Our IKEA Filing Cabinet

So we bought this for Patricia’s new office this past weekend. Last night, I finally got around to finishing assembling it. I had tested the latching mechanism (I thought) before installing the drawers. I put them in, closed them, locked it, and they locked fine. I unlocked it, and they remain locked. I can’t get in to see what the problem is, because…the drawers are locked. And no, before asking, it’s not a lock combination problem. It’s still set to all zeros per the factory, and the knob turns to lock and unlock. It just doesn’t release the drawers when I turn it to unlock.


Not sure what to do. The least destructive way I can see to get in to it (in terms of how many parts and how expensive) is to cut the front off the top drawer. But maybe I’ll call IKEA and see what they have to say.

[Afternoon update]

OK, I had turned it over and banged on it, in the hope that it would knock the latch loose, and it didn’t seem to work. But when I flipped it back right-side up, with it unlocked, the drawers seemed to be freed. But I’m still nervous about locking it again until I understand what happened.

12 comments on this post.
  1. Paul Milenkovic:

    Sounds like a call for one of those JPL mavens who can unstick a scan platform on a spacecraft a billion miles out into space.

    After you tried jiggling it, maybe try laying it on its side or even upside down (if you are able to without marking up your floor). The idea is to try shaking something loose.

  2. Rand Simberg:

    Been there, done that.

  3. Jardinero1:


  4. Rand Simberg:

    I specifically said that it’s not a combination problem. This is unhelpful.

  5. Eric Weder:

    Take it back and exchange it. Obviously defective. IKEA is usually pretty good about stuff like this – they may have a trick to unlock it or recognize that it is a risk of their inadequate instructions. I have a love/hate relationship with IKEA (as do most of us I’m thinking).

  6. Rand Simberg:

    I may have to resort to that, but I’d rather just get a replacement upper drawer and latch mechanism than have to assemble an entire new unit. It’s non-trivially heavy, and I’d have to lug it down the stairs to the car.

  7. John K Berntson:

    “It’s non-trivially heavy, and I’d have to lug it down the stairs to the car.”

    Maybe strength training would help. πŸ™‚

    (SMACK! That was unhelpful!)

  8. Rand Simberg:

    It probably would help, but not in time to solve the problem. πŸ™‚

  9. Rick C:

    Well, that depends on what the return period is.

  10. Rand Simberg:

    I only bought it this weekend. I’m sure, knowing IKEA, it wouldn’t be an issue. The frustrating thing is that it’s almost impossible to call them. I’d have to go in and take a number to ask them what to do.

  11. wodun:

    First read the title as, IKEA Fighting Cabinet. Turns out that is close enough to the truth of it.

  12. McG:

    But then Rand would be breaking the First Rule of IKEA Fighting Cabinet.