homework from Chris

A couple of weeks ago Chris went to a family reunion. She didn't bring me. The gods weren't happy and struck down her deck umbrella.

An alternate explanation might be that she left the umbrella unfurled and vulnerable on a stormy weekend.

Toe-may-toe, Tah-ma-to. Y' know?

In any case that to the left is what is often referred to as the short end of the stick. Umbrella stick, in this case. As you can see, the wind (aka god's wrath) frickin' snapped that puppy like a twig.

Actually, I suppose in a way the umbrella pole is a twig like thing so it makes sense that it was snapped that way.

In any event, Chris asked me to load up the umbrella into my car at the end of last weekend and take it back to my house where I could have the pleasure of repairing it. Whee!

Here's more background, the umbrella was on her deck when she left for the weekend and was gone when she got back on Sunday. The next day she looked around a little and the part that snapped off had sailed right over the building and crashed into a tree on the other side. It must have been a sight out of The Wizard of Oz. Chris is lucky that it didn't land on any witches and kill them. Look how much trouble Dorothy got in!

Speaking of Dorothy--Chris and I were downtown this past weekend and heard a musical trio playing Over the Rainbow as we were looking over the goods from several traveling vendors. They might have been singing about Chris' flying umbrella.

Back to my pictures, above are the tools I used in the repair. You can see the lower part of the broken pole in the background. I inserted it in my bistro table to make it easier to work on.

I just drilled a few pilot holes in the pole and then applied some wood glue to the jagged part of the broken pole. Once I fitted the two sections together I then used two 2 inch screws to join the pieces together to allow the wood glue to set up.

The picture on the left is of the umbrella pole after I put the glue on the lower section but before I fitted then together again. The fabric that was covering the stays is laying on the deck below. I wasn't able to do the repair with the fabric getting in my way, dammit.

Here's a picture of one of the screws in the pole as well as a little wood glue leaking out. I wiped up the glue after I took the picture so the pole will be all nice and pretty for Chris.

When Chris first discovered the umbrella on the other side of her place, she first thought it was just the pole that was broken. Later on she realized one of the stays was also broken. That was actually the first thing I fixed since I needed all the stays intact when I fixed the shaft--better balance that way.

Unfortunately when I removed the cover from the stays in the process of repairing the pole I found even more extensive damage. That happens so often on repair jobs. Just when you think you have a handle on things, the situation gets worse!

The problem this time was the head, where all the stays are attached at the top of the umbrella.

As you can see to the left, there's on huge crack splitting it in two as well as a number of smaller cracks running all over. The only thing holding it together at all is the wire that runs around it that holds the stays in place.

We didn't notice this damage since it was totally covered by the fabric of the umbrella.

I'm not sure how well this problem can be repaired but I gave it a try.

On the left you can see that I dripped some wood glue in the larger cracks, particularly the one right down the middle.

I used a bar clamp to hold the two sides together and I hope that'll do the trick. Since the wood is light pine there's not a lot of tricks I can use since the wood just isn't strong enough to hold up to too many holes in it. I hope the glue is enough.

Here's a better view of the clamp I used on the umbrella head. I'm afraid I let it get a little rusty--but it's still quite functional!

So that was my homework assignment for this week. Most of the repair is done--the last fixes are curing overnight--and tomorrow I'll be putting it all back together. I hope it stays in one piece!


Ivy said…
see me.. i'd have just bought another one and said here merry christmas..LOL..
Smug said…
I am really impressed with your handy work. Too many people would just have gone out and spent money on something new. I love that you took the time and effort to (at least attempt) to fix something!!
SassyAssy said…
What a sweetie you are...I have a few things that need fixing--maybe I can mail them to you?
kenju said…
Mr. kenju would have taken it to the dump without even trying to find the broken piece!!

Mine is like that one, Dave, so if it breaks, I know who to call!!
rosemary said…
I'm with Ivy.
Chris's Cousin said…
It is very sweet of you to fix Chris's umbrella, but there is one HUGE flaw in your Wizard of Oz analogy. In this scenario, that would mean Jersey was OZ and we all know that's not true! Although...Chris may have me cast as the wicked witch :)

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