Friday, October 08, 2004

Putting Together A Baby Bed

I don’t claim that putting together a baby bed is a difficult thing to do, I just say that I can make it complicated. I’ve been volunteered by my mother to put together a used one for my sister's grandchild John Clifton. The longer I look at this garage sale item, the more missing pieces of hardware I find. Anyone familiar with me knows I’m no repair whiz or assembly king, and I am here this day to confirm your notion.

I Wish I Had A Damn Diagram!

I just needed minor fasteners and such, but apparently staring at the disconnected rails, head and end pieces, rods, metal frame pieces, springs, and various screws and bolts, it all looked like a jumble to my mind and I couldn’t even count. I bought only three 10/32 x ½ bolts when I needed fifteen. Screws were almost the opposite—I only needed 6, but had to buy a package of 24 to match the size.

About the bolts, I feel like you do about it—how could anybody miscount by so much?! I don’t know, I’m just good at it, I guess. I can’t look at something that’s been taken apart and visualize how it goes together. I get flustered. I’ve never seen one assembled or at least never paid one any attention. Photos of them on the Internet tend to show "dressed" and decorated ones, not the bare bones. So, no clues from that source. How can a nervous person like me be expected to count the fasteners, braces, and such for a device that seems completely mysterious? When I see disassembled items, at first it makes me think of some painting by M.C. Escher or like one of those Rube Goldberg constructions that have too many parts.

Until I actually had the headboard, footboard, and the two metal sides of this baby bed connected, I could barely imagine where the metal springs would go. I ventured a guess, but once it was together and upright, I saw that the springs couldn’t go there, because something else went There! More staring was required and a good deal more cursing-time. It was about this time that I realized I’d miscounted the bolts. So I don’t have enough bolts to put it together and see if I really have determined the correct placement of the springs. A passing friend helped me hold the awkward springs in position for a few seconds to see that it should go where I think it goes! So I’ll get the additional hardware, then I’ll see what fits where. Or if anything fits anywhere.

Things Will Go Further Wrong

You may be thinking, “Oh, good grief, how wrong could this crybaby be!” Very. Depend on it, I have experience. On the good side (ha), I could possibly get another post out of this, whoopdeedo, since what remains to be done is not marginal. I still need to

1. attach the springs
2. install the side rails
3. install the four rods that act as side rail guides
4. replace four wheels—no match found for the missing one
5. and whatever the hell else I’ve forgotten or mismanaged

Things will go further wrong, that much is certain. Stay tuned. I‘ll try to wrap all this up pretty fast. Personally I find this to be like having a sword hanging over my head. Other people want it done, baby John needs it, and I’m standing in their way! Holding up progress! Sometimes it’s just my role in life to be an impediment. At least John won’t hold it against me; he’s mellow. He was happy today just to find his toes—he hadn't noticed them so much before, apparently.

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