Years ago I found myself working in the New Territories of Hong Kong, and every day I had to walk through a vast container yard to get to my workshop. This container yard was inhabited by packs of hungry and aggressive looking dogs that would growl and follow me as I passed. I was already way out of my comfort zone, but these dogs were just plain scary.
In order to arm myself to some degree I purchased an umbrella which I imagined I could use in self defence if necessary.
The umbrella did give me a slight confidence boost, but in reality, it was way too light to do any damage. And I must have cut quite a comical figure; the strange foreigner strolling casually through a muddy container yard with his trusty storm-stick at the ready.
Anyway, decades later I'm faced with the Instructables "Apocalypse Preparedness Contest", and I have decided to revisit the umbrella defence strategy.
This time I have modified the umbrella to give it some weight, and added some lethality to the traditional spike at the end. The finished product would do some serious damage to anyone on the receiving end, so I hope nobody makes one of them to use in anger.
I have used only items that I happened to have lying around my shed. Apart from the second-hand brolly, I didn't specifically purchase anything for this project.
Step 1: Get a Heavier Shaft
I got my umbrella from a thrift shop for $4 and even though it is a nice umbrella for keeping the rain off, it would have made a pathetic weapon.
Like most Umbrellas mine had a weak and flimsy shaft. The first thing I needed to do was replace this with something more substantial. I happened to have an old submersible bore pump in my shed, so I decided to try using the stainless steel shaft from it for the umbrella.
I pulled the pump apart and removed the shaft. It was the perfect length. It was slightly too thin, but it just needed some bushing with copper pipe and hose to make it work.
I removed the handle and shaft from the umbrella. It was only a couple of very small nails holding it together.
I then replaced the original shaft with the steel pump shaft.
The trickiest part was figuring out a way to hold the umbrella in the open position. I finally settled on a washer with an offset side to jam against the shaft. It's hard to describe, but the pictures should make it relatively clear.
In order to allow different tips to be installed I attached a threaded end.
I used the original handle. I just drilled a hole to insert the shaft, and then made it secure with a hose clamp.
Step 2: Add Some Weaponry
I found some brass pieces with a female thread at one end. These are quite heavy and easy to shape. I fashioned one into a blunt end and another into a sharp spear-like point. These can be easily removed and exchanged.
The potential for other tips is endless. Axe, shovel, hammer, golf club,...
Step 3: Conclusion
So now I feel I could protect myself from at least one or two zombies if the need were to arise. I can also protect myself from precipitation, but I'm starting to think that it might not be the best thing in an electrical storm.
I hope you enjoyed my Instructable. I have deliberately avoided putting too much specific detail. I hope it will communicate a few ideas, and hopefully inspire someone to build a better one.
If you did enjoy my work, please vote for it in the "Apocalypse Preparedness Contest" and "Guerilla Design Contest". And you may also be interested in having a look at my Etsy shop.