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The Playset From Hell

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posted on Apr, 5 2007 @ 11:26 AM
So I went out and bought one of those wooden swingset, playset things this past weekend for my son. There were 4 big boxes. I open up the boxes, and they’re filled with lumber. Lot’s of lumber. Nothing is marked. Just lots and lots of lumber.
So I find the directions. It gives the dimensions of each piece. That’s how you figure out which piece is which. You literally take a tape measure and measure each piece. The directions are so freakin' helpful too.

"STEP 2 - Take the 41-3/4" rail, and attach it to the 60-1/2" rail using three 1-1/2" wood screws. MAKE SURE THAT YOU USE THE 41-3/4" RAIL OR PLAYSET WILL BE OFF BALANCE!"

There are pieces that are 41”, 41-1/2”, 41-3/4”, 42” and so on all the way up to 90”. Some of the pieces are as small as 3 inches. They look flipping identical, with some of them having just a 1/4 of an inch separating them.

The thing has a shingled roof (That I have to shingle). A curly sliding board that I have to assemble. A "rock" climbing wall that I have to assemble, AND attach the "rocks". Absolutely NOTHING comes assembled.

"STEP 793 - Take the 5 pieces of the sliding board and fit the molded tongue and groove together until you hear a clicking sound. Then using twenty four 2-1/4" Hex screws secure the 5 pieces together. Use two 1/2" washers on each 2-1/4" Hex screw. Be sure to use only the 2-1/4" Hex screw, and the 1/2" washers. If you use any of the other sized Hex screws or washers, you will compromise the integrity of the sliding board, and you will void the warranty."

Yeah, gee thanks. There's like more than a dozen different types and sizes of screws and washers. And they're so conveniently packaged in 1 great big unmarked clear plastic pouch.

So far I spent 12 hours on this darn thing, and I’m not anywhere even close to half way done yet. I made up curse words that didn't even exist. Every 5 minutes my 4 year old son would come running out “Is it done yet, Daddy?”. I’m sweating, have splinters in my fingers, and am so confused at this point that all I can say is “Not yet Buddy, in a little while”. My wife literally took one of the deck chairs, and sat and watched me in my frustration. I so enjoy her supportive comments like:
"What's taking so long?" , or, "He's not going to want to play with it once he's in college, so hurry up!", and my all time favorite "I bet so and so's husband would have it together by now."
Then there’s the new puppy. Constantly taking some of the little pieces and running away with them. So I’m chasing the dog screaming and hollering on top of all this. I've only been in our new house for a month and a half, so I can only imagine what my neighbors must be thinking. I swear that it’s easier to enrich Uranium than it is to put one of these things together.

So I'm looking forward to the 3 day holiday weekend. Hopefully I'll get it done.

Wish me luck - trust me I'll need it.

posted on Apr, 5 2007 @ 11:30 AM
Those things are very confusing and frustrating! :bnghd:

I've only been in our new house for a month and a half, so I can only imagine what my neighbors must be thinking. I swear that it’s easier to enrich Uranium than it is to put one of these things together.

Funny story, man. Hope it doesn't take you too much longer.

posted on Apr, 5 2007 @ 11:40 AM
Thanks Enjoies, I appreciate the support!
Hopefully it'll be together in the next day or two!

posted on Apr, 10 2007 @ 09:18 AM
Allright, so I've had this thing now for a week. The holiday weekend wasn't cooperating weather-wise, so I didn't get a whole heck of alot done.
BUT! Yesterday I got home, and was on a freakin' mission! Say HALLELUJAH! There is light at the end of the tunnel.
The main structure is complete! The fort, the swingset assembly, the "rock wall", the ladders are all assembled and together.

So I built the roof for this thing........

"STEP 528: Take 4 of the 39-7/8" rails, and using six 2-1/2" panhead screws, assemble them at a 45 degree angle. Then take 2 of the 39-1/4" rails, and using three 2-1/2" panhead screws, assemble them at a 45 degree angle. Then take twenty eight of the 48-1/2" boards, and overlapping each of them by 1/8" attach them to the 45 degree supports using five 1-1/4" woodscrews on each roof board. After roof assembly is complete, place roof on top of fort and attach using eight 4 inch hex bolts.

