I loved this bookcase as soon as it arrived. It was heavily wrapped in bubble wrap to insure undamaged arrival. It did have that "just varnished" smell, but I knew that would dissapate quickly. The directions for assembly are all pictures and once you figure out that the gold screws are for the brackets and the black are for the back, you are good to go. I'd say it takes about an hour to put together. HOWEVER, there is a reason they don't show it with books on it! The shelves are about 1/4 inch too close together to be able to stand an average paperback on it. And the shelves are not adjustable. My sad! I will be spending the next hour disassembling and repacking this wonderful little shelf to send back. BLEH!
The shelves have a nice light look to them, and I enjoy the way a wall's color shows through them. Assembly can be a bit of a bear, and I highly recommend using Gorilla glue on the leg joinings to prevent them being a bit flexy. Also note that if you have a baseboard, or a crown molding edged wainscoting, they will not set flush against the wall, due to the lowest shelf's third leg and the height of the third shelf. The shelves are also not completely uniform from one to the next. Slight variances in lean, height and depth are apparent once you've assembled a series and placed them side by side. Some of the shelves have a rough finish and need a bit of sanding. There were also a few dings I touched up with varnish/wood stain. Higher quality control would be good, but for the price point, the look and design are great. Also, if you want to have the three set flush together, don't put in the hole peg/covers on the center shelf at all, or the touching legs of the two outer shelves, as that will force a 1/4" gap between each one. I may purchase more to flank a TV Entertainment area as these three were immediately full with books.
I have owned two sets (27.5" wide, pine finish, stacked) for over 19 years and they've held up well, through my college years and into my kids' youth. I ordered two more sets (27.5") for my other son to stack in his room, as well as two sets of 14" wide ones (for his closet). I was skeptical based on poor quality reviews I found here (and other web sites) but trusted my instincts based on my 19-year ownership and I'm glad I was right. The walnut finish was nice and even, the hardware lined up (for folding the shelves down), and Im pleased to find out that the units now come with wood plugs to cover the screw holes. Nice touch. I had slight difficulty when stacking the units for the first time, as though the holes were blocked with varnish, but once I pushed them together (hard) they were fine from then out. Products were shipped in boxes not much bigger than the shelves themselves nestled in formed styrofoam. There wasnt any box damage done in shipping but I was nervous as to the condition of the shelves (I also bought 2 sets of the 27.5 wide ones, they were packed/shipped the same way), but all four sets were fine and not damaged. They shipped pretty quick, too. These are fantastic shelves that will last a long, long time. Theyve held everything over the years (the 19-year-old ones) from folded clothing, trophies, toys, displays, books, stereos (that just dated me, didnt it?), and much more. The 14 wide ones are great to sneak in extra organization in small closets. I would highly recommend these shelves from Overstock.com
This is a nice shelf. Bottom fixed shelf came cracked in mine and Overstock was RIGHT THERE with a replacement. Major applause to O.co for that. The finish on this has a touch of a strong varnish or oil based odor to it. Not caustic, noxious or anything... just "there" Wearing off though. The thing is sturdy and level and holds my books and junk so 5 stars there.
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