock" on the screw they are holding within the piece of wood. You may have to pry them out after you've turned them.
posted by nkknkk at 12:40 PM on May 29, 2020 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I took off the part that holds the boxspring up (a long I metal frame on both sides of the bed, hugging the frame), and it appears that a few of the screws won't even accept the allen wrench (no matter what jiggling I do), and some of the screws' arrows are in the opposite direction of the posts (so, more than 1/4 way)...

Based on this, would you say the frame is "no good" and if so, what's the best way to break it down? I don't want to damage the hardwood floor in my apartment and have to pay for those damages, so that's a risk I don't want to take. However, I can't fit the whole thing to be put out of the front door, so...?

Also, might WD-40 help?
posted by dubious_dude at 1:07 PM on May 29, 2020

Any chance you can connect with the people who brought it via video? They might have some muscle memory about what works. As someone who has set up and taken down the same crib over a decade, there are often fiddly bits that result in oh, yeah, that funky maneuver (and reverse-maneuver) is a thing.
posted by childofTethys at 1:46 PM on May 29, 2020

We have a Kallax and it has the same screws. We took it apart a few years ago and put it back together. I don't think you have to give up on the frame. The allen wrench is bigger than the usual one. We did end up lifting the corners a bit to try to loosen the tension the bolt had on the screw a bit.

Since you can see the model (Nordli) - you should be able to find the manual on the IKEA website, in case it shows the procedure better than the video. It should show the exact direction you need to turn the screw and maybe even how much to turn it. I believe they all turn the same direction no matter what side of the bed they are on.
posted by soelo at 2:18 PM on May 29, 2020

Experienced exactly this same IKEA connection system on my kid's extensible bed; when I recently came to disassemble for a house move I found that I'd instinctively tightened the cam well past the quarter turn the instructions mandate, I had to use a deal of force to unscrew the cam as I'd bent it internally around the connecting bolt.

Once I had the arrow back pointing towards the connecting piece some jiggling got it free, and the bed did reassemble no problem.

Turning the bed on its end so that the piece you're trying to pull off is uppermost (once the arrow points towards it) and then having one person jiggle whilst the other moves the cam back and forth helps a lot.

If you do have to destroy it to get rid of it just get a rug or big sheet of cardboard underneath to protect your floor and use your feet / bodyweight to apply as much leverage as possible to the frame; IKEA chipboard doesn't have structural integrity on the axes where it's not supposed to be load bearing, it's pretty easy to brute force these connectors apart if destruction is your aim.
posted by protorp at 2:27 PM on May 29, 2020

Response by poster: Update: Got it all squared away!

A very kind neighbor was willing to help, so with his help, we were able to level the frame so I could easily screw the posts out. Had to turn hard on some of them, but in the end, all worked out! So relieved there was no damage, and the frame is left intact (just disassembled).

Really appreciate your help! I knew I could come here and get top-quality recommendations. :) and yes, I'm no handyman, but I'm dubious! (har har)
posted by dubious_dude at 6:47 PM on May 29, 2020 [3 favorites]

« Older Would you install your own dishwasher in These...   |   Great Videos about Anti-Racism? Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments