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Orianna2000
02-13-2014, 02:46 AM
I'm trying to put together a pair of nightstands I ordered. I've done this sort of thing before, but this time, the very first step has me stumped. It's for attaching the rails to the inside of the nightstand, to support the drawer. There's no written directions, just diagrams.

There's this small plastic piece that's crenelated, with little teeth running down one side. The picture (see here (http://yesterdaysthimble.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/nightstand_1.jpg)) shows you hammering the end of this piece into the middle of the rail, and there are arrows pointing in all directions, as if maybe you're supposed to slide the piece back and forth. Why, I can't figure out. The rail has little dividers every inch or two, so you can't really slide the thing very far. The weird thing is, there's only one of these toothed pieces and two rails, so it's not a permanent fixture. The next diagram shows the rail without this piece attached, so I'm guessing it's something you do to both rails, before screwing them to the inside of the nightstand. (See the actual pieces here. (http://yesterdaysthimble.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/nightstand_2.jpg))

I am really stumped. If I didn't know better, I would say it's a lucky charm you're supposed to rub the rails with, so they won't fall apart. Since that makes NO SENSE, I haven't a clue! I could skip this step and proceed with the assembly, but I hate to, in case hammering this toothed bar of plastic into the rail and then removing it does something important. I'm not even sure what good hammering it will do, since there's no specific spot for it to be inserted into.

Any ideas? (And mods, if there's a better place for this kind of question, please feel free to move the thread!)

robjvargas
02-13-2014, 03:03 AM
This looks like... something. Whatever it is, the two arrows that point up and down the length of the longer piece suggest that you can change it's location. It's adjustable.

That, in turn, makes me think it's not for a drawer, but a static shelf.

Does that bigger rail install vertically, or horizontally, on the surface to which it attaches?

Brightdreamer
02-13-2014, 03:05 AM
Furniture assembly is the last relic of medieval alchemy. A host of peculiar, seemingly meaningless items must be gathered together, and then one must turn to a grimoire full of impenetrable directions and multilayered images. It requires as much faith as manual dexterity to slowly, torturously wend one's way through a bewildering number of steps. You may wish to consult external assistance in the tomes of Google, or seek aid from the demonic entity known as YouTube, but ultimately you walk away discouraged, realizing that no one else can undertake this challenge for you. At several points, despair sets in - this looks nothing like anything that will ever become useful! Then, suddenly, the miraculous transmutation occurs, and you find yourself beaming proudly upon the golden ideal.

At least, that's been my experience...

Generally, I suggest following the manual as close to the letter as humanly possible. Even the stuff that makes no sense at the start suddenly becomes clear later on. (Are you sure you aren't supposed to have two of those wiggly bits? Did you get a parts list? If not, it may be there to space something or stablize something later on. Also, when I last assembled an item, I had weird plastic things that went on one side of the drawer, but not the other; they were to prevent more than one drawer being opened at once, which would pose a safety hazard. Maybe it's one of those? I'd have to see an image of the finished product to have an idea...)

Orianna2000
02-13-2014, 03:17 AM
This looks like... something. Whatever it is, the two arrows that point up and down the length of the longer piece suggest that you can change it's location. It's adjustable.

That, in turn, makes me think it's not for a drawer, but a static shelf.

Does that bigger rail install vertically, or horizontally, on the surface to which it attaches?
There is a shelf above the drawer, but I'm pretty sure this is for the drawer's railings. The railings go horizontally on either side of the nightstand. I don't think it's meant to support anything, because for one, it doesn't fit firmly into any of the holes. It would fall out the moment I tilted the nightstand upright.


(Are you sure you aren't supposed to have two of those wiggly bits? Did you get a parts list? If not, it may be there to space something or stablize something later on. Also, when I last assembled an item, I had weird plastic things that went on one side of the drawer, but not the other; they were to prevent more than one drawer being opened at once, which would pose a safety hazard. Maybe it's one of those? I'd have to see an image of the finished product to have an idea...)

According to the parts list, there's only one of these things. I checked later on in the directions and you're supposed to do the same thing with the second railing. The following step shows the railing without the crenelated piece, so apparently you insert it, slide it back and forth, then remove it? It doesn't make any sense.

