Those words should strike absolute terror in everyone's inmost being. They are scary and I have a new appreciation for them. Here's why:
First - a little background. At the International Quilt Festival in late October I purchased a new 4-needle embroidery machine. I've made other big purchases at the Festival over the years and always got good deals. I had bought another single-needle machine a few years ago from a local dealer. It is a piece of junk and I'm not ashamed to say it is a Bernina and was costly. I paid for the name. After fighting with this machine and putting it in the dealer's shop several times I decided it was time to move on. (Just to note I lowered the machine down into its cabinet and plan to take it to another dealer at some point in time to see if I can get resolution with the bobbin problem. For now it is out of the way and out of my sight).
Anyway, I purchased an Elna 4-needle embroidery machine. My mother had an Elna and I have several and they are great machines. Even now that the company is owned by Janome they still offer well made machines with exceptional features. The machine came with a nice sturdy cabinet designed specifically for the Elna and Janome machine. Both the machine and the cabinet were shipped within two weeks to me and by coincidence I was just coming home when both were delivered on the same day.
One rainy Saturday morning in January I enlisted the fifth grader to help me. He is good at putting things together (Lego's gave him lots of practice!) and it was something for us to do together. We hauled the boxes in the house and opened them up. Of course, the instructions were in the last box. Now, I've put things like this together before and I knew that the odds were 50-50 that it would be easy or difficult. Let's just say it was completely difficult. We quickly realized that the instructions were worthless other than to serve as a guide to what came next. Through trial and error and guessing at which part was which we got it started.
By the time he left we had made fairly good progress. Later that afternoon I decided that I needed to get after it again and try to finish it up. I managed to get the large rollers screwed firmly into the bottom and then realized that I would have to flip the thing over onto its side and then again to get it upright. No problem, I thought. Just take it slow and easy. It is heavy, but just take it slow. Right. It went slow until it was almost to the floor on the first flip. Then the weight of the cabinet threw it down to the floor. Right onto my left foot, right across the big toe. Lift the thing up, retrieve the foot, sit down, hold foot and imagine explaining this in the emergency room. Pain upon pain. Assembly required also meant the possibility of being lame for the rest of my life. Sometime later I finished flipping the cabinet into the upright position while keeping what was left of my feet well out of the way and rolled it down the hallway to the sewing room.
In the process of unpacking the machine I thoughtlessly laid aside most of the parts to assemble to machine's thread stand and hoop holder. Then, I couldn't find them and thought they were excluded from the box (I later found them under a quilt top). When I pulled up the dealer's web site to get their contact information I saw the cabinet. Yes, it is listed as weighing 200 pounds, but my foot already knew that! The description also stated that it had assembly instructions included as well as the manufacturer's helpful help line number. I flipped through the instruction book and there was no helpful help line number, there was no website, and no contact information. Hmmm, I could see why they wouldn't want talk to anyone struggling with this thing.
So I pulled up the manufacturer's website and searched for this cabinet. There it was and, oh my, they had instructional videos for the assembly! Well, better late than never I thought. As I watched them I realized why I was having problems with the final step of the drawer.
And, the video also showed the lady that was putting the cabinet together using a drill to screw in all the screws. A drill! I never even thought about going out to the garage and getting the cordless drill out! Oh my poor aching fingers, I could have spared you the pain.
Assembly required - assembly completed! It was finally together and the machine ready to turn on!