Feisol leg angle modification

Started Nov 18, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Ycheese
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Feisol leg angle modification
Nov 18, 2012

I recently acquired a Feisol 3342. So far I like it a ton (mostly because it doesn't weigh one). But there is one problem, and it's a biggie. The leg angles at the first setting are too steep, meaning the base forms a smaller triangle than I would like. It feels like it's going to tip over all the time. After reading the one bad review I could find for Feisol tripods, I knew this would be the case with any Feisol prior to buying it. They traded stability for height in the design.

The Feisol (the taller one) and a Gitzo 1297 Basalt. Notice the leg angle difference.

Well, I want to trade it back. I know that modifying it will void related warranties and affect resale and I'll weigh that when deciding if and how to modify it.

Leg angle mechanism. Lever is spring loaded and contacts the stops on the top

I think the most attractive option would be to file down the lever. If I screw it up, they couldn't cost too much to replace. The problem is, it wouldn't be effective to just file down the point; the top of the lever contacts the stop. That's a tougher grind.

Another option would be to  file down the bottom stop.

View of the stop ridges.

Grinding down the bottom surface of the bottom triangle-shaped ridge would widen the leg angle at the first setting. The downside to this option is that this is the same piece of aluminum as the entire base plate. This is a bigger and more expensive piece to replace if I mess it up. It will also shrink and weaken the stop ridge. I'm not going to need to change it much so I don't think that will be a problem.

Option 3 would be to leave the bottom stop ridge alone and add something just above it, creating another stop or just changing the angle of the 2nd stop to what I really want the first stop to be. I'm thinking glue on a piece of metal or even just metal epoxy.

I'm no metal worker and I've never attempted a mod like this but I think I can do it. Advice and ideas would be appreciated.

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