My 1st real, useful print: deck/patio umbrella clamping bracket

Looks good, my only concern would be water accumulating underneath it. I think I might have added feet to the extension. It’s always rewarding to come up with something that solves a problem.

Not a bad idea. I could create feet by cutting the bottom of the wall then sanding it smooth.

Well, a year later, and how things have changed…

There were 2 things wrong with my original design (actually, 1 thing wrong but 2 implications): [LIST=1]

  • by not gripping the umbrella pole, the bracket made it possible for the wind to blow the umbrella up and out of the brackets, landing upside down in the back yard;
  • by not gripping the umbrella pole, the bracket allowed the umbrella to spin with the wind so, when tilted over, the umbrella often would not stay in the ideal position to cast shade on the deck. [/LIST] My first small clamp did take care of the 1st issue, but not the 2nd, so....

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    This is something I honestly don’t think I could have tackled a year ago. My design and CAD skills were inadequate at that time. It’s the 1st over-center lever clamp I’ve ever designed or made.

    We should be taking the deck stuff down for the winter pretty soon. At that time I should be able to take a few more shots of how the tightening knob works. It’s not quite as simple as it might seem.

    I’ve also made another improvement that I haven’t actually printed yet: I’ve put a small curve in the wall that the latch grabs onto, so it will give a little extra tension on the latch. I’ll likely print a model with that feature over the winter.

    Another ‘feature’ of this version of the clamp? It prints in 17 hours instead of 5.5 days, and uses a lot less filament. ?

  • Quite amazing.

    I just found this thread and read. I am very envious and impressed with your talent. You should be very proud. Keep up the good work. I am still trying to set up my printers and printing trinkets. Which printer did you use?

    Thx. Those were printed on my Ender 5 Pro. I don’t so much take pride as a sense of satisfaction that I was able to improve something or solve a problem.

    NIce work dude, must feel good being so talented, heh? Seriously though, I’ve been looking for a patio umbrella stand like that for a patio umbrella stand for pretty long time… Anyways, I was hoping perhaps you could explain more as to how you did it? Like the steps? I would love to try and make one by myself, haha. I’m sincerely curious though.

    I don’t think I’m really that talented. Just on this site alone there are people like @Geit, @woodwaker_dave and, of course, @Irv_Shapiro. They make some very artistic and beautiful prints. I merely make prints that are useful for my purposes. Of course, it is my purpose to make useful prints, but that’s partly because I don’t have the talent to design things like they do.

    Thanks for the shoot out. Just a lot of us that really enjoy creating and do the best we can. Irv is the expert.

    I probably would do a lousy job of explaining how I did it, because it was really a messy process. If you haven’t yet, you should read the entire thread. You’ll see my first attempt a year ago was a far cry from what I have now. I have gone through at least a half dozen designs of just the latest version.

    I looked up various types of clamps online: looked like an over-center toggle was the right type. I used Fusion 360 to create them. The hardest part was getting the angle of the pivot arms. I have never designed a clamp like this before. I printed pivot arms of different lengths and increased and decreased the length of the supports that hold the pivot arms. Eventually, I found a combo that worked. I made the hinge pins by cutting down a stainless steel rod I bought at Home Depot.

    It was worth the effort, and the trial and error, because it’s something that cannot be bought anywhere. Nobody else has my combination of umbrella and rail ballusters.

    Earlier, I promised a few more images of the clamping knob design.

    [IMG2=JSON]{“data-align”:“none”,“data-size”:“full”,“src”:“;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAPABAP///wAAACH5BAEKAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAICRAEAOw==”}[/IMG2]​This is an overview of the clamp in F360

    This is a closeup of the slot and hexagonal nut recess. A hex nut is placed in the recess and a bolt is threaded into the nut from the back side. This locks the bolt in place, so it won’t fall out. The hole opposite the hexagonal recess is in the shape of a slot in order to ensure the bolt won’t get caught up.

    This is the back side of the clamp, showing the hole and flange that the bolt’s head clamps to.
    This is the knob that tightens the clamp to the umbrella pole

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    This is the threaded insert. Place a nut in the recess then thread it into the knob.