Most helpful critical review
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Great bench but OMG! Major Problems! UPDATED
on October 4, 2013
See Update below and thanks, Amazon, for coming through as always!
This little bench should be everything the 5-star people are saying. It comes in a double-thickness cardboard box with every piece well wrapped and protected, the pieces are high quality and [should be] beautiful. The seat has a texture like soft leather (but it is vinyl) and the finish on the wood is very nice. It has really good plastic little leg protectors on it so, if you were using it on a wood floor the floor would be protected, or on a tile floor, the legs would be protected (mine is going to be in a closet on carpet so I think it will slide around really easily.
HOWEVER this thing came with one of the legs undrilled on two sides for the wood dowels and screws that attach the lower stretchers to the legs. I'm pretty handy so I went and got my drill and tried to find a bit exactly the size of the dowels--which I didn't have but tried a smaller one, got one side drilled and it sort of lined up with the stretcher but then I realized, I had put the new holes on the wrong side of the leg...no turning back from this mistake and the other side still needed to be drilled. But...should I really have been spending an hour trying to make something work that should have come right in the first place? I'm now going to try to get Amazon to send me a properly drilled leg. I'm upset because I have junk all over the place in my bathroom, tools out that didn't need to be and I don't have a workable bench for my troubles. I also don't have the box and styrofoam it came in (took advantage of an opportunity to get a worker to take it to the dump as it was too big for my trashcan), so I can't repack it and send the whole thing back. So disappointing as it was the last piece of my closet remodel.
I'll let you know what Amazon does to resolve this.
Amazon didn't let me down. They sent me in two days a completely new box and said "take what you need and send the rest back with the defective parts." They had UPS pick up the return right from my front porch. Can't ask more from a vendor than that!
However, the problems continued. I discovered a cracked stretcher, a dent in the front of the upholstery seat that is unremovable and the directions are very misleading, leading to tons more work.
In the end, I managed to put together a beautiful bench and I love it! It is such great value and [can be] such great quality that I think it was worth all the hassle, but here are a few tips if you decide to try one:
1) unpack all the parts and unwrap the upholstered seat (I thought it was a good idea to keep it wrapped during assembly for protection...NOT!) and inspect them very carefully before beginning. Make sure the legs and stretchers are predrilled in all the right locations (see the directions for illustrations).
2) In Step Two do NOT do what they say! They tell you to attach the legs to the seat after you have already attached the long stretchers. If you do this (as I did) you will find that you have to remove two of the legs in order to put in the short stretchers. So... only attach the legs with stretchers on them to the seat, and look at which legs look the best (the stretcher on one pair just wouldn't close tightly to the leg) and put the best ones on the front side of the bench (the back side has a seam in the welt/cording. Then put on the short stretchers using the wood dowels to hold them in place, screw the bolts into the seat cushion a little bit to hold them, and then begin tightening everything.
3) As someone mentioned, it is easy to over crank the allen wrench, so as the bolt gets close to being all the way, go slowly and listen for a tiny little scritch sound which will warn you that you are done. I found that I could finger-turn the bolts nearly all the way in and using an allen wrench set that has a handle is MUCH easier (works like a screwdriver) than using the little one they sent...especially on the bolts close to the seat.
4) After you think you are done, go around and tighten the bolts again, diagonally, if there is any room for movement. Go back and forth because you will be surprised how much play develops as you tighten one side and then the other.
5) Tape the little allen wrench to the bottom of the cushion when you are done so if you have to use it later to retighten the legs (or reupholster the seat), you will have it right there.
Hope yours turns out great!