Splinting an Umbrella Strut

One of the ribs in the six-passenger umbrella we keep in the van snagged on something and snapped its fitting on the spreader strut:

Umbrella strut - broken connector
Umbrella strut – broken connector

This being wonderful engineering plastic that cannot be solvent-bonded, epoxy is the only adhesive that will work. However, those joints undergo tremendous stress in a deployed umbrella, so a bare epoxy joint won’t have enough strength for the job. What to do?

Wonder of wonders, when I got the umbrella into the Basement Laboratory Repair Wing, I discovered:

  • The not-quite-round strut fitting stub slipped right into a short brass tube from the heap and
  • Just enough of the fitting remained on the rib to anchor the tubing

A silicone tape wrap kept most of the epoxy inside while it cured:

Umbrella strut - epoxy curing
Umbrella strut – epoxy curing

Clearing off a few blobs made it all good:

Umbrella strut - brass tubing splint
Umbrella strut – brass tubing splint

We don’t play golf, but such a big umbrella keeps most of the rain off two people; it’s a tchotchke from back when Mary worked at IBM (hence the color scheme). We call it our “six-passenger” umbrella because it looks about that big when we deploy it…