Thursday, July 15, 2010

Ping Pong Table

My parents finally bought a ping pong table for our house after talking about it for six months. It was shipped to our house today... in preparation, we parked all the cars outside on the driveway. They bought it from Costco and it was ~$400 including shipping (it's selling for $480 now).

The table was strapped to a wooden pallet when it arrived. The product description said the weight was 238 lbs... not sure if it was with or without all the packing. Anyways, after dinner, we decided to try and put it together. How hard can it be?

After opening the box and getting rid of the pallet, we laid it out on our garage floor.

The assembly instructions were okay but I misread one diagram so we left out some spacers when installing the table legs. They packed all the tools and assembly hardware in a blister pack and labelled each compartment so each piece was easy to find. I didn't use their crappy tools though.

After a few hours, we finally assembled the table. However, we got stuck on the last crucial step: flipping the table upright. The instruction said we need to "lift the table up and set it down on all four wheels at the same time." It was kinda obvious since the frame seemed a bit shaky... there was no way it would support the entire weight on two legs.

After pondering how the three of us (my parents are almost 70) were going to lift a 240 lb. table, we decided to put the table against the wall and think about it some more. At one point, my dad said we should cruise to the nearest Home Depot to pick up 4 day laborers to help us. At the end, our best plan was for my dad to call a friend living close by, I was going to call Tim, and the four of us would try to lift the table. I strapped the table to a post so it wouldn't fall over and kill someone or start an earthquake.

However, while standing there staring at the problem, I remembered watching piano movers trying to move Shirley's upright Kawai into our 2nd floor apartment via a narrow staircase. If I could find a sturdy box to rest the table on, we can use it to support the weight and tip the table over onto its legs. Well, we don't have a sturdy box so we settled on two old dining room chairs and a wooden Ikea shoe rack. I was too busy holding up the table and forgot to take pictures of our "moving" equipment.

Tada... success! We tipped the table back and somehow got the two chairs under the table. Next we used the shoe rack (low and wide so it's more sturdy) to support the inside corners of tabletop and tipped it over on it's casters. It was actually quite easy and we didn't break anything (table, limbs, other stuff in the garage) in the process. Like moving pieces of the Airbus A380 through a French town, I had to measure out everything to make sure there was enough room to maneuver in the garage. Luckily, everything fit (less than one inch to spare near the ceiling) else we would have to move the table to the driveway and try.

The table came with 4 paddles so we playing a bit. The process of folding and unfolding the table was simple and smooth. Since it has an 1" thick top, the bounce is very nice. I think the free ping pong balls are not very good though so they sounded and bounced funny. The only downside is that we have to back all the cars out onto the driveway when we want to play.


Hey Tim, you're welcome to come by and play. I promise you don't have to move anything heavy. :)


Anonymous said...

i need practice too. i'm sick of prof yan kicking my butt while he is holding a lit cigarette in his non-playing hand.

hogsman said...

sounds fun -- i'll look for my old paddle, though I think it's long gone. we can play drinking games (how about milkshakes instead of beer?).