The first chapter of this story concluded with the successful grafting of a 7mm stainless steel rod to the sawed off shaft off a 45" Photogenic Eclipse umbrella.
In chapter 2, we'll see if the surgery can be applied as well to the 60" Eclipse.
To spare you any suspense, the answer is "yes it can but ...".
I stopped in at B&H this afternoon and picked up a 60" Eclipse. As soon as I got it home, I twisted off the end cap and discovered, to my dismay, that the inner diameter of the umbrella shaft is ever so slightly small than it is on the shaft of the 45" Eclipse I had modified last week. What this means is that inserting the 7mm stainless steel rod into the 60" Eclipse shaft really requires lots of persuasion (in the form of a rubber mallet or plain old hammer).
With the 45" umbrella, I was able to insert a full 4" of steel rod which made for a confidence-inspiring join. With the 60", I gave up after driving approximately 3/4" of 7mm steel rod into the umbrella shaft. At that point, the joint appeared to be *very* solid. There's absolutely no way the 7mm rod can be pulled out by hand and there's no "play" in evidence between the 8mm umbrella shaft and the 7mm prosthesis.
Before cutting down the Eclipse shaft, I mounted the umbrella in the Elinchrom's auxilliary umbrella holder in order to determine how far from the flashtube the canopy should be to be fully illuminated by the flash. With the Elinchrom's 6-1/4" reflector on the light, I decided the distance from the inner edge of the gizmo that slides up the shaft and opens the umbrella should be 18.5" from the flash unit's mounting tube. Consequently, I cut off the Eclipse shaft 18.5" from the inner edge of the sliding gizmo.
After driving the 7mm rod into the shaft as far as it seemed willing to go, I mounted the modified umbrella, took it for a test drive and, after determining that all was well, cut off some of the excess 7mm rod.
One nice feature of the modified Eclipse is that it's self-adjusting in that the shaft, when inserted as far as it will go in the Elinchrom tube, will position the canopy the optimal distance from the flashtube to ensure full illumination.
On the negative side, shame on Photogenic. My 60" umbrella measures 50" from edge to edge