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RTA (Ready To Accept?)

I don’t like buying ready-to-assemble furniture, but I have to admit I was recently impressed by some.

Last week, I talked about having to buy some RTA furniture – a small TV stand for a basement exercise area – because I simply didn’t have time to make one myself. I not only hate it based on principle, but RTA furniture is notoriously awful, and always comes with laughably bad instructions. But that TV stand actually turned out kind of nice.

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Yeah, it’s cheap particleboard with a woodprint laminate, and I had to run a sanding block over some razor-sharp laminate edges, but it’s a solid piece of furniture that took very little time to assemble. All the parts were there; in fact, they included one extra of every screw and fastener in case you lost one, which was a nice touch. And for RTA furniture, the instructions were stellar.

Typically, you can expect instructions hilariously translated from whatever language they were originally in, with confusing illustrations and occasional steps left out entirely. These were perfect English, with no grammar or spelling errors I could find. The steps were all clear, and the writer even exhibited a bit of playfulness here and there. The last instruction for Step 7, for example, was, “Make nachos. Optional, but recommended.” I like that.

So, while I’ll continue to avoid RTA furniture in favor of making it myself, I have to admit this experience softened my hatred of the stuff a little bit.

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