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I have bought a centre pole sun shade (a Doppler Sunliner) for my balcony, along with a hollow base filled with water for it to stand in, which works fine. But as soon as there is a tiny bit of wind, the sun shade starts rotating. How do I prevent this?

As far as I can see, the base I bought does not have any mechanism in place to prevent rotating (the hole into which the pole is inserted is a plain cylinder with a smooth bottom). There is a possibility to tighten the grip around the pole through tightening a screw of sorts but this does not seem enough. The instructions for the sun shade state that if there is wind the sun shade should not be used, but it seems silly to stow it away even at the slightest hint of wind, which is sadly enough to send it spinning.

So far we make do with a system of ropes and carabiner hooks but I wonder if anyone has any other suggestion on how to prevent the sun shade from spinning in its base.

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    Keep in mind that if it is too rigid, you may end up with a sail, and find it off the balcony, possibly damaging other people or their property. – manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact May 13 at 18:58
  • I like the rope idea it would have to lift out of the base to take flight. – Ed Beal May 13 at 19:02
  • I use a bungee cord to the table leg. This isn't really a home improvement question. – isherwood May 13 at 19:29
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    I see a tightening wing nut on the pipe of the base in the photo of the base you linked to. – Alaska Man May 13 at 19:29
  • @manassehkatz-Moving2Codidact thank you, that is excellent and important feedback! – MrKiloByte May 17 at 17:48
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It's going to take some caution and some experimentation to arrive at a solution you can live with.

For light wind Alaska Man's suggestion seems good - tighten the wing nut/loop bolt in the base.

If you have tightened the wing nut/loop bolt as much as is practical (too much tightening will break something) and you are still getting spinning it's time to get creative.

What you have is in effect a windmill. As large as the umbrella is very little wind could apply significant torque on the pole.

Try to find a way to reduce the wind effect:
- Angle the umbrella so that the windmill effect is reduced.
- Position the umbrella in your location so that it's protected from the wind
- Experiment with how open the umbrella is to reduce the windmill effect
- An umbrella ring can add friction and help keep the pole from spinning (link is an example not an endorsement)

If none of these things work you may have arrived at your best solution.

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  • Thanks for your thorough comment! Unfortunately we don't have a lot of choice in the positioning of the umbrella since it needs to be in a certain position and angle in order to provide shadow where it is needed, but I think an umbrella ring may be what we are looking for, we'll check it out! – MrKiloByte May 17 at 18:06
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Just get some rubber sheet (or other thin flexible sheet material that grips, e.g. leather) and use contact glue to attach it around the bottom of the pole; just to make the pole a bit bigger where it stabs into the base. Then the factory pole-gripping mechanism on the base should grip it tighter.

If the wind is strong enough it could still move it, but you should not have to tolerate your shade spinning around in the slightest breeze...

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  • Thanks for the idea! We will check this out, as well as the umbrella ring David D suggested. – MrKiloByte May 17 at 18:07
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I would drill a hole through the base and umbrella poles, then thread a bolt through the new hole to stop the rotation.

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  • Thanks for the suggestion! I think I will try the rubber sheet/umbrella ring solutions first, and if that doesn't work, I will try this! – MrKiloByte May 17 at 17:59

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