New tripod

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by Greg_E, Apr 3, 2007.

  1. Greg_E

    Greg_E Member

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    Many months ago I said I was going to make a tripod, and just so you don't think that I was more talk than action, I've finally made some headway on this project:
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    In all it's naked beauty. I still have a bunch of sanding to do, and then throw on some PolyUrethane. I also need to make some kind of spreader to keep the legs from slipping out when it's loaded. Notice the ball head made of the cheapest possible materials that mankind can create. I don't think that head will last very long before I trash it. The ball isn't even chromed or hardened so it is wearing against the rest of the head as I move it. Aluminum on aluminum, not pretty.

    The only problem I'm having right now is that I don't have enough friction at the leg locks. Hopefully the Urethane will help to make it grab a little better.

    The lumber was extremely easy to work with. Very straight, very smooth right from the beginning. This came from http://www.hardwoodstore.com/lumber.html and was surfaced on 4 sides to my specific dimensions. If I was to do it all again I would probably go for 3/4 inch squares as opposed to the 1 inch squares that I used. Cost was very low for the lumber, and the other metal and screws not too bad either. I'll update this when I get it semi-finished.
     
  2. Greg_E

    Greg_E Member

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    I'll get some better pictures next time, what do you want from an old point and shoot camera????
     
  3. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

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    Greg E Nice tripod. I used a similar design and did mine out of walnut. Going to use it for the walnut 8x20 I'm building. Very solid design.post some pic's when you get the finish done.

    Jim
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 16, 2007
  4. Greg_E

    Greg_E Member

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    Did you have any problems getting enough friction from the leg lock? That's about the only thing that may cause a serious delay on mine. I'm going to test putting some urethane on the inner surfaces today and see what happens.
     
  5. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

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    Greg, no the way this leg lock is designed when I un-lock it the legs slide into position and then lock into place. The round levers are recessed into the leg a bit and I can adjust the brass rods to adjust the tension and increase/decrease the tension. You might try gluing a small piece of sandpaper to the part that connects to the leg? maybe that will give you some added friction. Just a thought. Best,

    Jim
     
  6. Greg_E

    Greg_E Member

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    Jim,

    I found the problem. The red hard urethane feet that I was using to press the legs together was causing too much rotational friction, so I couldn't get it to tighten down enough. I just changed them to a spherical plastic knob and now I can apply more pressure than the thin brass will handle. So I need to solder in some thicker brass at the forcing nut, which is something I though I would need to do anyway.

    Now I have some nice red urethane feet for the bottom of the legs.
     
  7. ingobohn

    ingobohn Member

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    Berlebach?
     
  8. Greg_E

    Greg_E Member

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    Didn't want to buy a tripod. I also couldn't get the model that I wanted in the USA. When it comes right down to the end, I'll have the tall tripod, a short (18 inch legs) tripod, all for less than one Berlebach would have cost. And I'll be able to interchange pieces between the two tripods (short upper and long lower section) to decrease the weight when I know I won't want the full height.

    Would the Berlebach be a better tripod? Possibly. Would it be easier to obtain? Certainly. Would it blend in with all the other tripods? Not so much, but still possible.

    But this tripod is mine, there will never be another exactly like it (it's hand tooled). When it's finished it will be strong and stable, and will probably last longer than I will. And yes after the "raw"* lumber arrived, most all of the rest of the work was done by simple hand tools. The only exception was using a router to carve out the guides in the legs, and a scroll saw to cut the center piece. The legs were shaped with a rasp and file. The brass cut by hand and drilled with a handheld electric drill (if I'd had a manually powered drill I would have used it, anyone know where I can buy a nice one?). So the justification goes beyond just having a tripod. Call it therapy in a hectic world.


    * This lumber was nothing near what raw normally means. A little bit of sanding was all that was required to get it to the staining/coating stage. They really did a great job on this wood, and at a low price. Everything was as straight as I could expect, and the tolerance on the dimensions was about as exact as I could expect from a material this "soft". When I said 1 inch square, it was better than 1/32 of an inch to that 1 inch size (I didn't care to try and measure more exactly so it was probably much better than 1/32 tolerance). From a non-woodworker stand point, I wouldn't have been able to make this if the lumber wasn't pretty close to the shape it arrived in.


