If the string that lifts your patio umbrella breaks, sure you can spend $100 or $200 or even $300 to get a new umbrella. But if you've bought a good one (as we did out 4th year in Phoenix, after the brutal Sonoran sun disintegrated our old South Carolina umbrella), and the material is still good, then it is easy to fix.
1 - conduit clamp, $1.50, Home Depot
1 - thumb screw, Ace Hardware, $3.50
1- wing nut, Ace Hardware, 15 cents
For $5.15 I saved our umbrella. Sure, it doesn't have a "handy crank mechanism" to open and close it, and it requires 5 or 6 lbs of upwardly thrust force to push it up, but it works just fine. I recycled the existing white plastic sleeve bushing that used to be inside the crank driven lower housing that used to raise and lower the umbrella before the internal string broke, and it makes for a nice friction surface.
Just gotta watch out for the spiders (or bats, as in my friend Ryan's case back in Snellville GA) that may have made the collapsed umbrella their home before opening... but that is the case regardless of if there's a working crank to open it or not.
1 year ago