Tai-tai decided to move the kids computer in the upstairs landing. It was located in expat daughter's room and she naturally took most of the time on it and so expat son wasn't getting his time on it when he needed. In order to make this move complete, she headed out on a shopping trip to find a desk.
She had called me and said she found a desk and had purchased it. This was a good one. All vinyl covered MDF with 3 drawers and a large counter top. Cheap too...only RMB150 (USD 1:8.28 RMB). She then explained that she asked if they had instructions on how to put it together and she got the standard, Chinese, blank stare. They searched and searched and came up with a picture of the desk. uhhh...OK, that should be good enough (I hope).
I got home last night to unpack it and see what we have. Tai-tai points out the picture on the brochure they gave her and I go about taking out all the pieces to see if everything is there. The flat pack is tightly packed, so it looks as though that I am getting what I need. As I start going through the parts, it is becoming evident that the flat-pack she received and the picture she thought she was getting are two different things. In vain, I try and try to match up all the parts in the picture...uuuhhhh...forget it. Let's sort through the hardware.
7 different type of screws...some nails...a whole pile of plastic nuts...3 drawer locks (I know where those go!!)...some drawer handles (know where those go too)...and some drawer guides.
It's all laid out on the landing floor. I survey what lies before me and think, "I need a beer." I can always think much clearer with a beer. Especially when it comes to tasks like this.
After several sips of brew, it dawns on me. I know where 50% of the drawer hardware goes...and what the drawer pieces look like. I'll make the drawers!! Off we go.
Now, Chinese flat packs are not the same as Ikea. Besides not having instructions, the hardware just doesn't have the same kind of integrity that DIY packages do in the USA or anywhere else. As I am nailing on the bottom to the last drawer, the face of the drawer gives way. CRACK! Granted, this happens only due to the hammering of the nail...the embedded bolt they have used has broken. Back to the earlier paragraph...it only cost us RMB150. This is a small consolation.
It was about this stage that I figured out which picture went with the parts that I had. It was the same sort of desk, but a completely different configuration. In fact, the picture on the brochure had only 2 drawers...mine had three. But, the rest of the configuration matched with the parts that I had. If I used my imagination, I should be able to build this successfully.
2 hours have passed at this point
The other portion I figured I knew where they went were the drawer guides. I could do that too. So...those were assembled. STOP. Oops...put that one in backwards. OK...fix...re-assemble. Done for the night. I'm not risking screwing anything up at this stage of the evening.
So it sits...as I contemplate completion of this project. I'll post some pictures of the progress and completion. I think all that time spent watching the DIY Network (the Boring channel, as expat daughter calls it) that has gotten me to this stage.