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Farm Tek Cold Frame - What a turkey.

Posted by drscott 7a MD (My Page) on
Sun, Jan 19, 14 at 16:32

I purchased the "8mm Heavy Duty Commercial Cold Frame" from Farmtek. The website fails to mention that you need specialized construction experience and specialized tools. I'll admit my handyman skills are sub par but for $595 they could cut the aluminum sides to fit, drill holes though thick metal parts, and pre cut the polycarbonate side panels. No where on the ad does it mention that the instructions are 15 poorly explained pages.

Is anyone out there experienced at building these things?



Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Farm Tek Cold Frame - What a turkey.

It is unfortunate that you are having problems with assembling this cold frame. Having built my greenhouse from a kit, I completely understand how the directions and parts can be confusing.

However, I just checked the website for the product you mention and found instructions, available before purchase. It does list the tools that are needed to cut the panels and metal. I agree that both the panels and metal should have been pre-cut, but they do state otherwise on-line. Hope you can get it put together.

"The following list identifies the main tools needed to
assemble the cold frame. Additional tools and supports may
be needed depending on the location and application.
• Tape measure or measuring device
• Variable speed drill and sockets (cordless with
extra batteries works best)
• Hammers and gloves
• Blade or power tool to cut polycarbonate panels
• Metal cutting saw to cut aluminum profile"

RE: Farm Tek Cold Frame - What a turkey.


I understand your point but don't completely agree. The ad itself doesn't mention what is needed or the complexity. You are right that they make available the instruction manual but they do so in small print and in a very easily missed manner. On purpose? Don't know. If one downloads the manual and then reads through it you're clearly right. I would suggest that they should make it a bit more clear that the level of construction is a bit higher than one would expect from a product sold to a general consumer base.

I'd also point out that the instructions themselves are pretty poor. I've been working through them and they make general assumptions of background knowledge. For example, while the screws are self tapping into the brackets they don't self tap into the steel frame. One needs to use a carbide tip to drill a pilot hole first. In addition, in order to drill the holes at the exact point needed one needs to use a center punch and create a divot first. I found this out the hard way I'm afraid. It wasn't mentioned in the manual. Another example, is that the brackets are not symmetric and there is no comment on which end gets attached to the frame. The picture seems to indicate the answer but the drawings are too small to be sure.

Since I just made my second stop at the hardware store I'm afraid I'm just able to comment on the first steps so far but my point is that the company has assumed that the builder is someone who builds such things routinely. If they were just selling to farmers then that might be logical but they sell to hobbyists as well. At $595 I suspect they could drill holes, cut panels, and put a good manual together. In fact, I'd have paid an extra $50 bucks or so if I'd had the option.

I was also promised a call back by customer service yesterday but have not heard from them.

Thanks for your comments and I do respect your opinion and take some responsibility for not seeing the small link to the manual. I also stand by my original opinion and think the company could have done a much better job.



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