Friday, October 1, 2010

Yeah, sure, no problem

So I've ordered this "7' x 15' Greenhouse" in which to put my new system.  And when I go onto the website just before it arrives, to check the height (since 2 dimensions are simply not sufficient now that I've decided to put this thing under the arbor) I read the specs VERY carefully and see that it is, in fact, NOT seven (7) feet wide.  It's 6.5 feet wide.  Um... that matters, folks.  Truly.

But I'll cope.  Not that I have a choice now, since it's supposed to be here the next day.  And it's going to be 6.5 feet high.  Okay, that'll be just fine.

So the box arrives on my front step.  Immediately, I notice a few rips in the box.  This is only a problem if something fell out... like a support piece.  So I take pictures of all the rips.  Not, dear reader, to share with you.  But to share with them in case I need to beg piteously for them to send me something *functional*.

The next night I open the box to assemble the greenhouse (and count pieces first, of course).  I search the box for the assembly directions and finally find them... well, most of them.

As you can see, they are not in very good shape, nor are they complete.  But the important parts seem to be intact, including piece counts.  And all the pieces are, surprisingly, present.

I did not take pictures of the intermediate assembly process.  I was too busy swearing.  Not that it's complicated, exactly.  It's just... not made for one person to assemble.  I built the arches, and figured I'd put the connecting pieces between the first two arches which would give me a freestanding section, then I'd keep attaching more arches.  It was a good plan.  But it somehow skipped the rather important planning step of *how* precisely to connect the first two arches.

You might think this is a simple thing, but each arch is 7 pieces, and those pieces quite happily rotate around their connections.  Since each piece is curved, this means that if everything isn't held in the precise orientation you want, it turns from an arch into a twisty snake.  And there's just no way for one person to hold 7 pieces simultaneously.  One may, of course, hold the top of the arch and connect it to the top of the next arch, which would force the orientation of those top pieces... as long as you're holding both arches.  Which is a little difficult to do while holding the connecting bar, which you kind of have to do if you're going to connect it to anything.  And you can't just lean the arch against something, since it will then revert to snake, which - aside from everything else it does including encourage me to invent new swear words - will also change the orientation of the top piece... the only piece I'm trying to wrangle with right now.

Once I got the first two arches connected, the rest did go fairly smoothly.  Not perfectly, mind you.  It's a very inexpensive greenhouse and so there were the expected challenges such as the end of a piece being bent closed enough that I couldn't actually force its intended buddy to join with it.  But that was nothing I couldn't fix with some pliers and frighteningly little muscle.  Yes, either I'm turning into Wonder Woman or this is some flimsy stuff.  I'm voting for the latter.  But finally I got the framework put together, and once again I noticed a change in my anatomy.  I'm evidently 6.5 feet tall!  I know this because I kept bumping my head on the ridge pole of my greenhouse which is 6.5 feet tall according to the specs.  And you'll note that it's on a cement pad, so I'm pretty sure this isn't a leveling issue here.

And then I put the cover on.  And a second person would definitely have helped here also.  I'm pretty sure I didn't get it evenly stretched along the frame, but it still worked pretty well.  And it did have velcro to secure it to the frame at intelligent places.  And I did get it done.  And it looks pretty good, for a cheap thing!

So now I'm waiting to pick up my rental truck, hook up the trailer, drive home, sleep quickly, and run out pre-dawn tomorrow to get my dad and go pick up my system and bring it home.  I'm so excited!

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