For Alex and Conner's Birthday a bunch of relatives chipped in and we got them a swing set. It came in a bunch of boxes with pieces of wood, metal and plastic. Oh yeah, and about 1000 nuts, bolts and screws (weight ~ 30 lb). The instructions stated that it should take two adults approximately 6 hours. This is the tale of how the swingset was put together and how the instructions are a festering load of feted dingos kidneys!
The person that wrote the instructions is probably still laughing. Let's just do a little math. There are 21,600 seconds in 6 hours. That gives you 21.6 seconds to identify, line up and fasten each nut, bolt, washer, lock washer, screw and inset bolt [33 different types and sizes all delivered in one big bag. For clarity sake here are some example sizes of the screws: 1", 1 1/4", 1 1/2", 1 3/4", 2", 2 1/4" all the way up to 3 1/2"]. As you can imagine it's really easy to determine which is which at a quick glance. The 21.6 seconds assumes that there is something there to screw into or together and that you're not stopping to drink beer. There were something like 200 pieces of wood, metal and plastic that needed to be sorted, and assembled with the fasteners above. Here's what it looked like out of the box:
So unless you're part of an Indy 500 pit crew, 6 hours is a criminally negligent estimate. Reza and I started the swing set and were able to get two of the walls together in the first few hours. Within one week we had the swings up, just in time for Alex's birthday. I continued to plug away at the ladders, tower floor and walls intermittently over the next few weeks with help from John, Reza and Christine. One weekend I put the roof panels together. Thankfully, Pepere, Uncle Ron and Uncle Joe were in town and were able to help me persuade one of the roof panels into place. In this context persuade is equivalent to the way you move a house 2 inches to the left.
A few weeks passed and I put together the slide with Alex's help. The instructions said I needed to dig a 12" hole for the slide support post. Here's a picture of Alex in the hold I dug [~3 feet deep]. I ended up having to cut the support post with a hack saw because 3 feet was still too shallow. Again, they are probably still laughing.
Victory was achieved last weekend when Reza and I raised the roof and poured the cement for the slide. So 6 hours and 2 guys was closer to 7.5 weeks with 5 guys, one wife and a small but helpful child.
Alex and Conner love the swings and Alex can't get enough of the slide which makes it all worth it.