Because it’s from Chiiiinaaa…

Couldn’t resist the quote from Trump when asked why he called it the Chinese virus.

It’s Sunday night. As I write this, I’m three beers into it. It’s been quite a weekend.
I had a lot to do. Mostly finishing a bookcase I built for my wife’s office. But it’s been too cold for any sort of fooling around with lacquer. I did get a spell each afternoon where it was high sixties, where I could shoot paint and lacquer and it wouldn’t be too horrible. So that’s what I was up to.

While I waited for the temps to warm I tried to install a cover helper for the spa. It’s pretty tough to maneuver the cover on the thing, especially for my wife. We’ve been meaning to get one for some time. That said, she wouldn’t let me order it from Spa Depot, preferring to get it from the dealer we bought the spa. 

For nearly $200, what showed up was about $20 of 1″ conduit, a couple mounts, a set of cheesy instructions, and no hardware. All made in China. So she emailed the company. I waited a few days and bought the $8 worth of nuts, bolts, and self tapping screws I needed. Fuggit, it needed to get done.

The cheesy instructions. See the spelling?

The idea here was that you needed minimum tools to do this – just a few wrenches and a screwdriver. I don’t know about you, but until relatively recently, I didn’t own a 16MM or an 18MM wrench. Not.Real.Common. I only have them because I’ve owned GM products which, for reasons I can’t fathom, would use these sizes, usually combined an SAE bolt. 

Problem #1 manifested straight away. See those “paddles” on the mounts?

They’re supposed to go under the tub. Yeah. The tub, in operation, runs something on the order of 3.5 tons, of just water if my calculations are correct. I fiddled a bit and realized that if I forced things I was going to have a crack I didn’t want to deal with appear. No matter, I’ll flip them backwards and use concrete anchors. Here I go to my second trip to Home Depot, (the first was for the bolts), to get crap I’m not supposed to need.

While I was at it, I needed a masonry bit, as well as to reclaim my hammer drill from the Daughter.
So I busied myself building the rest. I used pop rivets in addition to the screws. One screw per joint was stupid and flimsy, so I used pop rivets. 

The next day, I had my drill so it was time to knock it out, and have a beer. I figured the drill would work on the chinesium mounts without the hammer. So first hole, it burned through like paper. Second hole, I hit it too fast and the chinesium heated up and ruined my bit. It ruined three of them to be exact. Out came the rat tail file and my library of cussing. I got that mounted, and moved to the other.

This time I was smart. I took the mount off and waddled to my drill press, which burned through the thing like a hot knife through butter. I’m thinking it’s simply the speed was too high on the hand drill. Who knows. But had I not had a drill press, and three sets of bits, I’d have been screwed and back off to Home Depot.

It works Ok. I think round #3, I’ll score some actual American steel conduit and rebuild it. FFS I have a conduit bender. We’re talking maybe $20 here. What’s sad about this is I have the tools and skills to simply have built the thing. I even have scraps of aluminum data racks I could’ve used to mount it. 
But for now, It’s working and the missus will be happy. Lesson learnt.