For reasons beyond me the vender provides #10 X 1" Phillips Drive woods screws in this kit. Phillips drive screws are designed to cam out under a certain torque load, not a positive attribute in assembling this kit, where 40 screws are to be driven into 2 X 4 lumber....
For reasons beyond me the vender provides #10 X 1" Phillips Drive woods screws in this kit. Phillips drive screws are designed to cam out under a certain torque load, not a positive attribute in assembling this kit, where 40 screws are to be driven into 2 X 4 lumber. While 1" length is long enough if driven STRAIGHT so screw gets expansive purchase on wood, I believe many of these Phillips screws will NOT be driven straight. Provided screws are cadmium washed and will likely be the first part of the assembled bench to fail, from rust. DITCH ''EM.
I substituted #10 X 1-1/2" pan-head, Square Drive screws with an anti-corrosion coating. Square Drive screws are readily available at any store (Amazon, Lowe''s, Home Depot, etc.) selling material for decks or docks, where square drive are the common choice. You could also choose #10 X 1-1/2" square drive STAINLESS STEEL screws, but anti-corrosion treated steel screws are stronger and probably as corrosion resistant.
As you are going to be driving 40 screws get some SCREW LUBE. I have been using one tube of Lloyd''s Akempucky for years. Akempucky is kind of like beeswax. If you elect to use (relatively weak) STAINLESS STEEL square drive screws you must use screw lube, otherwise you will snap off a few. Screw lube is cheap and it cuts the effort to drive 1-1/2" screws by 50% or more.
Get a short "nubbin" square drive bit for your drill. Get a 4" and 6" - 8" square drive bits too, this will allow you to drive most screws without your drill being constrained by part of the resin frame. Also get a hand square drive "screwdriver" of the correct size to fit your screws. If you try to drive your lubricated screws home with the drill, you will spread some of the slots in the resin frame. Drive your lubricated screws 80% with your drill then snug them home with the hand tool.
A right angle adaptor (90 degree turn) for your drill is very helpful in assembly.
I FOUND ABSOLUTELY NO NEED TO PILOT DRILL SCREW HOLES when using LUBRICATED #10 X 1-1/ 2" square drive screws.
Use an ICE PICK or some kind of a punch to precisely mark locations to drive screws. Often it is easier to drill with the lumber lying flat, start the screws, then slip the lumber into the frame and the screws into the resin slots.
Another tool that is almost essential is a large mallet. I used a 42-ounce dead plow, plastic coated mallet from Stanley. You need the mallet to drive the twin lower support 2 X 4s through the frame. Four holes for these two pieces of lumber have little protrusions meant to keep lumber really tight. They do. Use the mallet to help you seat the lumber. Later you need the mallet to snug together the four pieces forming the bench seat.
Do not seat lumber flush with end of resin supports or attachment screws will split the lumber ENDS. Let each piece of 2 X 4 protrude an equal amount. I used 5/8", the directions suggest (not very clearly) 3/8". I did not find 3/8" "enough" for my lumber.
ORDER OF ASSEMBLY
1. The two bottom supports. You will be glad for the square drive screws, screw lube, assorted length screw driving bits and 90 degree adaptor for your drill. Do not drive home the screws too far; you do not want screw heads spreading the resin slots.
2. Three pieces forming back of the bench. Bench has some molded guides which make this go together OK.
3. NOW THE HARD PART; the four pieces forming the seat. To assemble you will have to tip over the bench repeatedly. If you are assembling alone, as I did, you will need one 2" capacity wood clamp on each end to hold each 2 X 4 being assembled to the resin ends. Even if you have a helper I recommend clamps, so you will finish friends. Fitting the clamps is awkward; take a selection of clamps with you so you will have two that fit.
You will need the mallet to tap seat boards snugly together. It would be helpful to have one more wood clamp, at least 18" capacity, to clamp seat boards together in the center. Helpful, but not essential.
That is how I did it. Worked fine. Very tight, which I attribute to careful "just enough" contact between screw heads and resin screw slots. Vender should have provided pan-head square drive screws in the kit, rather than the cheesy, cheap Phillips head screws. Screw lube would not have cost much. Directions were fine only because I read most of the Amazon reviews before starting assembly.
This is a fine concept, executed too cheaply by the vender.
I am happy to note: MADE IN THE USA.