Yeah - real nice. It's 10:30 at night, and I'm alone. No freakin' way I'm stopping at this point! I'm seein' light at the end of the tunnel! So I get my trusty ladder. (The top of the fort where I have to put this roof is almost 7 feet high.) I get under this assembled roof, and lift it up. I must've looked like a giant wooden turtle. I go over to the ladder, and start climbing up. Don't you know it was exactly at this point that my wife decides to let out the dog.............
He comes running over, barking away, and grabs my pant leg. I'm only on the second step of the ladder at this point. So my back is breaking, I'm trying to keep my balance, not letting the assembled roof drop, or crash into the side of the fort, and I'm trying to shake the dog off of my leg. Yeah real good times.........
Then my wifes lovely voice comes cascading across the lawn.....
"You better not drop that on the dog! What are you doing? You look like you don't know what you're doing!"
Yeah - she must be related to Kreskin, she figured out that I didn't know what I was doing. At this point I'm starting to think that maybe OJ Simpson wasn't such a bad guy. I feel like Karl Walenda trying to keep my balance on top of this wobbling step ladder. That damn dog trying to climp up isn't making it any easier. I'm almost there! 1 more step!
Then her voice again:
"Put that down and bring the dog in, it's cold out here."
Ok, now I'm thinking that OJ Simpson is my freakin' hero!

So with one big gigantic raging thrust, I manage to get this roof assembly ontop of the fort! I center it and bolt it on.
Damn! That is one good lookin' fort!

So I turn the directions page, and now I have to build a steel frame for the awning. This freakin' thing has a bloody awning! There's still 6 more pages of directions, and alot of freakin' pieces left.
That's it, I'm calling it a night. Tomorrow is another day.
"C'mon Max, let's go in......"

[edit on 10-4-2007 by lombozo]

posted on Apr, 10 2007 @ 09:26 AM

I'm sorry, that is just funny man.

You are a great writer

Hope it doesn't take you too much longer.

posted on Apr, 10 2007 @ 09:40 AM

Originally posted by enjoies05

I'm sorry, that is just funny man.

You are a great writer

Hope it doesn't take you too much longer.

Thank you for the compliment!
I'm gonna do my best to get that freakin' thing done before I go to sleep tonight.
I'll update you tomorrow!
Stay cool my friend.

posted on Apr, 10 2007 @ 09:42 AM
Make sure you tell your son he better like that thing

posted on Apr, 10 2007 @ 10:54 PM
How far along are you with it now dude?

Glad to hear your having a mighty fine time and all, don't push yourself too hard and take a break for a cold One once or twice in a while...

You gave me a great idea for some thinking here.

*Instruction Manual Translator*

What do you think?
You just feed the page through the machine and it gives you a printout of what it could mean, cause no-one really knows, do they???

posted on Apr, 11 2007 @ 02:36 AM
Lombozo, in all honesty I can't sympathize with you because your directions were legible.

Imagine if they were written in Engrish:

The bolt with 42 inches should fit soundly precise with room against the build. So sure that you use many of these. 1 1/2" should be the one. Not the pan head or the wrong tool you may use.

Remember to adjust square as so and provide for error in time.

posted on Apr, 11 2007 @ 11:09 AM

Originally posted by chris01621
You gave me a great idea for some thinking here.

*Instruction Manual Translator*

What do you think?
You just feed the page through the machine and it gives you a printout of what it could mean, cause no-one really knows, do they???

Hmmmmmm, an Instruction Manual Translator, eh? Now I'm gonna have to sit and do some thinkin' about that. Good thinkin' there Chris!

So I'm at work yesterday thinkin' about my never ending project. I didn't realize when I bought the Playset from Hell, that it would turn out to be such an all encompassing "hobby". I was on the train coming back from New York and all I could think about was getting home to finish it. My cell phone starts ringing and I pick it up "Hello, this is lombozo." A little voice on the other end of the phone says:
"Hi Daddy. Are you going to ever finish my swing set?" You could hear my wife coaching him. "I really want to swing, and use my sliding board."

"I'm going to try and finish it tonight buddy"

Again you could hear my wife coaching him in the background. "C'mon Daddy, you're taking so long. You're making me sad."

Hmmmm, I think I'm going to invite OJ Simpson out for a couple of beers so we can talk..........

"I'll be home soon Buddy, and I'll work on it right away."

"Hurry up Daddy, I love you"

"I love you too Buddy, goodbye"

So I get to the train station, and dash to my car. I'm gripping the wheel as I fight the traffic getting home. I finally pull into the driveway, and my son is waiting at the front door for me. "C'mon Daddy, let's go!"

So I go up and change, and grab my tools. Oh my tools. I figured I would need a wrench, and a screw driver or two. Yeah, that's a good one. Yep, I needed a wrench, in fact just about every freakin' sized wrench ever made. Screw drivers - yeah, flat head, & phillips head in a couple different sizes. Clamps, levels, T-squares, protractor, allen wrenches, hammers, rubber mallets, drills with every single drill bit I own. Glue gun, chalk plumb lines.
Oh yeah, did I mention the tape measure?

So I setup my outdoor workshop. I pull out those directions, which I am now convinced is an original copy of the Necronomicon.

OK - here we go.

