“Suggest 2 people assemble this product.”

Those were the first words I read last week when I opened the instructions for assembling the chiminea I had just purchased. I paused, looked at the picture on the front of the box, thought of all the products I’ve put together over the years and how often the instructions have been so far removed from the reality of the assemblage as to be virtually useless, and decided I could probably put my new purchase together by myself.

I made decent progress the first day. I unpacked the entire box and began making sure all the parts were there. I ran into my first issue there; I had far fewer screws, flat washers, crinkly washers (I’ve since been told they have a more official name, but I can’t remember what it is; they are crinkly, though), and nuts than I was supposed to have. After recounting several times, I was about to call the company (per their express and repeated instructions — in bold, no less) to call them and not the store I purchased the chiminea from, I saw in tiny print “some items preassembled; must be unassembled before assembly”. Really? I unassembled 24 sets of screws, flat washers, crinkly washers, and nuts, and then I had the required number of parts.

I would take you step by step through the process, but 1) there’s only one more step, and 2) even that step would be boring. How much excitement is there in “I attached the 4 legs to a large bowl-shaped wood holder”? I quickly found out, though, that I needed a tool that holds the nut tight while the screw is tightened, and because my tools are American and the pieces are metric, I was stuck until I could get a metric nut holder (I have no idea what those things are called) from my father-in-law.

On a side note: I have a very wise father-in-law. I called to ask him in what order the flat washer and crinkly washer are put on a screw. Then I asked him if he had any metric nut holders to use when tightening the screw. He only chuckled a bit before responding, and he knew exactly what I meant by “crinkly washer” and “nut holder”! 

I’ve had the metric tool I need for several days now, but a couple of rainy, chilly days and other more pressing matters have resulted in a very partially put-together chiminea still sitting in the box. Well, all of it except for the large base which is sitting in the family room and which I ran into the other night when I got up after falling asleep on the couch (my shin looks horrible, but it only bled for a little bit).

Every time I pass it, which is often throughout the day, “Suggest 2 people assemble this product” runs through my head.

And every time, I want to kick the darned box because, for once, the instructions are accurate. I’m not ready yet, though, to swallow my “I’m not going to be the type of widow that borrows other women’s husbands” stance.

So, ladies out there, if you’re willing to insert some washers and screws and tighten some bolts while I hold the heavy pieces, I’ll pay with a glass or two of wine by a nice fire in the finished chiminea!

Update: This post was set to be published on March 25, but I just saw that it never posted. In the meantime, my daughter and her boyfriend visited on Easter, and after church, her boyfriend put together my chiminea! It looks wonderful on the back patio. I must admit that he was able to assemble it on his own — no 2nd set of hands needed. 🙂