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Thread: New tripod

  1. #1

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    New tripod

    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:




    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. #2

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

  3. #3
    Jim Fitzgerald's Avatar
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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 Jim Fitzgerald; 07-16-2007 at 11:04 PM. Click to view previous post history.

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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.

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    Jim Fitzgerald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg_E View Post
    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.
    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

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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. #7
    ingobohn's Avatar
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    Berlebach?
    -ibo

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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. #9
    Jim Fitzgerald's Avatar
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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. #10
    Jim Fitzgerald's Avatar
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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!!

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