Thursday, June 10, 2010

Tweaking the Teak and Other Challenges of Patio Furniture

I ordered several pieces of patio (in this case “deck”) furniture in early May from One Way Furniture. I chose the 5 piece Milano Outdoor Living Set that included a bench, two chairs, coffee table and side table plus ordered two more chairs and a dining table that matched. It was just what I had in mind for our deck and I was pleased to find all the pieces I wanted in one place and the price.

It took about a month to receive the set and, of course, there was some assembly required.

Three of the eight boxes had suffered some dings in transit so the driver (a friendly guy with R+L Carriers) and I opened these boxes to check for damage. The teak furniture pieces (actually it is eucalyptus but this set came up in my search for TEAK OUTDOOR FURNITURE) were undamaged however the hardware package was missing from a table.

The individually boxed furniture pieces averaged five partially assembled pieces, a package of hardware (the exact number of 3” bolts you need for assembly with no extras), a tiny pillow of white glue, an Allen Wrench, a sheet of care suggestions plus a single sheet of simply drawn and void of text instructions. I believed my two sons (12 and 17) and I could assemble all 8 pieces together in about an hour. HA!
Just a little bit about me. I am capable of following directions. I have three college degrees, am a whiz with LEGO sets (and if that doesn’t give me credibility…I can’t imagine what would!) as well as, among other things, I am an artist, creative in multiple medias, and a pretty fair carpenter.

First of all, the shoddy hardware included with the furniture was inferior and very frustrating. After suffering the difficulty of using the provided Allen Wrench on the first few bolts, I switched to a DeWalt power drill with a hexagon bit.

This is when I discovered the holes in the furniture pieces were not long enough for the screws. This is when I had to get another DeWALT drill to drill the holes approximately ¼ inch deeper.

When I opened the second pillow of dried up glue, I opted for Loctite Wood Worx.

Even with setting the drill on low, I managed to strip the head of several inferior screws.

Some where between walking out to our shop to collect glue, drills, bits, switching out spent batteries, and getting a damp cloth, finding a block of wood and a vice-grip to remove the stripped bolts, minutes of my one hour “goal” ebbed away.

After two trips to Lowes and a local hardware store not being able to find the same type of bolts and eventually going back to find replacement bolts, a combination of three hours assembly time, aching forearms, carpal tunnel syndrome pain, a few tears, not to mention the swear words plus the loss of my religion and the sad thought that when I die I may end up in Hell spending eternity assembling patio furniture, the set DID come out looking great. I still need to find cushions (although it is rather comfy without), get some of those nail on floor/furniture protectors (just because I want some) do some light sanding, and buy some sealer for outdoor teak furniture.

The set was indeed a challenge to assemble; however, it is great for our space, I would order the furniture all over again. Except next time…I’d make my husband assemble it and I’ll go get a manicure.

Thank you for reading and please pray for my soul!