    And BTW, a clear polyurethane coat only darkend the wood a little bit, giving it a nice golden color. Hopefully it won't get any darker as I apply more coats. I chose a satin finish for this tripod because I don't really like high gloss things (including my papers).
     
  9. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

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    Greg, good to hear you found the problem. It is rewarding to build tripods and cameras isn't it. Great for our problem solving skills!

    Jim

    Stay Focused or... Soft Focused!!
     
  10. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

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    Greg, your post came up just as I sent mine! My tripod is just as you said "It's mine" I used a design from Dick Streff that I found on the S. C. Grimes site a while back. Mine is all done with hand tools also. I live in an apartment and it is very rewarding to build and finish things by hand. Maybe it is not perfect but it is solid and very functional. Good luck on the finish. Do it the way you want it to be done! For additional fun build a camera. Hell, I'm building an 8x20 with hand tools in my apartment also!! Great fun!! All the best!

    Jim

    Stay Focused or... Soft Focused!!
     
  11. Greg_E

    Greg_E Member

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    Jim,
    This project came about because I need something more stable for the pinhole camera that I built. So I kind of started the other way around.
     
  12. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

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    Greg, excellent! Glad to see the creativity in build quality and photographic quality. A great sence of acomplishment. Good luck to you.

    jim
     
  13. lloyd

    lloyd Member

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    Jim,Any chance of more photos, close-ups of your tripod?

    lloyd
     
  14. Greg_E

    Greg_E Member

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    Somewhere I think Jim did have other photos in a different thread, but I can't remember. I say this because I think I asked the same question in that other thread which was before I started to build mine.

    And while I'm here, I have a few new pictures of mine, now that it is in a semi functional state. Still a lot of work to be done, sanding and more coats of polyurethane. And better spreader. Cut the extra off of all the bolts so that everything has a cleaner look. Things like that.

    [​IMG]
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  15. Greg_E

    Greg_E Member

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  16. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

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    Lloyd, Here are some additional ones. Also, you can google Dick Streff"s camlock tripod for the link to an old post on the Grimes site. I will try to find the link for you and post it here. The design Dick uses for the camlock is very nice. It holds the legs very tight and can be adjusted via the threaded brass rods. It took a lot of time to finish the walnut. If you notice the legs are reversible. The brass strips at the top protect the edge of the legs. When I reverse them the spikes are at the top. Any more questions please let me know.

    Jim
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 16, 2007
  17. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

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    Greg, you were posting at the same time as me again! Man is that strange or what??!! Thanks for puting up my link. I like the way your tripod is coming together. Nice idea on controling the leg spread! I still have to mount my bubble levels on mine. I like the pinhole. Very nice build quality! Keep up the great work. Are you into building something bigger? I'm stopping at 8x20, of course a pinhole would be nice!!! It never ends!!! I am obsessed!!!!

    Stay Focused or... Soft Focused!!!

    Jim
     
  18. wheelygirl

    wheelygirl Member

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    A very fine piece of craftsmanship! Congrats to you, Greg!!
     
  19. Greg_E

    Greg_E Member

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    Jim,

    Bigger is not likely. It's too hard to get processed right now. I may make a 6x6 or 6x7 pinhole in the future, but that may be the end. At some point I will definitely make another tripod in the exact same design with 18 inch legs. That way I can interchange the parts. I'm not really happy with the ball head, I may look into building my own, or replacing the cheap ball with something better.

    Also the cheapo head I bought has a bubble level on it, so I don't need to worry so much about the platform being level. Of course that would be difficult with that big geared head that you have.

    I think I am going to modify this design a little bit. I think I'm going to put some brass on the upper part of the legs where the bolt goes so that there is something a little stronger for the bolt and knob to push against. The big thing is that now I have it functional, so all the other stuff can come when it does.
     
  20. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

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    Greg, I know what you mean about getting it functional and then adjust some parts as you use it. A better head can always come when you up-grade. Some how it never ends.

    Jim
     
  21. lloyd

    lloyd Member

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    thanks Jim. I did end up finding the other posts here after I asked for the photos. Did you put the wood cams onto the rods before you bent the brass?

    lloyd
     
  22. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

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    Lloyd, as I recall I was able to bend the brass rods first and then put the cam locks on. It is a very nice design because you can adjust the tension with the threaded rods to give you the hold you need.

    Jim