This is NOT easy to put together.. but in the end the kids love it. SUGGESTIONS BELOW!
From the reviews I imagine there are a varying array of hardware being delivered with this. The easy to put together and the truly difficult. I received the latter... A true testament to how much you love your kids. This was the most difficult thing I've ever assembled.
By djax on December 11, 2020
The hardware isnt exactly the best choice and is of low quality. It is VERY difficult to get these bolts all they way in without stripping them. That being said... after 4 hours or so and some blistered hands... The kids love this thing. The smiles made it worth it. Particularly at this price point. So 3 stars it is.
1. Wood Glue
2. Cordless Power Drill with Hex bit and drill bits. (I used 1/4" bit. but check your hardware first. You want it to be same size as Bolt+threads)
3. Socket Screw Driver with Hex bits (perhaps maybe a socket wrench with hex set if that exists? or maybe a hex screw driver with a better handle. This is where the blisters came from)
4. Two clamps (not necessary)
5. Vice Grips
6. Metal File
First off I suggest using a small amount of Wood glue on the end of each rainbow bar. This will help the bars to not spin IF you are unable to get the bolt all the way in.
Secondly, After doing the first ladder. I ended up widening the holes in the frame pieces (NOT the bars) with the drill. I used a 1/4" bit because it was slightly larger than the bolt.... Check your bolts first.. the hardware may vary. This made it SOOOOOOOOO much easier. If I hadn't striped two of the bolts and my hands weren't blistered.. I would have removed the bolts from the first ladder and done the same.
If you dont want to or cant do this... I suggest using a power drill with your resistance settings set to a medium number. This varies per drill, 7 was the sweet spot on my 20v Black and Decker cordless. It wouldn't get the bolt in all the way.. but wouldnt strip them either. Then after it hits the resistance... Use two people, one holding the bars and the other using the socket screw driver to finish off the bolt CAREFULLY!. Once you strip the outer coat of metal these bolt holes turn to mush. So don't tighten to much!! Do this to each going down the line and flip over and repeat. Go back to the other side and continue tightening until each and every bolts are flush. Make sure to drunk water this will be rough and painful. (I used two clamps to help hold the frame in the right place on the two orange bars.)
If you do happen to strip a bolt. Its not the end of the world. I was able to use my vice grips to get it all the way in. This mushed the head of the bolt a bit.. so I used a metal file to smooth out the sharp edges.
Good Luck and May the Force be with you! You're gonna need it.
MSG to seller - I would recommend higher quality hardware... also maybe a skinner lagscrew with a longer unthreaded portion that is equal to or greater than the thickness of the frame pieces. This would help a TON. The main problem is the total resistance from both the frame and the bars is greater than the screw can take. If the non threaded portion of the bolt was longer then it would not meet any resistance from the frame and create a tension hold between the two frame pieces.