The finished nightstand is pretty much a cube, with a shelf halfway up and a drawer below that. Let me see . . . here it is (http://www.walmart.com/ip/South-Shore-1-Drawer-Sweet-Morning-Nightstand-Royal-Cherry/21187807).

robjvargas
02-13-2014, 03:36 AM
Hmm, this looks interesting:

http://southshore.ca/en/customer-service#vid13

I don't think that piece is a permanent part. If that's the same plastic slide, it's only used to hammer the slide into the holes.

Orianna2000
02-13-2014, 04:07 AM
Now that actually makes sense! Why doesn't the diagram show that you're hammering the railing into the side board? If the sketch hadn't been floating in mid-air, I would have understood what to do. THANK YOU for saving my sanity!

KellyAssauer
02-13-2014, 04:13 AM
Wow.

Twice in one day?

Earlier today I was allowed to see the Oracle, except I couldn't go because I didn't have any dead chickens for payment, and wouldn't ya know?

The very same day that I'm out, you need me to swing one around my head thirteen times counterclockwise.

That'll teach me.

;)

*good luck!*

Caitlin Black
02-13-2014, 04:57 AM
Furniture assembly is the last relic of medieval alchemy. A host of peculiar, seemingly meaningless items must be gathered together, and then one must turn to a grimoire full of impenetrable directions and multilayered images. It requires as much faith as manual dexterity to slowly, torturously wend one's way through a bewildering number of steps. You may wish to consult external assistance in the tomes of Google, or seek aid from the demonic entity known as YouTube, but ultimately you walk away discouraged, realizing that no one else can undertake this challenge for you. At several points, despair sets in - this looks nothing like anything that will ever become useful! Then, suddenly, the miraculous transmutation occurs, and you find yourself beaming proudly upon the golden ideal.

This is precisely why the Allen Key is a holy symbol used to ward off evil in assembly line workshops. Sprinkle a dash of varnish on it, and it's even said to bring good fortune with the removal of splinters!

robjvargas
02-13-2014, 05:02 AM
Now that actually makes sense! Why doesn't the diagram show that you're hammering the railing into the side board? If the sketch hadn't been floating in mid-air, I would have understood what to do. THANK YOU for saving my sanity!

Aw shucks, glad I could help. Backed into the dang video while trying to see if there was an online copy of the instructions.

Sometimes, the Google gods smile on me.

Orianna2000
02-13-2014, 05:08 AM
Video? Is that what the link was supposed to be? It just took me to the company's customer service page. I figured out the solution by your comment about using the piece to hammer in the railing. The picture doesn't show the side panel of the nightstand, so I didn't realize that's what you were supposed to do. But as soon as you mentioned it, a light bulb went off!

robjvargas
02-13-2014, 05:16 AM
Ah. Good thing I wrote that, then. Almost didn't. IT's the video about "fixing the plastic rails."

Glad it made sense, too. I'm not exactly known for that in certain quarters. :D

Orianna2000
02-13-2014, 05:22 AM
I'm glad you said it, too. :)

There is no mention of any videos on the webpage. It's just a generic customer service page, inviting me to email them or chat online if I'm having trouble. Of course, that would have been helpful, too, if I hadn't solved the problem.

robjvargas
02-13-2014, 08:22 AM
No biggie. When I go to the Customer Service page, I see three tabs: Services, Warranty, Videos.

Anyway, glad we figured it out.

Orianna2000
02-13-2014, 10:24 PM
When my husband got home last night, I showed him the instruction booklet and asked if he could figure out the first step. He could not! So I feel justified in having to come online and ask for help.

I wanted to assemble the nightstands and have them done before my husband got home last night, but that ended up not happening. I couldn't finish assembling them because I needed help tightening the screws, since I don't have the strength in my hands. Unfortunately, when my husband looked at the screws this morning, he informed me that most of them were in crooked and at least two were stripped. Not sure how that happened, since I barely screwed them in halfway! Hopefully, he can fix the screws after work tonight.

AndreF
02-14-2014, 04:50 AM
I've assembled tons of stuff. I really liked assembling metal benches with miss labeled parts and incomplete instructions.

And whatever you do with your finely manufactured saw dust (its what I call assembled furniture because they have that particle stuff..moving on) DO NOT USE PLEDGE!!!! USE WINDEX!!! Pledge over time tends to soak in and get into refined particle dust stuff and warp things and crumble things .... if you must use pledge or something to that effect apply light applications.

They'll never tell you that in your manual but when you spend years around the stuff you'll learn about things like that.

