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Author Topic: A very delicate parasol restoration, fixing a spoke  (Read 552 times)
Madam Takara
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England England


Lady Aveline Tamara Claudia Read III... or Madam T


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« on: March 31, 2016, 04:37:34 pm »

Hello all.

Not too long ago, I found a wonderful project lying gathering dust in a bridgenorth antique shop. Another parasol! This one is particularly special though, and even older than my last one. I am still learning to date my parasols, but it's tall and rather wide, looks as if it used to have a pagoda shape, and the stitching appears to have ALL been done by hand, and the spokes appear to be bone (I'm going to guess whale bone) instead of metal, making us think it's rather an early one. The chap in the shop seemed to think it was an 1850's, but I think I'll have to consult some books and the old internet before I know.

You can see why I want to save the poor thing.

As you can see in the photos, it's in rather bad shape. Needs a new tip, the silk cover is beyond help and needs to be re-done....both problems I can fix with ease. The big issue is that one of the spokes is partially snapped. It's still on the parasol, but bent at an awkward angle. Because of them being bone rather than metal, I can't really just bend it back into shape, it's going to need securing in place so that it doesn't snap any more. Seeing as I am trying my best to keep the materials and methods as authentic as possible (I'm planning on hand stitching as much as I can) it would be a shame to make the repair too obvious and modern looking. Especially when I'm choosing colours and trims that will draw attention to the mechanism rather than hide it. My question to the wonderful Steampunk community is this:

How would one go about repairing the spoke without breaking the parasol or killing the authenticity of the restoration?

It's going to be an extremely delicate job so any ideas or contacts for people who can fix this kind of thing would be invaluable to me.

Here are some photos to give you a better idea of what shape it's in:











Thank you for your time, I know my posts are always so long! I look forward too hearing any suggestions.

Love and tea,
Madam T

P.S. there is a little plaque on the handle that reads 'Durrent & C Varmouth' (I think, the lettering has worn considerably). I've looked it up thinking it might be a shop or the maker back in the 1800's, but can't find any info. Anyone heard the name?
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Medicate with tea ♥

......don't piss me off.....or I shall put you in my next book.....
Madasasteamfish
A clanger waiting to be dropped......
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Rogue Ætherlord
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09madasafish
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2016, 05:05:04 pm »

Well I'm hardly an expert on these matters (and feel free to tell me to "'pass off'"), but if I were attempting to repair it my inclination would be to fashion a sheathe of some description (possibly using brass or copper) then line up the two sections of the spoke and then fix the sheathe in place over the break (probably using tacks of the model railway 'track pin' sort) in the style of a medical splint (which is another possible route). Thus fixing the bend, and offering support to the weakened part whilst still remaining unobtrusive.

The difficultly would be getting the sheathe in place in order for it to be fixed in position, and having it extend far enough past the break either side to offer sufficient support yet not interfere with the mechanism (the picture suggests that the break has occurred at the point where a support armature connects), which I suppose is where a splint design has the advantage.
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I made a note in my diary on the way over here. Simply says; "Bugger!"

"DON'T THINK OF IT AS DYING, JUST THINK OF IT AS LEAVING EARLY TO AVOID THE RUSH."
Lord Pentecost
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« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2016, 07:12:51 pm »

Are the spokes definitely bone? from the photos I would suggest they may be some type of tropical hard wood (that would fit with the nature of the break). In terms of a neat unobtrusive repair I would suggest using a pin vice drill to gently drill out a hole up the inside of both sides of the break then insert a section of metal rod and fix it into place using a thin smear of epoxy around the metal rod.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2016, 07:17:53 pm by Lord Pentecost » Logged

"A lot of people never use their initiative because no-one told them to" - Banksy
Madam Takara
Snr. Officer
****
England England


Lady Aveline Tamara Claudia Read III... or Madam T


WWW
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2016, 07:43:59 pm »

Well I'm hardly an expert on these matters (and feel free to tell me to "'pass off'"), but if I were attempting to repair it my inclination would be to fashion a sheathe of some description (possibly using brass or copper) then line up the two sections of the spoke and then fix the sheathe in place over the break (probably using tacks of the model railway 'track pin' sort) in the style of a medical splint (which is another possible route). Thus fixing the bend, and offering support to the weakened part whilst still remaining unobtrusive.

The difficultly would be getting the sheathe in place in order for it to be fixed in position, and having it extend far enough past the break either side to offer sufficient support yet not interfere with the mechanism (the picture suggests that the break has occurred at the point where a support armature connects), which I suppose is where a splint design has the advantage.

Thanks for the suggestion! I've had similar thoughts as to the nature of the repair in my mind since I brought it, only trouble is finding the tools and expertise to do it (I might dabble in prop making occasionally but it's a fiddly one because the break is right next to a part of the mechanism that has to rotate when the parasol opens) hopefully I can call in a favour from somewhere, just want to get as many second opinions as possible before I touch it.
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Madam Takara
Snr. Officer
****
England England


Lady Aveline Tamara Claudia Read III... or Madam T


WWW
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2016, 07:56:50 pm »

Are the spokes definitely bone? from the photos I would suggest they may be some type of tropical hard wood (that would fit with the nature of the break). In terms of a neat unobtrusive repair I would suggest using a pin vice drill to gently drill out a hole up the inside of both sides of the break then insert a section of metal rod and fix it into place using a thin smear of epoxy around the metal rod.

Well, as I said it appears to be, I'm about 98% sure, though the pictures obviously don't compare to handling it in real life. I was told they were bone when I got it and the guy had done his research by the sounds of things, though admittedly every new repair is a learning curve for me and I'm more a fabric expert than anything else. It feels like some kind of very strong bone. All that said whatever it is it was a gorgeous parasol once and I hope I can restore it to it's former glory. Maybe if anything comes up about that plaque I can find out more about it. Smiley
That sounds like a nice clean solution, thank you for the suggestion! Ijust hope I can handle such a fiddly job, might have to call in some help. I figure the best thing to do is get as many second opinions as possible before I touch it., so I really appreciate the help here on BG.
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