I see why the other reviewers mentioned the problem with the particle board at the corners--it's because they're assembling it differently than the manufacturer intended. I did this, too. The question is whether or not the "lip" of the rail panels goes up, or down. I (and some of the other reviewers, I suspect) chose to put them down, so that the shelves when wedged into the frame would have a two-inch metal rim sticking up above them. Looking at the picture, however, it looks like the manufacturers intend that the rail panels be installed the other way, so that the shelves are simply resting/ floating atop the rail panels. It looks strange, to me, to be able to see the raw rim of the shelf the whole way around. I mean, obviously I thought the way I did it was logical, and the instructions were silent on that and a few other things (more below). But I suspect that's part of the "particle board splintering in the corners" problem: people like me pounding the particle boards down beneath the slightly-protruding screws in the rail panels, when those screws should be facing down and away from the shelves and hence should not be a problem. Up to individual assemblers, I guess. I tried various methods of getting the shelves in without breaking the corners, and had moderate success at sliding the shelf in just before I connected the fourth rail panel each time. Still, I got impatient on the last two and simply pounded them into place and a the predictable breakage at the corners followed. For the shelves beneath eye level, I think I'll just throw in some plain adhesive shelving paper for cosmetic reasons. For the highest--out of sight, out of mind! One more thing about the instructions. They're a little unclear about a few particulars--since the rail connector joints (the thing connecting the vertical poles) are asymmetrical, it would have been nice to know if there was a reason to put them in one way or the other. Also, although I didn't want perfectly spaced shelves as pictured (need more space down low), it would have been nice if the instructions had given the right number of notches between shelves for said spacing to help folks achieve it easily. Anyway, still 5 stars from me because these were the only shelves I could find that would so perfectly fit the little nook outside my kitchen, the price was right, and I'm really pleased with their functionality and the speed at which they can be put together.
I would probably have bought two more units if I had not seen similar shelving at my local for a lesser price and with concealed holes. Overall I am satisfied with the ones I have though the smaller two shelves were an unexpected glitch.
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