Orianna2000
02-14-2014, 04:59 AM
And whatever you do with your finely manufactured saw dust (its what I call assembled furniture because they have that particle stuff..moving on) DO NOT USE PLEDGE!!!! USE WINDEX!!! Pledge over time tends to soak in and get into refined particle dust stuff and warp things and crumble things .... if you must use pledge or something to that effect apply light applications.

They'll never tell you that in your manual but when you spend years around the stuff you'll learn about things like that.
Actually, this one specifically said not to get it wet at all. Don't clean it with soapy water and don't place wet objects on it, because the "wood" surface is laminated paper, essentially, so if it gets wet, it's ruined. If you have to clean it, it said to use a slightly damp rag and immediately dry it with a soft cloth. Do you think Windex would work okay with something like this? Or should I stick with a slightly damp rag and nothing else?

Nataku
02-14-2014, 11:36 AM
Actually, this one specifically said not to get it wet at all. Don't clean it with soapy water and don't place wet objects on it, because the "wood" surface is laminated paper, essentially, so if it gets wet, it's ruined. If you have to clean it, it said to use a slightly damp rag and immediately dry it with a soft cloth. Do you think Windex would work okay with something like this? Or should I stick with a slightly damp rag and nothing else?

Just use a damp rag and make sure you wring as much water out of it as you can and dry it with a dry towel. I'm sure there are even special moist towel thingies for this, but they're probably pretty expensive. Windex if it's the same one we have here like the name implies is for cleaning windows not furniture unless said furniture has a glass top of sorts. Trust me I had this kind of laminated paper furniture. Just your basic cleaning rag made wet and wrung out properly wipe it clean then go over it with a dry towel to dry it and you're good to go.

RNJ
02-14-2014, 06:14 PM
Anyone Good at Assembling Furniture?


No.

Orianna2000
02-14-2014, 06:31 PM
Oh, the screws my husband said were stripped? Turns out they're fine. They just have square heads, which meant the screwdriver turned and turned, as if it had been stripped. The booklet said you can use a square-head screwdriver OR a Phillips, but apparently it's very hard to do with a Phillips. Not my fault, after all! :D

RNJ
02-14-2014, 06:40 PM
Rule #1: never trust instruction manuals.

Barbara R.
02-14-2014, 07:01 PM
I found an online service called "Task Rabbit" that lets you list any work you need done--anything at all, from "pick up Mom at airport" to "sing at my wedding" to picking up and putting together furniture. They have long lists of people willing to take on these sort of jobs, and those people bid on your job. You can choose to accept the lowest bid or you can choose by qualifications. I've used them a few times and had a great experience each time. But they're not everywhere, so unless you're in a large metropolitan area, this may not help.

Orianna2000
02-14-2014, 07:15 PM
I found an online service called "Task Rabbit" that lets you list any work you need done--anything at all, from "pick up Mom at airport" to "sing at my wedding" to picking up and putting together furniture. They have long lists of people willing to take on these sort of jobs, and those people bid on your job. You can choose to accept the lowest bid or you can choose by qualifications. I've used them a few times and had a great experience each time. But they're not everywhere, so unless you're in a large metropolitan area, this may not help.
Great idea, but I just checked and they aren't in our city. We're a large, well-known city, but we're kind of a black hole when it comes to anything useful or exciting. All the Broadway tours skip over us, all the concert tours skip us---anything cultural or fun, we don't get. It's annoying, having to drive three hours, or five hours, just to attend a show, when we have perfectly good facilities right here.

jjdebenedictis
02-14-2014, 09:29 PM
Oh, the screws my husband said were stripped? Turns out they're fine. They just have square heads, which meant the screwdriver turned and turned, as if it had been stripped. The booklet said you can use a square-head screwdriver OR a Phillips, but apparently it's very hard to do with a Phillips. Not my fault, after all! :DSquare head? Those are Robertson head screws, and I was under the impression they're mostly unheard of outside of Canada.

Which is a pity, because they're actually better than other types. The screwdriver doesn't fall out of the hole, and you're less likely to strip the screw because there's more metal supporting the screw's inner surfaces where you're torquing against them.

Orianna2000
02-14-2014, 09:36 PM
Square head? Those are Robertson head screws, and I was under the impression they're mostly unheard of outside of Canada.

The nightstands were shipped from Canada, I guess that's where the furniture company is located. So that makes sense.