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Old 06-02-2011, 06:17 PM
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manfrommerriam manfrommerriam is offline
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Tripod ball head lubrication?

>>I have two Bogen tripods with heavy duty ball heads I mount pochade boxes onto. Lately the ball heads have been getting hard to rotate and set up. Finally yesterday a hunk of plastic broke off one of the balls. I was able to super-glue this back together.
>>On the 'net I searched for advice on lubricants and found that Bogen says not to lubricate them... and also says to lubricate them with any oil... (note, they have a lubricant on the balls when purchased but it does not last).
>>I loosened up my two heads balls with silicone spray and muscle... then lubricated them with graphite dust. How long this will last is anyones guess.
>>So, my question is has anyone of you experienced and beaten this problem?
Sign me, "Looking for answers", Dave
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Old 06-02-2011, 11:45 PM
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Re: Tripod ball head lubrication?

My 25 year old old Monfrotto has an heavy duty ball head that has never needed any lubrication. I would take it apart and clean it really well and re-assemble. The ball head is a clamp that works on friction and any lubricant may make the clamping less effective.
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Old 06-03-2011, 01:28 PM
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Re: Tripod ball head lubrication?

Markins ball heads say to use a little WD-40, but wiped off well. In fact, isn't WD-40 the answer to everything?
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Old 06-04-2011, 08:08 PM
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Re: Tripod ball head lubrication?

I used the super glued ball head today and it worked alright... moved freely and held fine despite the silicone and graphite mix in there. I think however the o-rings may be torn-up on both of my ball heads and that would account for locking up occasionally, (as pieces of o-ring get into tight clearances). I'm still looking for suggestions and considering disassemby if I can locate new o-rings before hand so that I'm not stuck with the thing apart forever.
Having fun, Dave
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Old 07-01-2011, 01:03 AM
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Re: Tripod ball head lubrication?

Just in from 12 days on the road doing 30 pieces with one of my heads. It initially got stiff again but after another good shot of graphite powder it worked fine; I just had to be sure the knob was well backed off. No problem with the ball holding when clamped down as it does not creep.
Still like to hear from anyone else with experiences/comments.
Have fun, Dave
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Old 09-02-2011, 07:28 AM
kentiessen kentiessen is offline
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Re: Tripod ball head lubrication?

I have little experience with ball heads on tripods.
Graphite is a clean, unlike oils, and it will not attract dirt. Your sticking problem may have come initially only from the ball head not being clean. WD-40 is mostly a cleaner, and much less of a long term lubricant. Re-attaching the broken piece may be mostly a cosmetic fix, as the grip in the ball head means a great deal of pressure.
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Old 09-04-2011, 08:17 PM
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Re: Tripod ball head lubrication?

Hi Ken: Thanks for the input. I just spent another three days painting and I took out and used my head that has the broken, (and superglued) ball seven times. This went without problems. I did not add any graphite this time out.
Have fun, Dave
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Old 04-17-2012, 12:10 AM
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Re: Tripod ball head lubrication?

Ten months and its still working fine.
Have fun, Dave
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Old 09-14-2012, 09:21 PM
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Re: Tripod ball head lubrication?

Fifteen months and still working fine.
Have fun, Dave
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Old 06-25-2013, 06:11 PM
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Re: Tripod ball head lubrication?

two years and still they are working fine. I have not lubed them again. the super-glue repaired ball is still holding up.
Have fun, Dave
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Old 10-21-2013, 11:25 AM
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Re: Tripod ball head lubrication?

28 months now. Neither ball head is acting up. Lots of use both with oils and watercolors.
Have fun, dave
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Old 10-22-2013, 11:51 PM
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Re: Tripod ball head lubrication?

Thanks for the updates, I've been keeping an eye on this thread as I have my own old Bogen.
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Old 06-01-2014, 11:00 PM
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Re: Tripod ball head lubrication?

Almost 3 years now and still no more problems.
Have fun, I am, Dave
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