Tripod maintenance

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by goodoneian, Jan 24, 2010.

  1. goodoneian

    goodoneian TPF Noob!

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    I have a set of Manfrotto 055XPROB tripod legs and I've been shooting at the beach a lot lately, and have got a little bit of sand in the shafts of the tripod legs. It makes the lower section a little more difficult to slide in and out and makes a nasty noise, so i was wondering if it would at all be detrimental if i sprayed some WD40 up in there to flush the sand out and keep things well lubricated? The inside of the shaft is unfinished metal, unlike the outside which is painted black. I'm not sure if this matters, but i just felt like letting everyone know. Thanks
     
  2. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I wouldn't use WD-40...
    (It has a tendency to gum up after a while.)

    I would disassemble the tripod to whatever extent you're capable of, hose it down in the back yard or whatever, dry everything, and apply some light oil.

    Not sure if you own guns, but that's the kind of oil that comes to mind... Aero Kroil works great too, not sure if that's available where you live...

    edit
    http://www.kanolabs.com/google/

    I get this stuff "free" at work :)lol:), but $12 for 2 'king size' cans sounds like a decent deal.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2010
  3. goodoneian

    goodoneian TPF Noob!

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    Hmm okay. No, I don't own any guns haha, but there's a couple of shops around where i live that sell them so I could always go have a look around and see what i can find.

    As far as hosing it down though, since the inside of the legs are unfinished couldn't the water make it rust? Based on how I have it disassembled now it seems like it could be somewhat hard to get in there and make sure it's totally dry.
     
  4. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Well, it's aluminum - so it won't "rust", it will corrode though - if you let it.

    As long as you dry it and put some oil on there, it will be fine. The insides might be hard to dry (do you have an air compressor?)... Just let the parts sit in the sun for an hour or two if you don't have any other way of drying it. Prop the legs up so that they'll drain as they sit.
     
  5. goodoneian

    goodoneian TPF Noob!

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    Ah, sorry about the mix up between rust and corrode, I've always confused those. And yes, I do have an air compressor so that sounds like a good idea. I think I'll go out and look for some oil before too long and clean it before we get another stroke of bad weather down here
     
  6. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Same thing...kinda. Rust is corrosion (of iron). Corrosion on aluminum will look like a white powder, not the orange rust you're used to.
     
  7. goodoneian

    goodoneian TPF Noob!

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    Oh okay, well i know what to watch out for then. Thanks for your help though, I'm fairly confident I'll get it back in good working order now
     
  8. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Good ole' WD-40.

    WD-40 is a widely-available water-displacing spray developed in 1953 by Norm Larson, founder of the Rocket Chemical Company. It was Norm's 40th attempt at producing a water-displacing formula that could be used in the rocket industry.

    WD-40 was first used commercially by Convair to protect the exterior skin of the Atlas missle from rust and corrosion.


    WD-40 today is:
    • 50% Stoddard solvent (which evaporates)
    • 25% carbon dioxide (as a propellent)
    • 15% mineral oil (a very light mineral oil)
    • 10% inert ingredients
    One of the drawbacks to many Manfrotto tripods and flip lever leg locks in general is poor or no sealing.

    Round, twist type leg locks can be easily sealed with o-rings.

    From experience, the only way top get all the sand out is to disassemble the leg sections, clean, and reassemble.

    I would not use any lubrication of any kind on a tripod as it would hold any dust/dirt particles that came in contact with it.
     
  9. Joves

    Joves No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Just disassemble spray it off dry it and, put it back together. No oils/lubricants at all, they will merely attract dirt.
     
  10. davebmck

    davebmck TPF Noob!

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    I wouldn't use any kind of oil lubricant. They attract and hold dust and dirt. If you're going to use anything, use a light application of silicon spray and wipe off the excess.
     
  11. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    That would attract dust just as much as oil...


    I prefer - oil, wipe off the excess. If it's good enough for guns, why shouldn't it work on a tripod?
     
  12. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Strip it down, brush the dust and grit off with a paintbrush, reassemble with no lubricant whatsoever. I am very reluctant to use any of the penetrating or super-penetrating gun lubricants than can magically work their way into crevices and such....there is one such super gun oil I used on a new-used 9mm which was sold as a super-duper,wonderful penetrating, high-temp capable spray-can oil guaranteed to get deep in to mechanisms....I used it one time, and packed the pistol away for less than a week with two magazines and 30 rounds of ammo in a locked pistol case... well, the super-duper fancy oil/cleaner product "penetrated" all right...every single primer was ruined. The stuff penetrated in to the primers, ruining them all! WTH?? I cross-checked the stuff again with a new box of cartidges. Same thing--a single spray and a week later, all that were in the case with this super-penetrating magical products were duds, but the ones left on the box,away from this nasty stuff were all fine! I had to do a complete strip-down, alcohol-cleaning, and I threw the super-penetrating stuff away.

    I can just imagine what that kind of a product might do, invading a camera and fogging the mirror and viewscreen, hazing over the sensor's AA filter pack,etc. I'm with joves and KmH and anybody else who says strip,clean,re-assemble, with NO lubricants of any kind.
     

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