"STEP 666 - Spread the canopy out on a flat surface. Using the six 48-1/8" metal poles, insert them into the pockets on the tarp. Make sure that the poles which have the 30 degree ends are in the outermost pockets. The poles with the 40 degree ends are in the center pockets, and the poles with the straight ends are in the innermost pockets. Take the two 12-3/4" poles, and sandwich the ends between the ends of the 30 degree, and 40 degree poles. Put the straight end on the inside and attach all pieces together using one 3" machine screw, and 2 lock washers. See diagram"

WTF! Jeezus, what in the hell does all this mean? Oh Yeah, that diagram is sooooo freakin' helpful. Did Joseph Mengele write this?

So I insert the poles into the pockets. I try to "sandwich all the ends together", and align the holes so I can attach them all together with that machine screw. Man this isn't lining up at all. The fabric is stretching like a drum. Almost there, almost there, the holes are getting closer...... closer.....

Suddenly I hear: "Make sure that you don't rip that awning! It looks like it's going to rip. Be careful!"

Oh OJ, if you're out there, a surf and turf dinner is on me my poor misunderstood friend.......

Closer...... There! The machine screw is in - now let me put the nut on. Dammit! I forgot to put the dog gone lock washer on. imortant is that tiny little washer anyway? Nah, it's for my son, don't take any shortcuts. Great freakin' time for my morals to kick in.......

So I finally get that freakin' awning done. (There's 2 hours I'll never get back). And I mount it on the fort. Yep, that actually looks pretty good. So now I finish another couple of pages of directions. Jeezus, this thing is just a playhouse isn't it? I mean c'mon, this thing has amenities that my house doesn't have!

So now I'm to the point that I can actually hand up the 2 swings and the glider. Hallelujah, Lord maybe I won't be coming home to see you today afterall!

So I hang the 2 swings - they're the kind that are soft rubber belts, so when you sit on them they conform to your butt. I'm assembling the glider - yes I had to assemble that too. By now I bet that Bob Villa would have thrown in the towel. I'm finished assembling the glider and start to hang it up, when the dog comes running over and bites one of the belt swings, puncturing it badly - it's ruined.

That damn dog! You know my neighbors down the street own a chinese restaurant, Hmmmmmm........ I wonder?

Now I have to assemble a flowerbox. A flower box? WTF? My son doesn't need no stinkin' flower box!

"Don't let the dog bite the swings! Why did you let him do that? And where's the flower box?"

I wonder if I can Google up OJ's email address?

So now it's time for the sliding board! Damn! I'm almost done! So I assemble that sliding board and am getting ready to mount it.

"STEP 937: Prepare four 8 inch deep holes. The holes should have a circumference of 5 inches. Assemble the remaining rails in descending order to act as support tressles for the sliding board. Fill holes with cement. Cement should be level with the surface. When concrete is dry, mount the tressles to the top of the concrete. Do not pour the concrete around the wood as this will promote rotting of the wood. It is recommended that you predrill holes in the concrete with a masonary bit before trying to screw the tressles to the cement."

Recommend pre drilling the concrete. Wow! Pure genius! I never would have thought of that!
I hope the company that manufactures this playset goes out of business.......

I need cement....... Oh c'mon........ You gotta be freakin' kidding me.

It's 11:00 at night......... I can't believe I can't finish this tonight........

I need a beer.

posted on Apr, 11 2007 @ 11:55 AM
Ah, I see you finished it.

Too bad, it would have made good kindling for the fireplace, or the campfire.

Still not too late...

posted on Apr, 11 2007 @ 11:25 PM
lombozo I loved reading this and know what you have and do go through,sorry I can only offer you a cyber beer for your frustrations and effort.

Not meaning to tell you something you may already know,but its better to design and manufacture/build our own anything when and if one can ,if a professional drawing isn`t available anyway.You have demonstrated that your capable of doing this type of project yourself through the time and effort to nut out some puddin heads amateur instructions that could have been time put in designing your own,then at least you know what goes where and why.

Thats besides the point of my post though,I can relate in being trivialized,disrespected and taken for granted that many men put up with for the love of their family,which goes seemingly unnoticed.

As you have done,continue to keep your cool as best as possible.

Cyber beer pal coming your way.......

while I slap you on the back and say you did a good job!

posted on Apr, 12 2007 @ 12:45 PM
Mmmmmmmm, cyber beer. Thank you gps777!

Raining and cold, so didn't get to the cement or slide yet.

I'll keep you up to date on the progress.....................

posted on Apr, 16 2007 @ 10:09 AM
Ok, now it's time to put on the Sliding board! Sweet Jesus in heaven! I'm almost done! So now I have to build the 3 tressels which ultimately support the sliding board.
STEP 711: Take the 3 descending stepped tressel rails. 1st is 65", 2nd is 50", 3rd is 34". Attach one 5" x 5" foot onto the bottom of each tressel rail, using three 4" flathead screws into each tressel rail. Make sure that tressel feet are centered before assembling. Make sure when pouring cement foundation posts, that they are in the right position. If in the incorrect position, the tressels will not align with the sliding board, and will void the warranty."

