Tripod repair

Whilst out shopping we stumbled upon an antique shop that was full to the brim with all kinds of items, there were some tools and cameras in the window. So we decided to take a look inside. Whilst the family were browsing, I went straight to the counter to ask about a small camera tripod that was on display. As suspected, it was simply being used to showcase the cameras so I asked how much. The price was £10 and as I already had a use it didn’t seem worth haggling.

When I got it home, I sized it up and confirmed it was just the right height to record videos from my desk.

Desktop Tripod

But all was not what it seemed. The chap in the shop pointed out that the legs folded up, and I realised that they retracted inside and were released by the button on the side.

The top section also unscrewed and when I fiddled with that I discovered that the bottom of that also unscrewed revealing more legs.

Two smaller tripods

I also discovered that when the bigger tripod was placed on a solid surface it was a bit wobbly due to a connector for a wrist strap or similar. Examining the legs more closely, there was evidence that there should have been feet on the legs.

It wasn’t clear how big the feet should be, there was a minimum height needed so they would lift the tripod about the connector but they also needed to have a gap when folded up so that indicated a maximum size. There was a cut-out in the legs showing how long they would be. As the legs folded they could not be too wide or they might get knocked off, so that gave the last dimension. So I sketched out an outline in FreeCAD and padded that to the right thickness.

Looking through my filament collection, I discovered some “Flexi Pla” which I thought would be idea for the job. I had some challenges feeding the filament but eventually got it to go in. But when I tried to purge, the filament wasn’t flowing. And when I ejected the filament got jammed. So I ended up stripping down the machine and removing the remains of filament trapped in the drive wheels and Bowden tube. I should have heeded the warnings not to use flexible filament in this type of printer. Once the printer was back together, I swapped to black ABS and the purge and following print went just fine. The feet were glued in place with some “really strong glue” I found.

Once the glue was dry, I checked the tripod was stable.

A successful repair and a great bargain that will hopefully work well for my recording sessions.

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