View Full Version : Some assembly required...

11-12-2004, 01:18 PM
Recently I bought a new gas barbeque. It has been a long time since I have put one together. What a chore. I can't believe how something that looks so simple can be such a pita to put together. It didn't help that the instructions were like Egytian heiroglyphics.

I also recall an occasion years ago when a friend and myself were attempting to put together a riding toy for my daughter on Christmas Eve. After more than a few beers it was well beyond our capability. My wife still snickers when she remembers it.

What have you been baffled by lately?

J Tiers
11-12-2004, 01:38 PM
A wall cabinet from Horrible Fright. I thought I was safe with something like that, not much to go wrong.........eventually I was.

Put it up three times before I got through the chinglish and figured out what they meant.

AND figured out which parts of the instructions were wrong.

AND figured out which part was left out.

AND realized that their hanging system was AFU, one has to ignore it and just mount as if it were kitchen cabinets.

AND figured out how I had to change the assembly because I wanted the two doors to open on the opposite end of the cabinet from how they had it in the "instructions"

AND figured out where to add fasteners to make it solid enough to actually hold something up....the fasteners were there, but not all the holes were.....

I only bought it from them because it was the only one I found that was the right size.

Prying their logo off of it was the easy part....... http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

[This message has been edited by J Tiers (edited 11-12-2004).]

11-12-2004, 02:15 PM
Fixed my Maytag neptune washer...After a bit of direction from a repairman, I plugged in some words into google, and there it was! The fix was right there on the web. 3.9K resistor, triac, 3904 trans and 3906 transistor later. IT WORKS!! Now the mound of laundry is only knee high instead of eye high.

11-12-2004, 03:27 PM
Evan...You too huh? I bought one for my son and put it together...What an ugly job! Then my daughter picked one for her housewarming present. Had to start all over again! Next one I need...keep an eye on the paper for "Moving...Must Sell"!

11-12-2004, 03:44 PM
The best time I had was back when I was a teenager and had a Honda CL90. I had, with my dad's help, given the engine a top-end overhaul, complete with honing the cylinder, grinding the valves, new oversize piston, new rings, new cam chain, etc. I had a Honda shop manual - straight from Japan - and got my lips beat trying to figure out what they meant by "to increase the lack of tension".

11-12-2004, 03:57 PM
About instructions: They are written by tecnical writer who knows nothing about the product. He has ask the production shop foreman for help.
What he get is the person that will have the least impact on production while off working on the instructions. These two do their best, (or not - one one there cares), and then the result is then translated in to English by a local translator who couldn't get a better job. Then the instructions are badly printed.

11-12-2004, 05:19 PM
An entertainment center for my mother & step-father. I tried to go by the instructions, but quickly found you'd connect pieces only to have to unconnect them in order to put another piece in...so I tossed 'em and just went by the picture on the box.
As a thank you, I was given a metal garden center type cart... which had to be assembled... I learned the thing was fairly tough because I beat the heck out of it in frustration while putting it together. I had to toss the written instructions on it, too.
- Jim

11-12-2004, 05:45 PM
When we were in high school, my brother and I would laugh at the other if we got caught reading the directions for anything. It was some mark of viture to toss the directions as soon as the box was opened. I don't recall ever missing them. Now that I'm in my late forties, I find myself depending upon those accompanying directions more and more. Several possibilites come to mind. We were f#*@ing up a lot more than we realized in our youth? Directions have actually become much better presented? Assemblies have become more complicated? I have become less self-sufficient (losing it)? I'm hoping it's mostly the first three.

11-12-2004, 05:53 PM
...incidentally, I made the coolest grill this summer out of a 30gal terra-cotta flower pot and a discarded basketball hoop. It mounted right to one of my 4X4 deck posts and a standard weber round grille fit the top perfectly. Used it dozens of times now and it works perfectly.

Michael Az
11-12-2004, 07:17 PM
Can you imagine what the people do that aren't mechanicaly inclined?

