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Thread: Lubricant for tripod head?

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    Default Lubricant for tripod head?

    Hi all,

    currently having this problem with my Manfrotto pan head. The pan head is feeling a bit stiff thus not moving freely. This, I find is a pain, esp. when I am trying to find tune the angles...

    Does anyone know what kinda of lubricant can I use to loosen the hinges? Tried asking CP Marina, but was told that Manfrotto does not sell any kinda lube for their equipment...
    Last edited by Edwin; 13th October 2003 at 05:35 PM.

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    WD40? don't blame me if it gets too slippery though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry
    WD40? don't blame me if it gets too slippery though.
    Larry, serious har?

    But was told by my dad that WD40 is harmful to metal, cos it eats into the metal parts to loosen them up... Any hardware experts can verify?

    Actually tried some Singer lube that is meant for sewing machines... But the effect not that much... and it tends to flow outta the joints after some time...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edwin
    Larry, serious har?

    But was told by my dad that WD40 is harmful to metal, cos it eats into the metal parts to loosen them up... Any hardware experts can verify?

    Actually tried some Singer lube that is meant for sewing machines... But the effect not that much... and it tends to flow outta the joints after some time...

    Try to use some Molydenum grease...... it's black in colour...... very smooth and does not harm metal..... u can purchase it from hobby shops selling radio control cars. It is used to lube all the metal moving parts which spin at very high speeds....... should work well for the ballhead....... the stiffness might be due to the ballhead being very new? Or u tighten the locking nut too much when fine tuning? Or the balhead is too small for your camera load and so tends to tip over and so u tighten more to compensate and find that it doesn't tune well for small adjustments?

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    Quote Originally Posted by TME
    Try to use some Molydenum grease...... it's black in colour...... very smooth and does not harm metal..... u can purchase it from hobby shops selling radio control cars. It is used to lube all the metal moving parts which spin at very high speeds....... should work well for the ballhead....... the stiffness might be due to the ballhead being very new? Or u tighten the locking nut too much when fine tuning? Or the balhead is too small for your camera load and so tends to tip over and so u tighten more to compensate and find that it doesn't tune well for small adjustments?
    Thanks for the tip, TME!!!

    Dun think the pan head is too small cos I'm using a 141RC for my 717... Hmmm... the stiffness I can deduce is from the lack of use... Maybe more frequent uses will loosen it up...

    Btw, roughly how much is the grease u mention?

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    I use superslick trombone slide oil and tuning slide grease

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edwin
    Thanks for the tip, TME!!!

    Dun think the pan head is too small cos I'm using a 141RC for my 717... Hmmm... the stiffness I can deduce is from the lack of use... Maybe more frequent uses will loosen it up...

    Btw, roughly how much is the grease u mention?

    Not much... about $5 a tube. Actually all u need is a dab of it. If u buy a whole tube, it's will probably last u forever....... If someone is willing to give u some, that's would be good..... If u got friends in SAF working as mechs, can jst ask them to get some for u... the molybdenum grease is used by the artillery guys for cushioning the impact of the gun recoil and the lubrication of their vehicles, same for armour as well..... Dun over do the lubrication, cos the excess grease will collect dirt and grit and scratch the perfectly smooth ballhead.... so just use enough to coat the surface with a very very thin layer, enough to smoothen the motion when adjusting for fine angles......

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    i think the tightness could be from dried grease....it gets gummy when dry... cant be sure until u take it apart.

    i'd strip it and clean out the old grease before applying new

    best of luck!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ed9119
    i think the tightness could be from dried grease....it gets gummy when dry... cant be sure until u take it apart.

    i'd strip it and clean out the old grease before applying new

    best of luck!
    Wah...

    ed9119, any idea how I can strip the 141RC panhead to clean out the dried grease? Dun seems to have any screws that I can use to take it apart...

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    WD40, might as well use GT85. =P

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    Quote Originally Posted by YSLee
    WD40, might as well use GT85. =P
    Yup WD40 will definitely corrode your metal parts. Don't use it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edwin
    ....how I can strip the 141RC panhead to clean out the dried grease? Dun seems to have any screws that I can use to take it apart...
    the up/down tilt has a hex screw recess on the side where you can undo it

    the left/right pan screw head is found below the round plastic cover. dig out that round cover carefully and you'll see it.

    hey just to play safe, why dont u bring it down to cathay or camera workshop for it to get cleaned/fixed rather than do it yourself?

    there might be nothing wrong with it after all as most of the 141 heads i'd tried tend to be a little sticky when panning left/right.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ed9119
    the up/down tilt has a hex screw recess on the side where you can undo it

    the left/right pan screw head is found below the round plastic cover. dig out that round cover carefully and you'll see it.

    hey just to play safe, why dont u bring it down to cathay or camera workshop for it to get cleaned/fixed rather than do it yourself?

    there might be nothing wrong with it after all as most of the 141 heads i'd tried tend to be a little sticky when panning left/right.
    Hey, din know that CP and TCW do servicing for tripod head oso... Any idea how much it would cost?

    I roughly guessed the position of the screw joints but fear damaging the round plastic cover... Looks like I need to send it in for some overhaul...

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