Rainbow Alley : DIY Umbrella Canopy

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Introduction: Rainbow Alley : DIY Umbrella Canopy

About: I'm a maker in Denver CO.

I was asked by the Exdo Event center, my employer, to shade the alley with umbrellas. Half of our building is Tracks Night Club, an LGBTQ inclusive dance club and this was a big reveal for this years Pride festivities.

Step 1: Model the Alley to Get the Sizes Right and Then Choose an Umbrella Supplier

I use SketchUp.

First I made a 3D model to present the plan to the bosses and after approval I switched to 2D to plan the net to hold the umbrellas.

I used Alibaba to find a supplier. It was Chinese New Year at the time and only one company was quick to reply and given their good customer service I went with them. Despite the Wuhan Lockdown that started just as I was getting organized the company only had a small delay on printing and everything arrived with no issues.

Step 2: Model the Mounting Brackets for Attaching the Umbrellas to the Umbrella Net

I wanted it to be simple so there are three trough bolts, a whole to mount the umbrella and grooves for the two sizes of steel rope.

Step 3: Net Attachement

The Net hangs from both buildings on either side of the alley. One building was 22 inches lower than the other so I built 17 arms from 1"x2" rectangular tube and affixed them to the building with concrete anchors, anchor epoxy and a lip that grabs the opposite side of the parapet. On the taller building I used uni strut and spring nuts to create movable fixture points all along the top of the wall.

Step 4: Construct the Net

I measured and laid out the template on the ground, used an asphalt anchor at each corner to stretch the outer (3/8) stainless wire rope around. The inner (1/16) criss-crossing roper was then attached to the larger outer rope. The umbrellas attach at the nodes so the mounting brackets maintain the nets structure. I used some very small stainless wire and super glue to hold the wire rope junctions in place as I moved around adding the brackets

Step 5: Hang the Net

I used very large turnbuckles at all four corners, and smaller turn buckles, 7 to each side to suspend the net.

Step 6: Hang the Umbrellas

The top of the umbrella slips through the whole and a single screw is driving sideways through the bracket and the umbrella. This worked very well.

Step 7: Enjoy

The umbrella are able to open and close while hanging and thus can be closed for weather or other reasons.

The first weekend we had a really wild wind storm and ~20 were damaged. I added a wind screen to the raised portion of the lower wall and since they have held up quite well.

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    26 Comments

    0
    jayneiglesias
    jayneiglesias

    Question 10 months ago on Step 7

    This is absolutely what we want to do in an alleyway of an establishment that caters to events for children with special needs. Can you give me some more information on the "wind screen" as well as how you made or where you purchased the mounting brackets? I think this space will delight the special needs community in our area. Thank you so much for your help.

    0
    sevenmead
    sevenmead

    Answer 10 months ago

    I made them from scratch using 2x1 inch 1/8 inch wall rectangular tube and welded them up. But every place is different.

    0
    jayneiglesias
    jayneiglesias

    Reply 10 months ago

    It’s brilliant! I love everything about it. Thank you for sharing. I wish there was a way we could do this here for the kids. It’s so beautiful. Thank you!!

    0
    IrlTony
    IrlTony

    Question 1 year ago on Introduction

    Hi Are these brackets available anywhere please. Need 25 to 30.(min 25) Would really appreciate any help you can give. Great design

    0
    fmokhtar
    fmokhtar

    Question 1 year ago on Step 3

    Hi. Are the 3D models of the mounting brackets available to download from any repository?

    0
    DarKOrange
    DarKOrange

    1 year ago

    Avesome, remembers me this terrace in Paris for gay pride 2018

    58B040B4-2E2E-4E0B-B679-1478D3ED120F.jpeg
    0
    sevenmead
    sevenmead

    Reply 1 year ago

    Oh I like their choice of umbrella

    0
    drlexluthor
    drlexluthor

    1 year ago

    Fantastic and Beautiful!! Very well executed and I hate to ask but, Did you ever watch a show called "Dispatches from Elsewhere?" If not, I think you'd enjoy it.

    0
    sevenmead
    sevenmead

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thank you and I have not. I will check it out.

    0
    lolamatic
    lolamatic

    1 year ago

    This is delightful!

    0
    sevenmead
    sevenmead

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thank You!

    0
    sevenmead
    sevenmead

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thank you!

    0
    rdy4trvl
    rdy4trvl

    1 year ago

    Very impressive design and installation. Post a night picture if you have one. Thanks for sharing the project and instructable!!

    0
    jessyratfink
    jessyratfink

    1 year ago

    This is so gorgeous! And now I want to come down to Denver and dance at Tracks with my people. Hi from the mountains! :D

    0
    sevenmead
    sevenmead

    Reply 1 year ago

    Oh that's a good point. Once things are up and running again hit me up here and I'll put you and your group on the list. #nocoverformakers

    0
    EngineerGus
    EngineerGus

    1 year ago

    Wow! this is so neat. Very impressive.