11-12-2004, 07:50 PM
We had a pants press at work from Japan...the instructions said "if steam pipes burst,try reliefing pressure".Yokay...
I love to watch people overlook the line "DO NOT TIGHTEN FULLY AT THIS TIME" then try to get bracket A into slot C.
The joke of the day today was from real tech support people.One fella reported that a customer called in to complain the a floppy was stuck in the drive.The guy had tried using pliers,then poured melted butter into the drive!! The tech asked him if he had read in the directions about the little eject button but the guy was too busy threatening a lawsuit to answer...

If I got it right first time,everytime....I'd have a real job!

John Garner
11-12-2004, 08:10 PM
Michael Az --

I'm reasonably mechanical, but I still think that the money it takes to pay a "window covering" installer to hang fancy blinds is WELL spent.


11-12-2004, 08:21 PM
Well it wasn't lately but many years ago I bought our little daughter one of those refridgerator, stove combo made out of heavy cardboard. The box said "simple to assemble", should have been a clue right there. It was one of those "put tab a into slot c while maintaining a grip on tab z". Of course in the meantime tab d was coming out of slot p! Took all night christmas eve to put it together, got about a hours sleep before the little feet hit the floor. And you what? That was before everything came from overseas, that sucker was made in america! And to think, we call them the "good old days". (I think they were though) http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

Paul in NE Ohio

Steve Stube
11-12-2004, 08:50 PM
"Can you imagine what the people do that aren't mechanicaly inclined?"

That's who we are hearing from now, right:-)

J Tiers, was that a 3 door black wrinkle finish wall hanging cabinet?

11-12-2004, 08:54 PM
Changed a brake booster on a 95' Lincoln towncar,I can't repeat every word I said,but put simply,next time I'm gonna take a plasma cutter and get direct access to the bastich http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

11-12-2004, 09:40 PM
And then there are the times when tightening fasteners and ego overides instinct and commonsense, "now just a bit more" and bingo "damn!!" broken,stripped or sheared http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//eek.gif http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//mad.gif http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//redface.gif

Excitable Boy
11-12-2004, 09:57 PM
If you want to save yourself some grief when buying a gas BBQ grille, go with a Weber. The frame is mostly welded and powder coated and it can be assembled in about ten minutes. They cook better than any other grille I've ever used as well.


Pursue Excellence and the rest will follow.

11-12-2004, 10:07 PM
I can relate to the beers and assembly conflict. Happened to my dad and I on a bike for lil' sis.
Recently assembling a mortise attachment for drill press, had to fall back on directions, but no one seen me.

J Tiers
11-12-2004, 11:38 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Steve Stube:

J Tiers, was that a 3 door black wrinkle finish wall hanging cabinet?</font>

Sho 'nuff. It is the only one that is a sensible depth that won't eat up too much room when hung on the wall. It's only about 8 or 9 inches deep.

Most others are at least 12", which means wasted space, and a hassle knocking heads into it.

I got it on sale for about $30, I sure wouldn't pay full pop. Now that it's up, its nice though.

Steve Stube
11-13-2004, 01:08 AM
Jerry, they are a bit of trick to put together with the instructions. Went much better when I tossed the white paper and did what needed to be done. You are right some holes were needed and pitch the hang brackets. I fastened to the wall with wood strips at the top and a saw curf at the back for the lip to side down into. Added a couply of screws tight to the top from the inside peg surface for final anchorage.

The "so call" shelf brackets were a laugh. They were 4" peg board hooks to set the really nice metal shelves on. Lots of luck keeping those springy things flat and level. I really outdid myself on the fix for that. I installed adjustable shelf bracket strips and clips - great fit without cutting the shelfs. You did better on price than me but I'm not complaining they are a pretty nice unit - NOW. It was more than "some assembly required".

Here is a photo. If you want to see the adjustable track & clips let me know.


J Tiers
11-13-2004, 01:24 AM
Actually, I never could figure out what they wanted with the peg-hook brackets.

The shelves fit onto formed tabs which are present on the back and the sides as well as the internal panels. There are maybe 8 or 10 up each side and the back, so there are that many positions for the shelves.

