A detailed description of a merged beam apparatus for the study of low energy molecular scattering is given. This review is intended to guide any scientist who plans to construct a similar experiment, and to provide some inspiration in describing the approach we chose to our goal. In our experiment a supersonic expansion of paramagnetic particles is merged with one of polar molecules. A magnetic and an electric multipole guide are used to bend the two beams onto the same axis. We here describe in detail how the apparatus is designed, characterised, and operated.