Thursday, May 13, 2010

!$ 2x4basics 14429 Workbench and Shelving Storage System with Hooks and Clamps

I recently received the combo shelf and workbench kit. While the shelves were acceptable, though there was a good deal of slop, the workbench portion was entirely unsuitable (without some modification).

Problems I noticed...

1. {After speaking with a few other folks who have this product, I discovered that the problem with the screws is that I was missing the right bag o' screws. My instructions were photocopies with large amounts of smear and static, so I couldn't read the parts list very well, otherwise I would have known that I was missing the right screws. The ones I substituted were very similar to those which should have been provided. } The screw angle, combined with the one-size-doesn't-quite-fit-all screws provided, yields a very shallow (about 1/4" or less) insertion into the lumber. Given the screw angle and the softwoods (I was using fir) of the typical 2x4, this is highly untenable. {So, be certain that you were sent the correct screws (both types), and much of this problem should be resolved.}

2. The instructions are very minimal to say the least. I got photocopies of dubious quality. IKEA does better.

3. While trying to attach the 2x4's to the legs, there was an issue... If the leg was flat on the ground lumber side up, the screw holes were inaccessible on the ground. Reversed, there was nothing holding the 2x4 to the leg (thus it would fall to the floor or twist out of my grip and out of true before I could screw it in place). The leverage of a reasonable sized 2x4 (3') proved sufficient to tear out the shallow screws.

4. The assembly instructions call for the middle 2x4 to be attached via a single screw (see above re: tearing out). This is a particularly fragile situation considering the minimal size of the platform (on the leg) provided. This situation is made more ludicrous given that the instructions call for you to place the plywood sheet on the middle 2x4 BEFORE the frame (all 4 sides) is completely constructed.

5. On the shelves (the optional part with the workbench, and I would guess the regular shelf kits), there is too much space for the boards suggested. Even the sockets in the shelf brackets for the vertical 2x4's have too much room, though this is less of an issue once the boards are screwed in. Some folks might not have issues with this, but I am accustomed to building things nice and snug. The end result is that there is space between the boards, or you need to use shims or partial boards to fill out the extra. Also of note is that the instructions don't call for actually screwing the 2x4's in place on the middle or bottom shelf, so unless you shim or use boards that are slightly too long (which the instructions call for on the 'shorter' boards, but not the full length), again, you have slop.

6. Not enough screws. {Hard for me to judge whether this would be accurate if I had all the screws I was supposed to. I suspect it would have been fine.}

I was able to resolve the problems in various fashion. Fortunately, since I do quite a bit of woodworking, I have a good supply of clamps (3). With the aforementioned experience, I was also able to work with the minimal instructions by filling in the blank/missing steps myself (2). I provided my own, longer wood screws and used a few extra to provide additional stability (3, 4, 6). I completed the entire bottom frame first (4), then the top. This meant that I did not use the complete plywood sheet for the second shelf, but that was fine, since I wanted a spot for taller items anyhow. I screwed the boards in place for the shelves, and pushed them together tightly for a more solid, albeit more narrow, shelf (5).

I would also caution people that unless you get perfectly true 2x4's, you are in for a whole additional set of problems. Some of mine weren't quite right, which is fairly typical, so I dealt with some of those problems, but that was a lumber issue, not the kit.

Ultimately, I would have been happier getting a few more 2x4's, some brackets, and just doing the whole thing myself. This product is not something I can recommend.
(127 customers reviews)
Customers Rating=4.5 / 5.0

More Detail For 2x4basics 14429 Workbench and Shelving Storage System with Hooks and Clamps

  • Custom shelving to 8 feet long by 4 feet wide
  • Only 90 degree cuts are required
  • All hardware is included
  • Workbench and ShelfLinks support 1000 pounds
  • Lifetime warranty

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