166: Sporting Umbrella
Here in Seattle, it may suddenly begin raining during a beautiful day in the park. On the other hand, it may suddenly become sunny and bright during an otherwise dreary day. You must be prepared for any weather at anytime, and that is where my newest invention may help.
It’s called the Sporting Umbrella, and it easily converts from a standard umbrella into a walking stick and flying disc. Enabling you to go from seeking shelter to a game of ultimate frisbee at a moment’s notice*.
The idea came to me when I found a discarded and broken umbrella. Something had come lose, allowing the top to move freely along the shaft. It was unusable in its current state, but it made me think about how it was built, and I decided it would be cool to make an umbrella with a detachable top (really, for no reason other than to make it).
I needed to figure out how to make an anchor that held the top part in place, but could be released easily and quickly. I sketched out some options, and got to work.
After some drilling, sanding, and filing, I had a nice hole in the umbrella shaft.
I worked up this little springy doodad by butchering a ballpoint pen’s clicker. He gave his life for a
noble stupid cause.
Maybe you can see where this is going. I’m making a push-button locking mechanism, like on adjustable crutches or tent poles.
Not pictured is the process where I had to cut stupid little curved disk shapes and carefully glue them in the hole with tweezers, like I was making a ship in a bottle.
Kind of hard to explain, so I drew it. Super annoying, but it worked, so that’s good.
One more hole in the locking sheath, and the assembly slides right over the depressed button and locks into place with a satisfying snap. Later, I affixed this sheath to the umbrella top, and the project was done!
Here’s a dumb video of me playing with my umbrella inside. Yay, it works!
Oh yes, and one more thing.
Because of how I made it, the Sporting Umbrella can also be assembled like this:
Which has almost no uses, but you could flip it upside-down for a dog umbrella, like so:
Sure, that’s normal.
See you next week, and if you’re in the park watch out for freely flying ‘brella tops.
*The inventor makes no claims about the suitability or safety of an umbrella top used as a flying disc.