I'm new to DIY SE, and relatively new to DIY too.
I have a garden metal table, with a central hole and circular bracket for holding a parasol (umbrella). In a wind gust, the umbrella got pushed and ripped out the bracket from the table, bending/snapping some of the metal table structure around it. Without the bracket, the umbrella isn't held snug. I'm looking for a fix I can DIY.
For some more detail: the table is made of al light-ish metal painted black for a cast iron effect, I'd guess it is some kind of aluminium alloy. The umbrella slots through the table and into a heavy base underneath, the table just provides lateral support; the base is fine. When the bracket got ripped out, the metal bent and snapped a bit around it, leaving sharp edges. The area bent on the table isn't big, maybe 10 cm (4 in) in diameter, and other than sharp edges, doesn't affect the function of the table, just a little ugly.
Maybe it's not relevant, but the metal around the snapped connection with the bracket looks kinda bubbly. It is silvery, with a visible "grain", but also spongy in places. Has a feel of cracked cement rather than metal. Could that be indicative of a manufacturing fault, or poor quality materials?
My newbie thinking goes something like this:
- File down all the sharp edges
- To replace the bracket, get two flat, rectangular, thick-ish (1-2cm) plates of wood (aluminium?), and cut a hole in the middle that fits the umbrella snugly
- To attach these plates to the table, I'd make 4 small holes in the corners of these plates, and bolt them together, from opposite sides of the tabletop (the table has a meshy structure so I can get a bolt through). This way I can cover up the bent metal, without needing to fix it. This also lets me build a bracket that doesn't need a hard attachment to the table (like a weld), it'd just be screwed together - which sounds simpler.
Is this a reasonable approach? Is the thick-ish wood likely to be stronger/as strong as the flimsy metal (aluminium) which gave way in the first place? Or would some other material be recommended? The bracket itself wasn't broken, but I think to attach it again, I'd need to weld it, which sounds not newbie. Is filing down (softish) metal a tough job? Can I do it with just a hand file, or would I need a power tool? I have a decent drill, do "file attachments" exist for these, if so?
Photos which may help:
Ripped out bracket (upside down), showing broken connectino to the table (welds?)
Example of sharp edge in the table where the bracket was connected
The entire hole in the table which used to hold the bracket. The whole upper-left section on the photo is partially snapped out and bent by a bit; sticking out a few mm from the table surface