Interesting assembly project and a satisfying resultRowlinson Balmoral Corner Arbour
- Delivery: Five Stars
- Quality: Four Stars
- Price: Five Stars
The pieces are loosely held within a cage of nailed planks. I needed a wide chisel and heavy hammer to prise apart the planks on one side of the cage, which took perhaps 30 mins. I needed pincers to extract nails from planks to render them harmless. The components inventory was complete and the quality of the planed, tannelised wood was good. Most of the screws in the pre-assembled seats are slightly raised and some are corroded –potentially damaging clothing unless seat covers are used. Having assembled the arbour I shall probably rub it down lightly with fine glasspaper and wipe with white spirits. I spent perhaps an hour reading the instructions to predict potential problems, and then physically tested the way an upright panel, a seat, and a lattice panel and back leg join up, without screwing them together. You lay the upright (piece 1) flat on the ground to do this. I assembled the arbour single-handed over a period of three days, spending 10 ½ hrs in total. The whole structure fitted together without any major problems. The following solutions to minor problems might help others. 1. Tapered end of seat batten – position on vertical post so that the back edge of the top horizontal seat slat is flush with the front face of the post. 2. Drilling lattice panel holes – drill at an angle so that you can use a screwdriver. Otherwise the lattice grid pieces get in the way. 3. My corner back rest slats were wider than the slats in the seat units. So, having pushed the two seat assemblies together for the mitred link-up, to get a neat result position each corner back rest slat so that the same edge (top or bottom – I chose top) aligns with its neighbouring bench slat. 4. Centre seat support. My support post was not mitred. However, the seat battens that meet up with it were mitred, so there’s no problem. You have to screw from the outside of the seat battens. 5. Corner lattice. Must ensure the two assemblies are vertical so that this panel touches both sides. Some leg jacking might be required. Drill from the inside of the lattice posts exiting from its corner (the correct corner!) to ensure that when screwed in place the screws are invisible. It’s do-able! 6. Side roof pieces – drill at an angle to the vertical to ensure you can use a screwdriver. Otherwise the roof joists get in the way. 7. Fix roof pieces at a consistent height wrt to roof joists. I rested a piece of scrap wood of the right thickness (so that the roof slats are flush with top of roof joists) on the front support. Resting the wide end of the roof panel on this temporary support, I could then easily screw the narrow top end so that it was flush with the joist top edge. Then fix the lower end. 8. I arranged the roof pieces so that they all terminate the same distance from the front edge of the roof joists. 9. This requirement for the centre roof sections meant that I found it helpful to fit the larger piece first so that it terminated at the correct point. Otherwise, fitting the smaller piece first meant, for me, that the bigger piece would terminate out of line with the side roof pieces. Doing it my way, you then have to rotate the big piece up slightly (undo all except front screws) so that the smaller piece can be inserted.
By Mr P Clare , written on Tuesday 21st, July, 2015.
Assembly could be made easierRowlinson Balmoral Corner Arbour
- Delivery: Five Stars
- Quality: Three Stars
- Price: Four Stars
The Arbour was delivered on a pallet. We checked the components prior to assembly and found that some were not as described in the Assembly Instructions (e.g. Fixing Kit screws were of different length and quantity; centre seat support was not bevelled). Before assembly we decided to repair the wood knots and splits with glue filler, sand down the green salt spots from the pressure treatment process and fully paint all parts. The Assembly Instructions are intended only as a guide so be warned! An Electric Screwdriver is a must for this job. Some of the screws are too short and do not join the wood parts together and some of the screws are too long and push right through the wood; we used own 50 mm screws in some places instead. When fitting the Back rest (4) to uprights (step 2) move the back rest (4) in about 13 mm from the back of the leg (6); if you follow the drawing exactly as is the seat back will not reach the corner back rest slats (step 5). When fitting the Back lattice pane (5) to uprights (step 3) the seat back should be just in front of the lattice, not underneath it as shown in the drawing. Make sure you are working on flat ground when joining the Corner backrest slats (step 5) and the two arbour halves; if the ground is not flat consider building a flat decking area to stand the Arbour on instead. The Centre seat support (11) is not bevelled as the drawing shows (step 6) and is very difficult work on from underneath the back of the Arbour so we decided to drill screws in from the front sides instead. The Corner lattice (step 7) has to be positioned perfectly at the right angle of the posts so that the screws pull the two halves together and do not show through the posts. The Roof panels (step 9) need to be positioned before fixing to ensure that all three roof panels will align at the front of the Arbour; if you follow the drawing steps and push the centre roof section (18,19) up it may not align with the left (16) and right (17) panels either side. When we did run into problems we contacted Rowlinson Garden Products support team but no support was given so we just carried on by visiting a garden centre to see how they had assembled it and with more trial and error until we eventually finished it. It took two of us about 10 hours to fully assemble it. This would have been much easier to do if Rowlinson had bothered to drill all the pilot holes and had improved the Assembly Instructions to be more accurate.
By Mr Collins , written on Tuesday 16th, September, 2014.