stuck tripod legs

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by billkoe, Dec 9, 2011.

  1. billkoe

    billkoe Member

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    I have an old Gitzo with the bottom section of one leg that will not unscrew. Does anyone know the best way to un-seize them? I've thought about getting a couple of small strap wrenches. I don't know... Someone gave me this old G410 that otherwise is in great shape.

    Thanks folks.
     
  2. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    Leg locks are made for human hands not wrenches. Take a rubber gloves to get a better grip unlock it.
     
  3. billkoe

    billkoe Member

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    Thanks, Maine. My thought was that strap wrenches wouldn't scratch the legs if I need more torque. I'll try rubber gloves first.
     
  4. bsdunek

    bsdunek Subscriber

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    You might put a drop of liquid wrench on it and let it sit a few hours. Then use those rubber pads they sell in kitchen shops for unscrewing jar lids.
     
  5. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    That is what I hate about Gitzos. I have had to take a wrench to mine a couple of times. The good thing about Gitzos is that they can be completely taken apart and cleaned and lubed and they will work much better.
     
  6. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Try heating the stuck locking mechanism with a hairdryer on high heat setting. A drop or two(use very little)of penetrating oil may help if used at the same time, the heat will help draw the oil into the threads. Do not try to force the lock, wiggle it back and forth, as much as it will allow. Never use any tools other than your hand, at most use a rubber pad for better grip. I have rubber strap wrenches, they have a pinch point that will deform whatever they are pried against.
     
  7. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I'd soak with WD-40 then after an hour or so it should free up, then I'd dis-assemble and wash & clean well with hot water and liquid detergent. Then I'd dry, Lubricate and re-assemble.

    It's a good idea to do this very few years anyway with tripods.

    Ian
     
  8. billkoe

    billkoe Member

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    Thanks for all the info. I hadn't thought about the possibility of strap wrenches doing damage at the point of impact. Will give each suggestion a try until it's unlocked... then clean, re-place shims and SHOOT.
     
  9. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    bike tires work well to give grip
     
  10. Collas

    Collas Member

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    Are you thinking of bicycle inner tubes rather than the tyres?

    If you do use WD-40, make sure that you remove all traces as it will rot the rubber and plastic parts.

    Nick
     
  11. Lloydy

    Lloydy Member

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    When my 25 year old Gitzo got a bit cranky I contacted the UK importers, which is now the Manfrotto importers, and they sent me all the bushes for the legs - for free. But don't say I told you. :wink:
     
  12. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    Welcome Lloydy!
     
  13. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    I'd try the strap wrenches with something between the cam and the lock to spread the pressure. Unless it's really corroded it shouldn't take that much force.
    Disassemble, clean the threads with a steel or brass brush and lubricate with paraffin, ski or candle wax.