Tent Repair

Slim column of metal with a bulge in the middle and a hole drilled through either end.Some years ago, setting up a tent in the dark, I pushed some parts too hard and a piece of an alloy strut failed. It’s the sort that are connected together with elastic, and each bit of the strut fits into the next. So, today I finally fixed it. I talked it over briefly with Mat, came up with a plan, found the right bit of metal, came up with a better plan, and got going.

I took a cylinder of aluminium down to the right size for a shoulder on the lathe, and then narrowed both ends of that. One part fitted into the bigger end of a strut, one part fitted into the smaller end. Then I sawed off the bits that were bent, losing about as much material as I had length of shoulder. (Because they are socketed, some of what I was cutting off was not adding to the length.) I drilled through the ends so I could run wires through. My original plan was to drill through from both ends and have the elastic run through the middle, but that would have left me with a difficult job of making, and I decided to anchor the elastic to either end of a solid piece.

I was going to flatten the ends so there was room for the wire to pass, but about then my concentration ran out, thanks to a combination of exhaustion, lack of tea, and people talking to me. Mat had already told me how to mill down the ends, and he was kind enough to do the cutting for me, after some mutual cursing at the machine. The rounded bits in the picture are my work; the flat bits, and the fact I didn’t have to do it by hand at home, are his.

Now it only remains to test-drive the work. Given I live in England and it’s summer, I may have to go abroad to do that.