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  1. #1
    E76
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    Disassembling a Benbo Tripod

    I have a Benbo tripod with a squeaky and sometimes hard to tighten/loosen bolt I've been trying to figure out how to disassemble. There doesn't appear to be any screws of any sort around the joint, and I'm not sure how to get it apart besides fully unscrewing the bent bolt. Is this safe to do? Will I be able to get the tripod back together afterward? I've tried doing this but beyond a certain point it gets much harder to turn and I've been unwilling to go any further out of fear of damaging something.

  2. #2
    Mick Fagan's Avatar
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    Yep, just continue undoing the bent bolt. I always dis-assemble my Benbo tripods to put them in a back pack for aeroplane trips.

    The tightening up could be one of a few things, the nyloc part of the nut at the end of the bolt is stuffed and fouling the thread, not likely, but can happen.

    The thread in the bent bolt is full of aluminium shavings that have fallen in over the years from the aluminium tubes, has happened to me with two tripods.

    If you have a Patterson Benbo tripod, as opposed to a Kennet version you will find the alloy handle and parts do contribute more aluminium bits and pieces to the assembly, compared to the earlier Kennet version which is all steel.

    I bought my first Benbo over 25 years ago, it is the Baby with extending legs, it is still my best Benbo tripod out of the three I own. It is a Kennet engineering version, the other two were manufactured after Patterson acquired the firm.

    Mick.

  3. #3
    E76
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    I've finally managed to get it disassembled and my next question is: who do I contact for replacement parts? The threads inside the handle are completely worn, and the threads on the bent bolt are full of fused metal shavings. It is a Patterson Benbo tripod.

    I was not expecting this!
    Last edited by E76; 04-13-2009 at 03:22 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  4. #4
    Mick Fagan's Avatar
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    My suggestion would be to clean up the aluminium alloy mess, and find someone with a workshop who can manufacture a steel female part of the handle for you.

    I firmly believe that this is a design fault brought about by cost. That is, the owner who took over the business changed certain aspects of the original Benbo design.

    There may be a myriad of reasons as to why, but suffice to say the main reason really does appear to reduce costs at the cost of longevity.

    If your tripod has really been screwed tight when being set, then that is more than likely the real cause for this failure.

    The Benbo tripod is a very strong design as it was initially done, changes made certain points weaker, the weakest point being the female aluminium/alloy thread on the steel bent bolt.

    Mick.

  5. #5

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    Use what is called a heli-coil to repair the threads! Drill, tap, spin in the repair coil, done! About $20 the last time I bought a kit. This is a tried and true method used to keep the heads/cyliders on a Volkswagen Beetle when you increase the horsepower. Used with a knob it will not be as effective, but better than the original because it will have almost twice the surface area in the aluminum part as the original hole. Might require some locktight to keep the insert in place.

    If you can get to the back side and have the clearance, there are many other thread inserts that just require a hole, but are not a slick and compact as the heli-coil.

  6. #6
    E76
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    Thanks for all your help guys! I was considering having a workshop remake a handle for me, but I think I'll give the heli-coil a try first and go from there.

  7. #7

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    x2 on the helicoil method. You can get them at Napa or Home Depot. Use red loctite (#292) to lock the helicoil in place. The helicoil is made out of steel, so you will have a steel/steel interface on your hardware, which should last indefinitely.

  8. #8

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    Hi,
    Hopefully someone is able to help me. I've just found a Benbo 1 in the attic, which is great because i was looking into purchasing a new tripod, the Manfrotto head needs a bit of tlc. Problem is that one knob on a leg is missing. This is not a problem as they can be bought on the Paterson website. However, the casing on the joint, which on the other legs seems to be attached with glue or actually part of the moulding, is shattered, this allows me to remove the brake, minus the missing screw thread.

    If i could dismantle one of the other legs at the joint to remove the brake, i think i could figure out a workaround, but there doesn't seem to be any way to access the brake, which begs the question, how come i can buy a spare brake shoe on the Paterson website. There must be a way! Any help would be gratefully received and appreciated!

    sam



 

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