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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    22 Comments

    0
    IrlTony
    IrlTony

    Question 7 weeks 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

    2
    fmokhtar
    fmokhtar

    Question 11 months ago on Step 3

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

    0
    DarKOrange
    DarKOrange

    11 months ago

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

    58B040B4-2E2E-4E0B-B679-1478D3ED120F.jpeg
    1
    sevenmead
    sevenmead

    Reply 11 months ago

    Oh I like their choice of umbrella

    1
    drlexluthor
    drlexluthor

    11 months 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 11 months ago

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

    0
    lolamatic
    lolamatic

    11 months ago

    This is delightful!

    0
    sevenmead
    sevenmead

    Reply 11 months ago

    Thank You!

    0
    sevenmead
    sevenmead

    Reply 11 months ago

    Thank you!

    0
    rdy4trvl
    rdy4trvl

    11 months ago

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

    0
    jessyratfink
    jessyratfink

    11 months 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 11 months 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

    11 months ago

    Wow! this is so neat. Very impressive.

    0
    WUVIE
    WUVIE

    11 months ago

    This is amazing! Like Steven's Workshop, I, too, thought it was just something someone took a picture of. Kudos on your fabulous Instructable, detailing how it was done. Thank you so much for this great tutorial!

    0
    Stevens Workshop
    Stevens Workshop

    11 months ago

    Fair play, I'm not going to lie when I saw the thumbnail I thought this was going to be an instructable on 'how to take a picture of a rainbow alley' This is so much more. I'm always amazed by how much work is behind the scenes of these sort of displays. Great work, vote cast 👍

    1
    sevenmead
    sevenmead

    Reply 11 months ago

    Ha ha, nice. Thank you.