Thursday, October 30, 2008

Adventures in Technical Documentation

Having been a technical writer for many years, I am always on the lookout for anything that is worse than the stuff I used to churn out. Well, I really hit the jackpot this week. I am in the process of moving my shop and needed to get some additional dust collection equipment. I bought a floor attachment that allows you to collect dust from a machine that lacks a dust port. Anyway, it was a some assembly required thing. Luckily, the photo on the cover of the Instructions was all I needed, because here are some of the steps I was supposed to follow (verbatim):

1. With the rest foot upside down and install the four pad foot pedal 1/4" x 1/2" L screws tighten all fasteners securely.

2. The lever dead cross and lever governor and rest foot to the assembly using one 3/8" screw, washer 3/8" tighten all.

3. The lever dead cross and lever governor to assembly using fixing boly 5/16" fasteners make use lever governor context adjust as shown in figure 3.

4.The fixed support all fasteners using to the two 1/4" L concave head screw fixed in figure 4.

5. The tube vacuum attachment and fixed support assembly the one fixing bolt 3/8" fixed.

6. Tube vacuum attachment and collector nozzle to the assembly using one 1/4" L triangle screw all fasteners.

Well, at least the spelling was impeccable.


Harsha said...

I had a similar scenario with the band saw I bought from Harbor Freight. It was good english, but the words didn't really convey anything. Guess Central machinery just expects you to be smart enough to figure it out on your own. The picture on the outside of the box was sufficient enough for assembly. Do you think the documentation is done in China or is that outsourced to India?

Mel said...

It all made sense to me until step 6. I don't think there is any such thing as an "L triangle." I even looked in McMaster and all they have are "R triangles." So I guess you must have installed the triangle inside out?