Most helpful critical review
35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
Table Seems Fine, But Installation is Unnecessarily Difficult
on October 30, 2011
Most of the 18 prior reviewers seems to think the table was pretty easy to put together, and maybe it is if your of average handyness. Fortunately, you have me to give another perspective, the kind of person who, when putting stuff together, frequently has to go back two steps because he screwed something on backwards. While this review is mainly for those in the same boat and not for handy folks, hopefully it has a little something for everyone. Ok, installation:
(1) just diagrams, essentially no words. Diagrams are confusing at times. For example, there was a diagram with 4 steps listed on a single page, and I thought they were all connected -- but no, steps 3 and 4 were to be done on another similar part and not part of a sequence with 1 and 2, where the part for steps 3 and 4 was slightly different from the part in steps 1 and 2. With my wife helping, there was a minimal degree of messing up a step and going backwards, but we still had a good amount of headscratch/debate time;
(2) screws are organized too frustrate you. For example, 3 sizes of screw, 40, 50 and 55 mm are in the same bag, unmarked, mixed together. While that would be bad enough, there are 2 separate bags with these 3 screw types mixed together. Maybe there is a reason for that (one bag for each table half?) but since there are no words on the directions who knows? The directions have a little measuring thing, so your supposed to sort the screws yourself. There are also two similar looking types of washers that need to be unsorted, and my wife was having trouble telling them apart.
(4) there was one place where it tells you to use your hands to get a metal end cap to stay on. Maybe if you have Paul Bunyan hands, but otherwise a hammer is needed. If your like me, getting the confidence to do something not in the directions takes a while;
(5) there was one step where 2 large pieces of metal are supposed to overlap perfectly so you can screw them in. After 10-15 minutes, I realized I had done everything 100% correct and was convinced there was a manufacturing defect. Although I was entirely convinced it wouldnt work, somehow hammering did fix the problem.
(6) net is a little frustrating to set up -- I got the net firm and stable, but I had to play with it to get that, and I dont think I did it right. Still, its stable and works fine.
On the plus side, my wife and I *were* able to put the table together, and if we can do it, you probably can too, no matter how weak your skills. Sure it took us 4 solid hours, and it would have been longer if we werent stopping each other from making mistakes, but its done, and it looks like we did it right.
Table itself seems of good quality (with the possible exception of the net, though after playing with the net its been stable for months), just knocking it down 2 stars for installation.
Tip for the weak: If your not real strong and have steps, just open the box in your garage and carry the table halves separately. Also allows for easier manuevering to get it around corners and such. Worked well for us, and we are on the weaker side of normal.
Random observation: While the table folds up really easily with no strength required, it doesnt make a perfect backboard for practicing by yourself as there is a pretty big gap between the upright table and the bottom table, meaning you'll lose balls into the gap. An advanced beginner and up can still practice that way, but its not viable for beginning kids -- the gap will eat too many balls. Still, the easy fold-up is an obvious plus, and I have no idea if there are tables that fold-up without gaps.