The lengths of 30cm x 30cm T-slot extruded aluminum (aka 80/20) and assorted T-slot-compatible hardware (e.g. T-slot nuts) I ordered weeks ago showed up yesterday. Last night, after stripping away the layers of packaging (dust-impregnated, faded greenish woven polyethylene textile over bubble-wrap so grimy it had to have been reused multiple times over plastic cling wrap), I got my first look at the goods. Each of the four lengthwise slots on every strut was covered with a long band of clear slightly tacky, easy-to-peel plastic. When I turned the lengths of aluminum slightly in my hand, sparkliness of the plastic caught my eye. Chips of aluminum were blanketing the exposed inner surface of the plastic strips.
I’d bought a single six-meter-long piece of extruded aluminum and a rep for the seller, a company based in Zhongshan, kindly agreed to cut it into six separate meter-long pieces. That’s exactly what they’d done and, in retrospect, the sight of those aluminum flakes should hardly have come as a surprise.
After peeling the aluminum-shaving-laden lengths of plastic, slowly to avoid flicking any bits of metal through the air, I deposited them in a bag (shown above, later tied shut, twisted even more positively shut, and transferred to the household garbage receptacle), I gave each of the struts a good going-over with soapy water and a plastic-bristle brush, followed by a rinse. Done.