We got this nice floor fan from Restoration Hardware, the AllAire 16 (a 1/2 price closeout item). Unlike other retro repro made-in-China air-movers I’ve had, the AllAires work really nicely. They’re powerful, yet relatively quiet.
The included instructions contain just two little sentences, and the second one is a dadaist fragment:
“And then pit the upper stand pole”
But the instructions that came with it were terrible. I was able to figure it out, but it wasn’t all that easy, and I think being a little handy helped. My wife and my sisters aren’t dummies, but I’m pretty sure none of them could do it. Aside from the bad Engrish and inaccurate illustrations, they do some things that are really, really confusing:
- They tell you to assemble things that have already been assembled
- They pre-insert screws in a piece, while also including duplicate screws in a separate hardware baggie
- They HIDE an inportant screw hole under a sticker, and
- They never mention that there’s a threaded metal plate, the key part that holds the whole thing together
If you buy this thing, what you really want to know is how to get the fan on a stick to stand up by itself so you can actually, you know, use it. In other words, how do you attach it to the base?
And yet, the included instructions really don’t do that part justice. Just two little sentences, and the second one is a dadaist fragment: “And then pit the upper stand pole”
Truth be told, that fucked up diagram and those ridiculous sentences are absolutely useless and have no bearing on what you actually find in the box.
So here’s everything they should’ve said, but didn’t.
Step 1: Locate the four pieces of the base assembly, A, B, C & D:
A. Base pole with flat 4-hole flange at one end, plus attached flange escutcheon
B. Base cover with 4 matching bolt holes on top, plus additional bolt hole in center
C. Base weight with 4 visible screws and washers, plus 1 covered screw in center
D.5-hole threaded plate held under base weight by the four screws which holds this whole freaking thing together. Be careful with this guy; if you lose it or strip out the holes, you are S.O.L.
Step 2: Peel off sticker from center of base weight, revealing recessed screw in center. We truly apologize for hiding this important piece of the puzzle from you; it was mean of us. Anyway, remove short, useless center screw and discard. Remove four remaining outside screws and matching washers, releasing threaded plate. Note which side of threaded plate was facing the base. Retain plate, four outside screws and matching washers.
Step 3: Take one of the longer four screws and matching washer from the hardware baggie and insert through center hole of base cover, B. Throw the remaining 7 screws and washers in the hardware baggie away. You won’t need them, they are just there to confuse you. However, you may hold on to them as a keepsake if you really want to.
Step 4: Keeping screw pressed into hole, turn over base cover, B. Place center hole of base weight, C, over center screw. Screw threaded plate, facing the way it was before, on to center screw. Screw on barely hand tight—you’ll need to adjust it.
Step 5: Keeping threaded plate supported with your hand, turn base assembly right side up. Line up threaded plate with four holes on top of base cover. Insert four remaining screws and tighten until just threaded
Step 6: Fully tighten center screw but take care not to overtighten
Step 7: Slide escutcheon away from base pole flange. Remove four loose outside screws from base cover. Line up flange with four screw holes, re-insert screws through flange and fully tighten, taking care not to overtighten. Slide escutcheon over flange against base.
Step 8: Insert fan with pole sticking down from it into base with pole sticking up from it.
Step 9: Stay cool, mofo!
on 2011-08-10 23:47 by Rich Malley
Jenny found this review of the AllAire 16 on Slate.
As noted in this followup post, I get almost no reader emails, with the exception of maybe a dozen grateful responses to this article. And nearly 4 years after first posting it, Restoration Hardware still hasn't improved their assembly instructions.