You have got to be freakin' kidding me. You mean I can't just dig a hole wherever I want? Gee thanks for all of the wonderful coordinates as to where to dig the holes. You make me measure every freakin' piece of lumber. (I swear at least one rain forest is no longer here because of this damn set. ) Yet you can't give me something in the way of measurements for the holes?

Ok, so the sliding board is a semi circle "wave slide". It's 12 feet long, heavy as hell, and due to its shape is almost impossible to handle. I'm struggling to put it in place so I can figure out where to dig the holes. The thing is ungainly as hell, it's buckling, bouncing, moving everywhere but where I want it to go.

I'm thinking that god is up there looking down at me with a grin on his face saying "Hey Peter come here a second, watch this!"

So I manage to get the end of the slide onto the edge of the fort. Cool! Now I can run a plum line down and dig these stinkin' holes! So I let go of the slide, getting ready to plan my holes, when it swings down like a giant green pendulum hitting me square in the shins. WTF!

Allright, I swear I'm on Candid Camera - jokes over guys, c'mon out and help me already!

Allright sliding board - it's you and me......... One of us isn't going home.....

So I go and get a trashcan. I manage to get the slide back into position, and put the trash can under it to temporarily support it. Man, it's working! Allright me!

My wife decides to throw out yet another extremely supportive comment "That looks terrible. You're not going to leave it like that are you?"

I'm about 10 seconds from putting my fingers in my ears and shouting "LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA.............." I don't know which is more annoying - her comments, or the roof of your mouth after you burn it on hot pizza. Hmmmm, I have to ponder that one.

So I figure out where to dig the holes. I dig them and pour the cement. Well at least there's no drama here................

The next morning I get up bright and early and am all pumped up to finish this thing. I go outside. Yep the cement is all set! Here we go! I get my trusty drill, put in my shiny new masonary bit and start drilling! Thank heavens the genius who wrote the directions told me to pre drill. It would have been really frustrating to try driving those bolts into the cement without drilling. Ok, all is good, just one more hole to drill! Man that masonary bit is really smoking.
"WHEEEEEEEEEEEE" Huh? What just happened? Oh man the drill bit came loose from the chuck, and is firmly embedded in the cement. You've got to be kidding me...... So I grab the bit and try and pull it out. "SON OF A BITCH!" that bit is so freakin' hot! Oh c'mon........
OK, now I need the one tool that I don't have out here, my flippin' vice grips..........
I go into my garage, mumbling to myself the whole way and get my vice grips. I go back out and put the vice grips on that bit, and start to pull. Man! It's really stuck.......... So I pull, and pull - It's not budging.......
OK Lucifer, If I sell you my soul, will you finish this for me?
So I straddle the cement, and pull with all my might. It comes flying out and I hit myself right in the "cajones" with the vice grips.
"OOOOWWWWW!" So I'm writhing on the ground in pain, and the dog comes running over licking me, and jumping on me.

Yet another supportive wife comment. "Are you ever going to finish that thing? You can roll around and play with the dog anytime."

I now know that I'm not capable of murder. If I haven't by now, I never will........

So I wipe away the tears of pain from my eyes and attach the tressels. Hallelujah, the last bolt is in, everything lines up!
I did it! It's done. The playset from hell is done.
Hey company who manufactured you: "Hah I won!"
Hey genius who wrote the directions: "I hate you! I beat you!"

My son comes running out, climbs up the fort, and whizzes down the slide. It works, it really works!

He runs up to me, gives me a big super squeezy hug, and says "Thank you Daddy, it's my favorite thing ever! I love you Daddy."

All is good with the world.

posted on Apr, 16 2007 @ 12:21 PM
Glad to hear you finished it, I believe I said in one of your threads I would give you Wats when it worked, Strange thing.

You have already voted for lombozo this month.

[edit on 16-4-2007 by chris01621]

posted on Apr, 16 2007 @ 01:26 PM

Seem's like your hard work paid off man.

You have already voted for lombozo this month.

Same here

posted on Apr, 23 2007 @ 01:46 PM
So here you go - here is the final product!

posted on Apr, 23 2007 @ 01:54 PM
Looks great. Hope he enjoys it.

posted on Apr, 23 2007 @ 03:48 PM
That looks cool, alot of man hours for years of childhood fun.
Hey you get alittle drunk some time i'm sure you could have some fun on it too.

I wish I had on of those when I was a kid.

posted on Apr, 23 2007 @ 04:57 PM
I've enjoyed the trials and tribulations of Lombozo and the Swingset from Hell. Your writing is good stuff...

The superbig sqeezey hug made it worth it though didn't it? I'm guessing it did.


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