Bimini, Pulpit and Stantion Hardware
A note about tubing/pipe/conduit: Generally speaking, these bimini parts are made to be used with standard aluminum or stainless steel tubing in 3/4" and 7/8" sizes. Other materials such as electrical conduit or pipe can sometimes be used but the fit will not be ideal and you will have to shim or grind as necessary. Tubing is designated by its outside diameter while pipe and conduit are designated by the approximate inside dimension.
Just a note to let you know my Bimini Hardware Order arrived yesterday morning (Thursday 3-11) VIA USPS in good condition. Delivered right to the door (along with the rest of mostly bills) by our Mail Delivery person. That's Great Service.
But, I really wanted to write to tell you what a "Great Value" the bimini hardware is. As You know well, I usually will and can Build things like these myself to try to save myself a little money. My Time is Free now, so any labor can be overlooked, but even with my labor being valued at Zero your Bimini Hardware is Still Cheaper than what I could make myself using various over the counter bits and pieces. I had already bought several 1" PVC plastic pipe "T's" as $1.75 each and had fabricated a Proto-Type, the equivalent to one of your "3/4" Standard Jaw Slides" you have priced so low. My fabricated "Jaw Slide" really didn't Look Too Bad and probably would have worked OK. But, the $1.75 did Not include any Screws or bolts needed to attach the Slide to the EMT or any mistakes in the fabrication process, so the price difference between my "Home Made Slide" and your "Ready Made" was even greater.
My original intention was to just flatten, grind and drill the end of the EMT for the mating "Hinge" part, but That too would require a Bolt for attaching the two, so even just flattening the EMT, (still not counting the labor) was going to cost me Something.
I just couldn't pass up your "3/4" Top Inserts. They will do the job better and Look Soo Much better. Although I will
usually forgo a little "Looks" to save a few bucks.
So, the total price for All your "Hinge Parts" and my Home Made "Hinge Parts" came out to be almost the same in total of $$'s. And all the bolts or screws for your parts are Stainless and appropriately sized and shaped for what they do. No Cutting, Bending or Grinding required, And No Extra, usually uncounted, "Misc. Nuts and Bolts" Money.
Now, even for the Ultimate "Cheap Skate", Me, that's hard to beat.
I had plans for fabricating most of the other parts necessary to build this bimini, but I found I would Not be able to Make any of the parts for less money than you are Selling them. IE: Two short lengths of 1" Aluminum "L" cut to length, shaped and drilled
to form your "Standard Top Mount Hinge" you have for not much money. "Hardware Store Aluminum Extrusions" cost a lot more than they did only a few years ago, so I could have easily spent more money to buy the Aluminum than it cost me for Your nice, finished, ready to mount Hinges.
But the real deciding factor was when I found your "Aluminum Slide Kits" for only $13.85 For a Pair. As I told you earlier, this bimini needs to be pretty long in order to completely cover the 6' long cockpit, with overhangs, so as it turned out, "Bows" long enough to support a bimini that long were going to be Too long to fit inside the boat when folded down backward. And would interfere with the motor at that. So, some method of moving the main Bow/Boat attachment point was going to be a Necessary. I had seen appropriate "Slides" in photos and other catalogues, but just Figured they would be Way Too Expensive for me to use on this "Cheap Bimini". That was until I actually checked your catalog and saw the price. For Two. WOW.
While thinking about How I Could Build similar "Slides" that would mate with My Fabricated "Hinges", I quickly realized they were going to be a Real Challenge and Not Cheap. I Knew What I Needed (exactly what your Slide Kit contains), but was having a tough time
trying to figure out what kinds of Found and Hardware Store Aluminum pieces along with Plastic and or Copper/Brass Pipe and or Fittings I could use to make those things. There were going to have to be a Lot of parts and each one of those parts was going to Cost Something, so even my Home Made Slides were going to be expensive, just in materials. I even jokingly told Kay that it would be Easy to build one of the Slides. All I really Needed was quarter million dollar "Aluminum Extrusion Machine" <G> That was going to make this bimini Very Expensive. When I found your "Aluminum Slide Kits" the Bells Finally began to go off in my head. Even as "Cheap" as I am, I don't think one could be Any "Cheaper". I was Not going to be Able to Fabricate all the parts needed for this bimini frame for Less Money than I could Buy The Parts from You Guys.
So, I finally sent off the order and here are All the parts I need. When I opened the package this morning I was pleasantly surprised to See the Quality of all the parts Too. So much better than (without that Extrusion Machine) could have possibly been built from "Hardware Store Parts". And, even I will have to admit they do Look a Lot Nicer than anything I could have put together from various plumbing parts. Right now it looks like the total price for this 4 Bow, 8' X 6' Bimini is going to be about $80, Fifty bucks for your stuff, 20 bucks for the 1/2" EMT pieces. And with "PK-20 Color Matched" "Blue Tarp" "Top", at maybe $10.
I'm sure glad you Are doing what you are and I Don't Have to "Fabricate" All
that Bimini Hardware.