That is quite standard procedure for shelves, AND are about 100 times more sturdy than the peg hooks would be.

Maybe not all of their cabinet setups have those formed tabs......

I can say that at least half the trouble was getting the tabs on the back to line up with the ones on the sides....the back wanted to be enough higher that stuff would try to roll or slide off the shelves.....

I had to reverse the assembly from what they said. Then it worked fine. Of course I had already put it up, so I had some bad words to say about their background and family while disassembling and re-assembling.

11-13-2004, 02:51 AM
We bought a small pre fab corrugated shed (4x5x5ft) to put over our pool filter we gave it to our farmhand to assemble one wet day. He found the base piece and said "This beats me"and left it in the shed.
My 18 year old daughter got into it and put it together, it goes to show that it is not only the males of the species who are blessed with mechanical aptitude!

11-13-2004, 03:03 AM
Upside down eh, Jerry? I put together a shop bench from Canadian Tire (Canadian Tire equivalent of HF) It had a back piece with pegboard and overhanging top part. It included a piece of peg board in the back stop to hang parts etc on. The instructions never said to bolt it in place as the first step between the rear uprights. I didn't. I got it all finished and went to put the panel of pegboard in place. The bolts holding various bits in place on the uprights would not allow the pegboard to be put in where it belonged. By this time I was somewhat PO'd so I introduced the pegboard to Mr. Hammer. OK, so there are a few small bits broken out of the edge of the board where they met slight resistance from the protruding bolts. Want to make a big deal out of it? I still have the hammer...

[This message has been edited by Evan (edited 11-13-2004).]

Steve Stube
11-13-2004, 03:50 AM
No formed tabs on my cabinets side or back. Shelves are adjustable in 1/4 or 1/2" increments now. I found some wire baskets for peg board that were just the right size to hang in one portion without any shelves.

11-13-2004, 05:24 AM
Here is my kitset hayshed, steel framed zincalume covered after assembly and after a strong wind took it over to the neighbours. The problem was in my not following the instructions to the letter. A couple of nervy weeks followed while the insurance people considered my claim. Happy outcome though.


11-14-2004, 07:23 AM
here is a $24.99 kids toy, it came in 178 pieces(no joke), it took 2 hours.

the kid said cool and went back to warcraft 3 after all that work.(never again)

It walks, flaps its wings and opens its wings, and wags its tail.


[This message has been edited by tattoomike68 (edited 11-14-2004).]

[This message has been edited by tattoomike68 (edited 11-14-2004).]

11-14-2004, 10:22 AM
I must be in the wrong place. I never seem to have a problem ;-)

Evan. Become the grille.

" Assembly Japanese bicycle require great peace of mind "

Spin Doctor
11-14-2004, 11:07 AM
There is a special tecnical language for all products and software from Japan for use in North America. I first encountered it in a Fanuc CNC Class. It is called Jinglish

11-14-2004, 12:50 PM
In Japan it is pronounced "Engrish."

Dave Opincarne
11-14-2004, 12:54 PM

Steve Stube
11-21-2004, 02:18 AM
Jerry, those wonderful black cabinets are on eBay @ $23.99 BIN (he also has them at $25.99 BIN) Too bad the S&H for my Zip Code is $21.xx each.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=4337749305&ssPageNa me=MERC_VI_RSCC_Pr4_PcY_BIN_Stores (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=4337749305&ssPageName=MERC_VI_RSCC_Pr4_PcY_BIN_Stores)

[This message has been edited by Steve Stube (edited 11-21-2004).]

11-21-2004, 02:51 PM
Hardest thing I ever put together was a CD rack for my fiance. 18 1/2" wood dowels going in to misaligned holes on some 1x6. I found it was easier to glue two in place then bend the dowels to fit them in...after giving up on "try to line all of them up at the same time". PITA!!

I have four young nieces. On Christmas morning, I'm the one that gets to help them with their toys, etc. After all, parents do it year round....they get Christmas morning off.

