Stuck twist lock on Gitzon tripod

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
bravozulu
Contributing MemberPosts: 897Gear list
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Re: Stuck twist lock on Gitzon tripod
In reply to jdfinch, 3 months ago

My experience with Gitzo started in the early 1980's. First it was the aluminum clunkers with French model names. Now I am on my 2nd CF unit.

On all of them, the twist locks get stuck at times. I am 3 miles from the beach so humidity and weather often trigger problems with the quick locks. My first solution is never lubricants.

I take a plastic bag with crushed ice and freeze the smaller leg near the twist lock. Then a take a rag soaked in hot water and warm the upper leg.

The temperature differential between the two segments causes one segment to expand while the smaller component to shrink. My dad was a machinist and taught me these techniques.

Lubricants are OK. They are smelly. messy and stain things. Get them on your fingertips, and you are only one step from smearing them on your lens front. Besides those considerations, the 'secret sauce' must penetrate to where the the threads are binding it for it to work. Sometimes that is easy. Other times it is not.

Metal threads do corrode over time, so some lubrication remedy is advisable. I would opt for rubbing paraffin wax into the threads. It doesn't attract dirt and grime and isn't runny like most oils. In the aviation industry we used a spray-on product called Boeshield. It goes on like a liquid and quickly dries to a wax-like deposit. It resists corrosion and don't clog. It doesn't attract or absorb moisture.

One bugaboo of hi-tech materials, such as Titanium is that threaded surfaces tend to weld themselves together. Boeshield prevents that. Made by Boeing Commercial Airplane company.

Bicycle stores sell it. A $10 bottle will last for a decade of household or shop use.

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