Guest post by John G.
Just about everyone has used an umbrella at sometime. It’s most frequently used to keep us dry when it’s raining or snowing or for shade from the sun. Umbrellas are used to cover us at outdoor cafes, as a cover for street vendors’ carts, to cool our spot on the beach and as overhead shelter for patio furniture. Some creative individuals even wear mini umbrella hats on their heads. These outdoor accessories are carried everyday by gentlemen across Europe and the United States for both functionality and as a fashion symbol by businessmen. While this gear is used around the globe, rarely do we think about the construction or durability of an umbrella.
All too often this colorful weather gear malfunctions and needs to be replaced. Some of us really cherish a favorite umbrella that’s been in the family for many years or if it’s a treasured memento of a special holiday or college. We would prefer to have our umbrellas repaired rather than replaced.
There are two common problems that are not easily repairable and those umbrellas end up in the trash. One problem is when any of the spokes are bent and cannot hold their protective shape when opened. The other problem is when the protective material either tears or separates from the frame and is no longer able to shield us from either wet or hot weather.
One section of the underlying framework that typically causes a problem is the point from where the spokes are held together and spread out when opened. This is an area easily fixed with rust-resistant brass or blind rivets
. Once repaired, the umbrella is better than new. It'll open and close without coming apart and, with the frame re-enforced, it'll look beautiful for many more years.