Yet another narcissistic load of old cobblers that no-one will ever read.

In pole position

You may recall that I'd found these cool and groovy tube key clamps that will solve my problem of how to construct some sort of mast for my wind turbine.  The wall plate, T-piece and base plates were easily ordered and delivered through Ebay but ordering 3 metres or so of heavy steel tube (think scaffolding pole) seemed less simple.  I'd seen suitable tube listed at £2 per metre - but only it was by collection only.  It just so happens there's a steel supplier just round the corner from where I work - so I paid a visit to Nottingham Steel Supplies.  This is nestled deep in an old industrial estate, surrounded by buildings that must date back to the 1950s or earlier.  In more industrial times I'd probably have heard the grinding of metal and seen the blue light of arc-welding through various of the old cast iron-framed windows.  I approached the chip-board reception desk, which I'm sure a few years ago would have been adorned with calendars featuring semi-naked ladies sporting power tools, and relayed my requirement for 3 m of 42 mm diameter galvanised steel tube to the doubtful looking chap who came to see what this idiot wanted.

"Hmm.  We only supply 7 metre lengths," he said - possibly hoping to get rid of me that way, knowing there's no way I could deal with that without some form of goods vehicle.

I countered with, "If it's cheap enough, like it is online, I'll just buy 7 m.  Can you cut it?"

"No.  And we'd have to send it away to be galvanised.  How much was it online?"

"£2 per meter," I said neglecting to mention the lack of delivery options which would increase the cost.  I could tell he thought I was bullshitting though.

"Yeah, well, you're probably better off buying it online then."  And that was the end of that.

As it happens, I found 3.5 m lengths of the tube I wanted, including delivery, for sale on Ebay from DC Iron up in Newcastle (  For a shade over thirty quid, they sent me *two* lengths of tube, delivered to me at work the next day!  As well as the two steel poles, I now had two problems:  where to put them and what to do with the spare one.  Some vigorous hacksawing allowed me to bring them inside, sorting out the first problem and also making it possible to transport the tube home by car.

Still dunno what to do with the extra tube but I'll think of something.  I know it's tempting but do not send me any clever suggestions that involve parts of my anatomy.  Thanks.

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