I want to disassemble my 5x5 Kallax, due to me moving. My Problem is, that there are dowels going vertically through 3 panels. See the manual Manual page 13 and onwards for a graphic description.

How would one try to disassemble the core of a shelf like this? Pulling the vertical dowels out, or carefully using a rubber hammer? What solution has the best chances to not damage the boards and not breaking a dowel?

  • Replacement dowels are readily available. Jul 24, 2019 at 19:03
  • Agreed, but my guess is, getting the broken leftovers out of an ikea dowel hole is tricky without damaging the hole. :)
    – Git
    Jul 25, 2019 at 6:54

2 Answers 2


While I have not disassembled this particular unit, I have found that Ikea dowels will pull out of one board when you pull apart (by hand) the boards they are joining. I usually leave them in the board they decide to stay in. When you pull the shelves away from the vertical divider, just be sure not to tilt them up or down as you pull away.

If you want to remove them completely, they will pull out with a pliers. Use moderate pressure to grip and pull straight out.

  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. Thanks for the answer; keep 'em coming. And, you should probably take our tour so you'll know how best to contribute here. Jul 24, 2019 at 12:50

Disassembly should be done in reverse order. Do note though that IKEA furniture doesn't usually like being disassembled and reassembled. (I've had mixed success in the past.)

I'd advise the following steps:

  1. Using permanent marker in the back to mark out where every part was, different colours vertically and numbered horizontally.
  2. Remove the thicker top and bottom planks that secure everything together.
  3. Remove the thicker side planks.
  4. Remove thinner planks layer by layer. It should be fairly easy to just pull the smaller planks and leave the dowels in place for later reassembly. Once the small planks have been removed the wider plank should slide right off.
  5. Reassemble in reverse order using the marker notes to determine where the various parts came from.

I'm currently unable to offer a visual aid but if what I've described above is unclear, let me know and I'll create a visual aid when I'm home.

I just found a YouTube video which uses more or less the above disassembly method.

  • It is clear to me, that i have to do it in reverse. Your instructions are clear as well. However, my question was pertaining to how to get the long vertical dowels out, without damaging anything.
    – Git
    Jul 24, 2019 at 12:25
  • As noted I'd just leave them in. In my experience they don't hold that firmly that the 2 parts they hold together can't be pulled apart by hand. If you're adamant on removing them I'd us a pair of tongue-and-groove or locking pliers to remove them, though don't squeeze them too hard of they could disintegrate. Jul 24, 2019 at 12:33
  • Since some of them may stick in the opposite board and would subsequently block the removal of the horizontal boards, I wanted a backup-plan. If you edit your answer and nobody else has any better suggestions, Ill accept yours
    – Git
    Jul 24, 2019 at 12:37
  • If all the outer edges have been removed and you remove a layer of the smaller vertical planks the longer horizontal planks should just lift out even if the dowel stayed stuck in the shorter plank on the other side of it. Jul 24, 2019 at 12:41
  • I just added a YouTube video I found wherein they disassemble this exact product. Jul 24, 2019 at 12:48

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.