Well, I dont have as much trouble putting the toys together as I do getting the damn things out of the package. Anybody ever try to take "little people" out of the package. You think you've got all the twist ties, but it still wont budge!

This year I'm coming prepared with a utility knife and angle dikes!


11-21-2004, 04:38 PM
Snowman,I hear you,if the crap in the package was just half as good AS the package.

Got a bottle of Tylenol the otherday,box was sealed in celophane,box was sealed shut with tape,cap on bottle was sealed with safty ring,bottle was sealed with foil and finally the cotton.But no,not this time,I started up the bandsaw and saved steps 1-7 http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

11-21-2004, 08:17 PM
seems to me the one thing you young http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif gentlemen(and ladies?)forget,is that kitset stuff is not designed for ease of assembly,rather for cheapness of manufacture.No doubt making the assembler quivering with rage is just an added bonus http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif.hans

11-21-2004, 08:33 PM
Was not me, but a while ago a fellow hiker was given the task of assembling a flashlight, one of those lantern look-alikes. He spent about three hours on it, without sucess, and in disgust gave it to one of the women in the group. Three minutes later, it was together and working. Needless to say, that was a less than stellar event in his life. We haven't seen him since.

11-21-2004, 11:12 PM
Darryl,I think the reason for that is women design a lot of this stuff,what else could explain the obsessive compulsive level of detail http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

11-22-2004, 12:17 AM
Uh oh. This is going downhill fast. Watch out, my daughter may be lurking. She is the only person I know that can curse me under the table...

11-22-2004, 03:43 AM
damn it! i have sat here writing out several different responses for the last two posts and none of them are suitable for public consumption! http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//eek.gif

11-22-2004, 03:54 AM
that being said, the most difficult thing i have ever put together is a bar-b-que. the damn thing took me hours. my husband bought it for me for my birthday and i was not eating dinner till i could cook it on the grill. i think we ate at about 9pm. jay might have taken pity on the kids and snuck them some food.
i have had men say some pretty ignorant things when they find out i am the one putting something together.
once, when i ordered an element for the dryer, the guy asked to talk to my husband. i said,"why, i'm the one changing it." after a long pause he said, "oh, make sure you unplug the dryer first."
really now http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//rolleyes.gif i never would have thought of that. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//rolleyes.gif good thing he was there to save me. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//rolleyes.gif
my best friend and i put together the swingset we had bought the boys. got snide remarks from every guy who walked past the front yard of the townhouse. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//mad.gif
i was not aware one needed a penis to use tools. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//eek.gif

ok, rant off.
take care

(hmmm, after re-reading this post maybe it belonged in the menopause/PMS thread!)

11-22-2004, 04:08 AM
Hey, I may have raised her but I do NOT take any responsibility for her comments. Your mileage may vary. Not exactly as shown. Do not eat. Save all receipts.

I'm going to bed.

11-22-2004, 10:16 AM
http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

Gary Helmick
11-22-2004, 02:21 PM
I don't know about the rest of you, but I have a daugther that I will put up against anyone about assembing anything.
She sometime has to show me how to do some things and I'm good at it.
She has worked in maintenance industery for over 15 years now and leaves most men scracthing their heads in wonder.
She has some great stories about some of her encounters with men, that I have to lol.
Just thought I would give a plug to some women.
Gary Helmick

11-22-2004, 10:19 PM
Well see thats where the rub comes in,the definition of the word woman.
The meaning has changed radically over the years.Grandpa used to say that women were like cars,they quit making them in 1937.
I think he was right,thats why its a shock to see one.

11-23-2004, 03:06 AM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by wierdscience:
Well see thats where the rub comes in,the definition of the word woman.
The meaning has changed radically over the years.Grandpa used to say that women were like cars,they quit making them in 1937.
I think he was right,thats why its a shock to see one.</font>

hmmm. i do not believe the meaning of the word woman has changed at all over the years. the meaning of the word lady? sure. but then i have never claimed to be a lady! http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//wink.gif

take care