I am a typical dad. I put together lots of stuff using cryptic directions that probably require advanced degrees in ancient languages to decipher. The assembly instructions for this basketball hoop are an excellent example of all of the absolutely worst practices in the "some assembly required" literature genre.
This basketball hoop is the Twilight series of toy instructions.
First, the nuts, washers, bolts are all prepackaged in the nice multi-compartment see-through packages that are typical of advanced toy assembly. However, it appears that most of the fasteners were randomly placed in the various packages. So one compartment had 6 nuts (3 of one size, 2 of another size, and 1 lonely nut); 4 washers and 2 bolts. None of the compartments were labeled with what should be in them so I assume this was intentional. Luckily, an experienced dad such as myself was able to catch this fun little tidbit early on so I spent 40 minutes opening all of the packages and organizing all of the parts into their groups to make sure I had everything required to put the thing together. About the time I finished organizing the parts, I stepped away to get a drink (at this point water, I wouldn't hit the hard stuff until later).
A few minutes later I heard my 4 year old offering one of the dogs a "pretty silver treat." Luck struck again as apparently, steel is one of only two substances in the known world that the family dog will not eat (the other being any dog food that cost less than $1 per serving).
With the parts cataloged and an hour into the assembly, I (again, being the experienced dad that I am) sat down to read through the entire instructions before starting. I started feeling uneasy at the first page when the first instruction was to use a screwdriver to ream out all of the pre-drilled bolt holes.
Given the recent advances in technology, and knowing that even the government can put remote control cars on Mars and that private companies can build houses with 3-D printers, I was taken aback that this company was unable to consistently drill holes in metal that were the right diameter for the bolts either before or after the metal was painted.
I probably should have stopped there, packed everything back up and driven it down to Walmart. But the box is heavy, the parts had already been unpacked, and I figured I was at about the midpoint of the pain. Better to go forward than back.
The next major issue was with the plastic cover that goes over the two support rods that connect the base to the main pole. The bolt holes didn't line up. I took it apart and put it back together 3 times in every imaginable configuration and it wasn't even close. I am going to assume that the plastic cover is cosmetic because right now I plan on using it for a sled next winter.
Once you get done with, or give up on the plastic cover, this is an excellent time for the first two shots of Fireball. Things go smoothly for a while until you realize that there are two identical sets of pre-drilled holes in the center section of the pole, both of which fit the height adjustment mechanism. The instructions do not indicate which set of holes to use (or even alert you to the fact that there are two sets of holes) and so Murphy's law states that you will select the wrong set of holes. Thankfully, you had those two shots, so you really don't care that you have to move the height adjustment mechanism once you realize it is in the wrong spot.
The backboard connection rods go in fairly easily although you may want to do that thing like with the old 3-d images where you half-cross your eyes and slightly blur your vision in order to make the images in the book reasonably usable.
Once you have the backboard connection rods done, this is a good time for the next two shots of Fireball, because getting those rods onto the backboard is going to take significant effort.
The metal bracket that attaches the backboard to the connector rods via two 1/2 inch diameter bolts has 7/16th diameter holes drilled in it. No amount of screwdriver reaming is going to fix that problem. A 1/2 inch titanium drill bit does solve that problem. Don't worry, Walmart sells these at a reasonable price if you don't already have one.
Once assembled, the hoop is stable, the backboard is large and it plays nice. Assembly took over 4 hours and several extra tools/steps that were not in the directions. Basketball standards are notoriously difficult to put together, but this one goes out of its way to make assembly particularly painful and traumatic.
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