Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Satellite Dish Patio Umbrella

I saw this on Yard Core and thought it looked really cool.  And my dad, being a pack rat, just happened to have a full sized satellite dish. I think we got it from my great uncle, who has no kids, and therefore, lots of money, and is always buying the newest coolest thing on the market. I remember when he got a CD player before anyone else, and it was huge.
Anyway.  First order of business was to remove the huge heavy ring attached to the back that let you attach the satellite to the pole and angle it however you want, and split it into two parts for easier movement and storage.
 Once I'd done that I had to clean the darned thing pretty well, because it's been sitting in my dad's backyard for about ten years.  Then I had some repairs to do.  The dish is really light weight aluminum, and as such, having been in the same place for so long, some of the mesh was torn from wind damage, and saplings growing up through my dad's garbage heap and into the wire mesh. So I took a hammer and dolly and beat that sucker into submission, until the shape was right.  To strengthen the places where it was torn, I took some thin wire and some needle nose pliers, and "sewed" the mesh back together.  

Then I attached a flange to mount the dish on to the central circular doohicky, using a heavy duty metal bit and some carriage bolts and nuts.

Next I painted the whole darned thing smurf blue. It took 5 cans of spray paint and several hours of patience. 

Don't mind my thumb there.  We transported the dish to my house, and re-assembled.  This was a lot harder than it sounds. 

I had bought a 10 ft. pole to mount it on, and had an 18 inch pole that fit just around it, by some amazing coincidence.  The 18 inch pole was found in the depths of my dad's workshop.  I don't know where it came from.  The 10 ft. pole was just a galvanized steel pole threaded at the end.  Now, I wanted the lip of the umbrella to be just tall enough for any reasonable adult type person to be able to walk under comfortably, without being tall enough to be seen by the code enforcement officers from the street.  I checked to see if there were any codes against patio umbrellas, and there weren't, but I'm sure they would find some fault with it. So I used my fancy shmancy edumacation to conclude we needed to chop off about a foot and a half.  Not every girl is lucky enough to have a hacksaw of her very own. Then we pounded the shorter pole into the ground where we wanted it, took it out, removed the dirt, and pounded it back in. Threaded the newly resized pole onto the flange, and slid the tall pole with the new umbrella into the void in the ground created by the smaller pole.  

Tada!  Now all it needs are a couple of chairs to go under it.  But that's another project now isn't it?

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