January 4, 2011

Win a Black & Decker Ratcheting ReadyWrench from Tool Snob


Black & Decker has been nice enough to set aside one of their ReadyWrenches for us to give away to one of you, our readers (our review here). To mark the occasion, we've decided to have a nice post-Christmas themed contest. To enter to win, just leave a comment at this post telling us about your worst 'Some Assembly Required" experience. You know, when the box says it should take 30 minutes and it takes three days? Or when the 'instructions' consist of a photocopied piece of paper that is at least 30 generations from the original, and the a,b, and c on the parts schematic all look the same?

In a week, January 10th, we'll put all of the entries in a hat and let Marlowe the WonderCat sniff out the winner. Unless there's one that's hands down hilarious, then we'll pick that one.

Many thanks to B&D for sponsoring the contest.

Or, if you're the impatient type, you can pick up the tool at Amazon.com for $25.

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Posted by Doug Mahoney at January 4, 2011 11:30 AM
Recent Comments

when I attempted to put together a pirate chest. The wood was bowed and none of the pieces fit. It was missing several screws.
I wound up making my own plans.

Posted by: Barry Gardner at February 7, 2011 5:36 AM

Well my worst 'Some Assembly Required" experience is making a box where to plant some seedlings.

Posted by: tech2crave at January 12, 2011 2:31 AM

Some person has the most geeked up, mangled looking work bench ever constructed. I pity that man.

Posted by: PEX Tubing at January 11, 2011 5:21 PM

Almost every assembly means many trips to the tool bin or to the local hardware store. The outside grill assembly can be hard if you read the instructions. Plumbing always requires trips to the local store. The most difficult was the outside swing set assembly.

Posted by: Ben Anderson at January 7, 2011 11:36 AM

I recently installed a new bar sink faucet. It's really cute with the gooseneck and little lever handle on the side. I got it all installed, turned on the water supply, and tried the faucet. Nothing happened. I checked the water connections and supply from main. Tried again. Nothing. It was late Friday evening. Hubby and I both jiggled the faucet handle trying to get water. Nothing. I fish the instructions out of the trash and locate the 800-help number. Got a recording "our regular business hours are...
". They wouldn't be back in until Monday morning. Highly irritated (this was not a CHEAP faucet!), I put all the paperwork back in the b ox and put it by the phone for Monday (luckily we also have a main sink). Later that evening as I was wiping off the counters, I accidentally nudged the faucet lever, and BINGO! water. We had been pushing it side to side (hot to cold), instead of pulling it out! NOWHERE in the instructions did it tell how to TURN ON the faucet after you installed it!

Posted by: vicki witcher at January 5, 2011 11:37 PM

I either have a very short memory or not much trouble putting things together. My trick on assembly is to work as a team with my husband--he is more mechanically inclined and I help with figuring out the A to B to C...directions.

Posted by: Marianna at January 5, 2011 5:31 PM

My worst 'some assembly required' story would have to be when my dad came home from the flea market with a cheap chinese work bench.

First problem: no instructions. I guess the manufacturer figured a truely handy man would be assembling this hot ghetto mess.

I opened the box and an hardware store assortment of nuts, bolts(metric AND standard!), and washers came pouring out. They weren't bagged individually or in like-sizes, they were just mixed together like a clusterf@*# stew. Every size nut,bolt, and screw came in pairs (like Noah's Ark but stupid).

After sorting those and laying all the parts out, I realized that there were stamped metal pieces that weren't included. Instead of getting a left and right support bracket, I'd have two 'lefts' or two 'rights'. (It was actually comepleted with three 'left' legs instead of 2 left and 2 right)

The wooden work surface was bowed and cut unevenly along the FRONT SIDE. I was like, "Seriously?! you had 3 sides you could have cut wrong that wouldn't have looked bad, but you mess up the cut on the front?!"

The metal peg-board like backsplash of the work bench was not compatible with the provided hooks, which at that point was humorous instead of infuriating.

After about 4 hours of mashing this "work bench" together my Dad and I gave up and sat it, mostly complete, next to the road for garbage pickup or the casual forager.

Some person, somewhere in Alabama has the most geeked up, mangled looking work bench ever constructed. I pity that man.

Posted by: Moose at January 5, 2011 12:45 PM

I built a new bed off of some plans that I found online. They were a knock-off of from a Pottery Barn bed. It gave a material list and a cut list and the first step was to cut all of the material. Well, apparently, the wood dimensions are different where this person made them (Alaska) and most of the sizes weren't correct. It was quite frustrating trying to figure out what was wrong...just standing over the project with plans in hand, scratching my head. Lesson: Do not cut all of the material before you need it.

Posted by: Tim S at January 4, 2011 1:08 PM

Had to be toy I bought for my nephew three years ago. The toy was made in China, the instructions included Spanish, French and Norwegian versions along with an English version. The English version included really bad grammer and had been copied in with a word processor (and probably a bad translation program). In addition, the assembly order had been cut and pasted in incorrect order. To make things worse at least two steps were left out. The diagrams were labeled for parts A, B, C, etc.... The parts were numbered 1, 2, 3.... It took me 6 hours to figure out the project that should have taken 30 minutes to assemble.

Posted by: Yadda at January 4, 2011 12:59 PM
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